Last night Channel Nine ate its own young. It was bloody, gruesome and totally disgusting; but what do you expect from an industry that knows no shame?

On A Current Affair, Chk Chk Boom girl, Clare “the Bogan” Werbeloff was dissected on air by Ben McCormack. Funny, because for weeks now young Ben Fordham has been parading Clare Werbeloff around the station, much to the bemusement of older reporters who couldn’t understand why Ben was taking sooo much trouble in pushing this naive girl … makeup, hair, deportment and etiquette lessons from June Daly Watkins. WTF! There were even media reports that Clare would be given an ongoing on air role, reaching out and connecting with thousands of young bogans out there in ratings land no doubt.

Somehow it all went horribly pear-shaped for young Clare last night and she was hung out to dry. It started out with ACA promos suggesting that the “Chk Chk Boom Girl will disappear for ever”. Then it was Ben McCormack wielding the butcher’s knife on air…

BEN: “Will anyone ever be able to believe anything you say?”
CLARE: “…I don’t know.”

BEN: “What have you learnt about telling lies?”
CLARE: “…(puzzled look) … nothing.”

Where was Fordham when she needed him?

Which NSW minister is having an affair with a stripper? She lives in Newtown. He tried to pass her off as his niece when he took her to Parliament House.

More Rudd resignations. Rudd’s most senior policy adviser Pradeep Phillip tendered his resignation to Rudd last week, I’m told. He is the best policy brain in the outfit and will be missed. Others are planning to leave too, now at the half way point of the first term. Since the election, Rudd has now lost over 30 staff — must be a prime ministerial record of some sort! Only a handful of “veterans” with him when he took office remain.

Further to your piece on the brothers Fitzgibbon and the woes of NIB: The NIB payment scale for doctors choosing to use its MediGap scheme for in-hospital procedures is roughly 90% of the benchmark HCF scale. The problem for NIB customers is that NIB’s subscription rates are about 103% of HCF’s. NIB’s response will probably be that their payment rate for extras is better; however, on comparing the annual maximum payment for each extra item, one finds that they are very similar.

A valid conclusion is that NIB is not as good a proposition for your health cover as HCF (or several of the other major health funds after making similar comparisons).

I’m told the heavies from the US were out inspecting a certain fast food empire recently and instructed the locals to add more salt to the food. Why? So that thirsty patrons would buy more drinks. Not the healthiest idea though…

Spotted: a Melbourne television executive jumping on a tram in a bid to “connect with the community”. A kind-of, how the common people live, fact finding mission. To find some story ideas, that matter most the people of his town. Only problem — he spent four hours on the City Circle — a free service for tourists!

Is a person instrumental to Connex’s tender bid in a personal relationship with a senior bureaucrat involved in supervising the Government decision? Perhaps you could ask the DoT and the Premier’s office if they know of the (alleged) relationship. Perhaps you could ask if the bureaucrat has distanced himself from the bidding process. Perhaps you will find that the answer is “no.”

The rental market is providing a nice little earner for some real estate agents who want to exploit a technicality. Banks fees and penalties are nothing compared to this rort. If at the end of a lease the tenant does not give written notice (and an email is not regarded as written notice, it has to be a letter) the agent is within his or her rights to charge a further two weeks’ rent on the vacated flat or house. And here’s the kick. If the rent has been raised before the lease expiry, those two weeks have to be paid for at the higher asked rental rate, even if it turns out that the market won’t pay it.

These tricks forced my daughter and her flatmate in Glebe to pay an additional $1,340 for two weeks’ rent after she and her friend said they would not renew their lease because they could not afford the $120 a week rent hike. They gave this advice verbally and in email. The $680 a week the agent wanted was too high and the property was empty for five weeks. So he dropped the rent to $600 and it is now let. But nevertheless, two girls earning hardly anything were forced to pay nearly $1,400 because the agent enforced the fine print in the lease agreement and had jacked up the rent to an unsustainable level which he forced them to pay for two weeks after they had moved out.

No wonder real estate agents have social ranking below car salesmen.

One of the most worrying aspects of the Emirates “near-miss” at Melbourne Airport earlier this year is a fact that has yet to emerge, but shows how close the plane came to crashing. Nearly two miles from the end of the southern runway (after smashing lights, signs and just missing the boundary fence), the plane had only reached a height of 300 metres, when it should have been several thousand metres high. The pilots struggled to keep the plane in the air, and it passed over the Calder Freeway at a dangerously low height.

This is a fact will come out in the final report, and which many people in the airline industry already know.