Seeing double. Send a press release to the Herald Sun and your carefully crafted words could well be used — with very little changed — under the Hun‘s own byline.

Yesterday, household task outsourcing company Service Seeking sent the Crikey bunker a press release. We then read it almost word-for-word in the Herald Sun, under a piece allegedly written by scribe Cassie Zervos.

Clean energy consultant Ketan Joshi first spotted the similarities on Twitter. So it’s even clearer, we’ve put the two side-by-side and highlighted the suspiciously similar wording for you below.


Click to enlarge

The piece, up by 10am yesterday (four hours after the release was sent out), doesn’t seem to have made today’s paper.

Sometimes we’ve seen this sort of thing happen at country papers and let it pass. But the Herald Sun is hardly a two-bit operation — it’s the country’s highest-circulated daily paper. Fairfax’s Domain went off the same release, but managed to kick it along quite a bit for its article.

The Herald Sun‘s editor was contacted for comment shortly before this piece was published. — Myriam Robin

Journo outs gay athletes. Daily Beast and one of its journos in Rio covering the Olympics Nico Hines is under fire today over an article Hines penned where he went to investigate athletes hooking up during the Rio Olympics.

The article, originally titled “I got three Grindr dates in an hour in the Olympic village” was widely criticised on Twitter and elsewhere, with Slate calling the piece “exceedingly gross and bizarre” Grindr-baiting. Hines, unable to get straight women using apps like Tinder, gloated about being able to organise meet-ups more instantaneously on Grindr, despite admitting to his audience that he is straight with a wife and child. Hines also goes into detail about the sports played by several of the people he chatted to, including what countries they are from. It doesn’t take much effort to figure out exactly which athletes he is talking about.

The difficulty comes because in Hines’ original piece, the language used made it sound as though Grindr was a safari adventure for him, and not as it actually is, which is a safe space for gay men to meet other gay men. While straight athletes have the luxury of being able to meet and flirt with each other at the village bar with no danger, gay athletes, particularly those from countries where they face persecution for being gay, use apps like Grindr for even a slightly better chance at safely being able to meet other gay people.

Gay Olympians have slammed the article, with US athlete Gus Kenworthy saying that Hines had “basically just outed a bunch of athletes in his quest to write a shitty article where he admitted to entrapment”.

Tongan Olympic swimmer Amini Fonua called Hines an “inhumane creep” who had violated the safe space of gay athletes.

Daily beast gay outing mrief

Fonua also had a more, well, graphic response on Instagram (WARNING: mildly NSFW).

Daily Beast editor John Avalon heavily edited the article overnight removing a number of the references to the athletes, re-titling the piece, and changing the overall tone of the article, but some were still calling for the article to be removed entirely. Avalon claims that it wasn’t intentionally designed to target gay athletes, instead victim-blaming them for responding to Hines in the first place.

It just so happened that Nico had many more responses on Grindr than apps that cater mostly to straight people, and so he wrote about that. Had he received straight invitations, he would have written about those.

The article was removed entirely with Avalon saying the publication was taking “an unprecedented but necessary step” because the article did not uphold Daily Beast‘s values.

— Josh Taylor

Exclusive watch. The mayor of Fairfield has accused Joe Tripodi of interfering in council preselections. You could read about it in both of Sydney’s daily papers yesterday. The Tele said it was an exclusive in its front-page splash. On page 9, The Sydney Morning Herald did not.



— Myriam Robin

What Ailes the Murdochs. The Roger Ailes story continues to develop, with new reports of physical threats against an unofficial biographer of the former head of Fox News, reports of more women coming forward with harassment claims (in the double digits, according to one report), firming suggestions of a deeper probe at Fox by auditors and lawyers, and now suggestions in The Wall Street Journal that the Murdochs are getting the chequebook out to try to make the story go away.

A key issue will be whether the alleged behaviour stops with Ailes or whether others at the network enabled it by turning a blind eye to the claims, supporting Ailes, or just signing off on any deals without any investigation. The story is focusing more and more on the US$3.15 million settlement Ailes struck to end one claim of 20 years of harassment with one former Fox News employee, Laurie Luhn.

That the settlement of these emerging claims has made the pages of the Murdoch-owned Wall Street Journal tells us that the proverbial is hitting the fan inside the empire and the Murdochs want the story to go away.

The New York Times weighed into the story on Thursday, but missed the point of where the story is now heading — its escaping the “she said, he said” claims of harassment and starting to threaten the 21st Century Fox accounts and draw the attention of regulators.

New York Magazine has more startling allegations that Ailes used money from the Fox News budget to employ “consultants, political operatives, and private detectives who reported only to him” and who targeted personal and political enemies, including journalists.

Top of the list is the US$3.15 million settlement Ailes made with Luhn, a former senior Fox News executive over her claims of 20 years of harassment. There are reports of similar agreements (undisclosed) with other women. The potential for the the settlement with Luhn contains the great dangers for the company and the board and management, so far as US regulators are concerned. — Glenn Dyer

Video of the day. Taiwanese animators take on the Mack Horton v Sun Yang saga …


Front page of the day. Just when you thought there was nothing left to say about Bill Leak …


Peter Fray

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