Crikey has been inundated with correspondence following our story on Friday revealing how Age film critic Jim Schembri likes to punk your employer if you bag him on Twitter. Now, another damning email tranche has been obtained from the fictional @abcnewsintern. As anyone with a passing familiarity with the Australian Twitterverse would know, the intern pretends -- in thoroughly humorous fashion -- to report on the latest happenings inside Aunty's current affairs division. On February 2, he tweeted a tongue-in-cheek response to a Sydney Morning Herald Diary column that quoted Schembri as speaking "on behalf of film reviewers". "So now I have permission to speak on behalf of nuclear physicists, right?," @abcnewsintern wrote. Within the hour, Schembri had fired off an email from his Age email address demanding the anonymous Twit "identify yourself properly with your full name". Schembri savvily employs the word "us" to align himself with his storied Fairfax masthead: "Please provide us with your name and the name of the person you answer to."
From: Jim Schembri Date: Thu, Feb 2, 2012 at 9:08 PM To: ABCnewsIntern If you work at the ABC and make public statements you need to identify yourself properly with your full name. Please provide us with your name and the name of the person you answer to. Please respond to this as soon as possible. Also, you need to learn how to quote accurately. The tweet below is a flagrant misquote ...
The "intern" hit straight back:
From: ABCnewsIntern Date: Thu, Feb 2, 2012 at 9:48 PM To: Jim Schembri That was a direct quote from the SMH article (which then went on to quote you), albeit replacing your surname with your Twitter handle.
The next day, a terse Schembri ratcheted up his demands, wanting names and numbers in a manner befitting a crack journalist.
From: Jim Schembri Date: Fri, Feb 3, 2012 at 12:39 PM To: ABCnewsIntern Provide your name, the name of your supervisor and the appropriate phone numbers. Respond to this email as soon as possible.
He did:
From: ABCnewsIntern Date: Fri, Feb 3, 2012 at 1:16 PM To: Jim Schembri Really, Jim? Really?
Really:
From: Jim Schembri Date: Fri, Feb 3, 2012 at 1:31 PM To: ABCnewsIntern Yeah. Put your name to it.
Amazing stuff. Schembri did not respond to Crikey's multiple requests for comment when we asked for an explanation last week. But the door is always open, Jim.