Is this as low as 60 Minutes has fallen to — even lower than the Beirut child kidnapping case? According to Fairfax Media:
“Disgraced author Belle Gibson was secretly paid $75,000 for appearing on Channel Nine’s flagship current affairs show, 60 Minutes, after her global cancer hoax and charity fraud were first exposed.
“Ms Gibson has refused to disclose whether she was paid for participating in the explosive interview with host Tara Brown in June last year.
“And the Nine Network has repeatedly said payments to interviewees are confidential, refusing to confirm or deny ongoing speculation. It was rumoured last year that Ms Gibson was paid as much as $45,000 to appear.
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“But documents obtained by Fairfax Media now reveal the broadcaster paid her much more for the exclusive interview. Invoices and remittance advice show Nine made two separate payments each of $37,500 to Ms Gibson’s lawyers in July 2015 under the reference, ‘60 Minutes — Belle Gibson interview’.”
That ought to be enough to put paid to any ideas that 60 Minutes has any interest in news and current affairs. Paying a confidence trickster money for an interview is pretty low. The Beirut adventure cost Nine millions of dollars, including a rumoured $1 million payout to sacked producer, Stephen Rice. Paying Gibson $75,000 is clearly how the program got its so-called exclusive with her. By the way, the reporter on both stories was Tara Brown. — Glenn Dyer