ACA‘s premature MasterChef revelation. In a shameless effort to cash in on the cooking show’s massive popularity, A Current Affair launched an embarrassingly premature attack on the new series of Channel Ten’s MasterChef. The show crossed live to reporter Tom Steinfort, who solemnly informed us of contestant Justin Moran’s “chequered past”. But the “breaking news” quickly turned into an utter non-story when Moran was eliminated from the competition just two hours later.

Emphasising that there had been multiple complaints made to it, ACA went hard on the former nightclub owner, detailing his run-ins with the law, debt collectors and liquor licensing. Steinfort piously told viewers that his sources thought it “fair” that the public know Moran’s “full history” before they vote for him and that “this leopard certainly hasn’t changed his spots”. Tracy Grimshaw even put a call out at the end of the segment, encouraging viewers to send in their Moran horror stories.

The yarn — which was told to Crikey before the show’s first episode — could have been top tabloid fodder had Moran made it much further into the series. Before being banned from running a licensed venue, Moran founded takeaway food outlet Burgers Burritos Nachos Tacos (BBNT), a successful franchise with outlets across Victoria. Moran, now 35, sold out of the business when he has 24, moving into the nightclub scene.

Regardless of the merits of a previous owner of BBNT participating in a series of MasterChef, there are several conditions that the show’s entrants are required to abide by. According to MasterChef ‘s rules of entry, prospective contestants “cannot have ever worked full-time in a kitchen as a cook, chef or in food preparation”. Furthermore — in a rule that should apply to Moran — contestants cannot have earned money from preparing or cooking food in a “professional kitchen environment” in the past 15 years. — Tom Cowie

2UE program boss defects to Sky. Fairfax Radio’s struggling Sydney station 2UE has lost its program director Greg Byrnes after 17 years with the station. Fairfax Radio political reporter Latika Bourke tweeted news this morning that Byrnes — her former news director — will join Sky News in May. The Twitter-obsessed gallery hack then added:

I think I was the very last journo Byrnes hired when he was news director at 2UE. I’d like to say he peaked at the end there. #jokes

You call that a Q&A? THIS is a Q&A. Via The Atlantic’s Andrew Sullivan, a brilliantly blunt Q&A between South African journalist Chris Barron and Johannesburg mayor Amos Masondo:

Is Joburg ready for the World Cup?

I think we are.

What about the potholes?

We are addressing that problem.

What about the trenches that are left open for months for people to fall into?

Again, that’s one of the big problems.

What about the broken traffic lights?

It’s being addressed in an ongoing way.

What about the street lights that don’t work?

Aussie pundits could learn a thing or two.

Fashion advice for The Australian. Um, do you think The Oz knows that a hoodie is a piece of clothing?

22-04-2010 10-54-48 AM

The Pulitzer Centre’s crisis in ethics

“… for journalism to retain any integrity it cannot simply rely on something as intangible as ‘a deep sense of responsibility’, it must be grounded in a solid set of ethical principles and it must be accountable.” — A Developing Story

The man the White House (and everyone else) wakes up to

“[Politico journalist Mike] Allen’s e-mail tipsheet, Playbook, has become the principal early-morning document for an elite set of political and news-media thrivers and strivers.” — New York Times

Now you can ‘like’ Facebook — from anywhere

“Facebook has announced an ambitious plan to spread its features across the internet, a move the company said would allow any website to instantly tailor itself based on a visitors’ friends and interests.” — Wall Street Journal

… and the Washington Post will like you back

The Washington Post announced the launch of its Network News feature, which places users’ Facebook friends’ favorite articles at the top of the homepage and article pages, taking advantage of the social-networking site’s Like button.” — WebNewser

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey