It’s an embarrassment of riches down here at the Department of Wankley Deliberation this morning, so the brains trust and board of directors at the Offices of Incompetence have opted for the cop out this week: we’re calling a tie.

The Wankley shall be split, on a share house arrangement, between A Current Affair and The Herald Sun for Outstanding Achievements in Exploitative Journalism.

Earlier this week A Current Affair promised an interview with the family at the centre of the 2Day FM lie detector scandal.

They delivered an interview conducted by a morally superior Tracy Grimshaw with two aunties and a cousin.

Together, the three family members, with gentle coaxing from Grimshaw, speculated over whether ‘Rachel’ was in fact raped (Aunty ‘Rhonda’ said no) and whether they felt sorry for the girl (Cousin ‘Amy’ said no.)

While Grimshaw went out of her way to point out that the family approached A Current Affair, there was no mention of permission being granted to the family to speak out by the girl and mother at the centre of the scandal.

As The Herald Sun reported, the family showed no hesitation in weighing in on matters that perhaps didn’t concern them, and Grimshaw had no problem helping them do it in front of a national audience:

Rhonda confirmed the girl’s rape claims were not taken seriously by the family, who did not report the matter to police.

“I don’t believe that my sister did believe that she was raped….I don’t believe she was raped. They were in a room, they were supposed to be drunk. There was another girl on the top bunk…ok..and this boy that was accused also had time to put a condom on,” Rhonda said, adding “does this happen (presumably to rape victims)?”

The girl “didn’t realise anything was wrong” until she told a friend and the friend said “oh that’s not right,” the aunt claimed.

Her cousin, named as Amy, said she had no sympathy for her relative, while her aunt said she felt for shock jock Sandilands and his disgraced sidekick Jackie O.

“She has not taken in what she has done…she has caused so much trouble…for Kyle, Jackie O, the family, everything,” the aunt said.

Speaking of exploitative journalism, how’s this for a front page?

This is the face of a domestic violence victim splashed across a front page.

Greg Inglis, a Queensland State of Origin star, appeared in Sunshine Magistrates Court on Wednesday for an alleged assault of his girlfriend Sally Robinson and was released on bail.

That gave The Herald Sun‘s editors the green light to photograph a clearly distressed Robinson in her car.

The paper reported:

Inglis and his partner arrived separately at the home yesterday.

She appeared to be trying to hide the injuries behind her hair as she got out of her car and rushed into the garage.

…Another official drove Ms Robinson away about 30 minutes after she arrived. She wore sunglasses and did not want to talk about what happened.

It’s now being reported that Sally Robinson yesterday handed investigators a statement that provided a different version of events to the one she gave earlier in the week:

The signed statement was believed to refer to Inglis trying to disarm Ms Robinson while she was in the process of harming herself.

Ms Robinson decided earlier this week to get independent legal advice about her actions and Inglis’s role.

The truth at the heart of these horrible matters is often very murky and complex, which would suggest that harassing victims in their driveway and interviewing ignorant family members about complex accusations of rape and the issue of consent is not the very best of ideas.

For the victims that is, circulation and ratings are another matter…

For what it’s worth, here’s half a Wankley each.

View our complete Wankley winners’ archive

Peter Fray

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