OK, we confess, when it comes to 60 Minutes‘ repugnant incest couple story, Crikey agrees with Andrew Bolt word for word today.

A tip of the hat to The Herald Sun columnist for tearing strips off 60 Minutes reporter Peter Overton.

Last Sunday, Peter presented his story ‘Forbidden Love’, opening with what he said looked like “a picture perfect family” who “despite the odds”, were proud parents of a normal healthy baby girl called Celeste.

And the odds are stacked against them since they happen to be father and daughter. Who have s-x. Regularly. “Fantastic” s-x, apparently. 

We call it incest. Overton called it “Genetic S-xual Attraction”.

Packaged like a bad Mills and Boon novel, Overton gave air time to a couple of clearly delusional people, or as he put it — “when blood relatives fall for each other”.

“I was looking at him, sort of going, ’Oh, he’s not too bad’,” Jenny told Overton.

“Like you might look at a man across the bar at a nightclub.”

Hot.

This story was already wrong on so many levels, but the revelation the next day that the couple had already had a son before Celeste who died of a congenital heart defect meant that Overton had omitted a key detail as he ran footage of the little family posing for Pixie snaps.

Bolt picks apart Overton’s Vaseline lens story of “ordinary folks”, line for line:

Overton: On the surface, they appear to be the picture-perfect family.

They do? Only if you ignore that, “on the surface”, this couple comprise a father and daughter who between them have four broken marriages, at least six children from four relationships, a huge age difference, a prison record for armed robbery and two convictions for incest. What, on the surface, would strike Overton as an imperfect family?

As for the missing baby:

Celeste is not the couple’s first child together, as he could have learned from court records from their trial last month for incest, or from the interview they gave to Closer Online or from the couple themselves.

John and Jenny also had a boy, Jackson, who died four days after his birth from a congenital heart defect.

Why did Overton not mention that? His executive producer, Hamish Thomson, refuses to say.

But I’ll guess: Maybe he didn’t want to spoil his image of the “picture-perfect family”. Maybe he didn’t want to spoil the line that whatever consenting adults do is their own business, if it doesn’t directly hurt anyone else. Like a deformed baby.

Executive producer Hamish Thomson’s admission that the network bought the couple clothes “from Target”  and offered them cash (to “help them move” since the neighbourhood of Mount Gambier, who John and Jenny hoped would “accept their relationship”, are more likely to drive them out with flaming stakes) is now under investigation.

Nevertheless, Nine scored mountains of publicity. The story knocked the pregnant man off top spot for most read on news.com.au this week. That and a follow up story for this Sunday (on the dead baby we forgot to mention last week) with enough car crash TV potential to rate through the roof.

Peter Overton, your heartwarming tale of incest makes you Crikey’s worthy Wankley of the Week.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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