As the leaked footage of Rebecca Maddern and Mike Amor’s uncensored Novak Djokovic swipe continues to circulate, viewers have taken a surprising stance.
In a matter of hours, footage of two Aussie journos calling Novak Djokovic an ‘a***hole’ as the Tennis pro awaits a final decision over his visa saga his has made headlines around the world.
But unlike most viral newsreader gaffes, there’s been a largely positive response to the two people at the centre of it all — leading to some speculation it could all be a “publicity stunt”.
In the recording, Maddern — who made the move from rival network Nine just a week ago — told Amor: “Whatever way you look at it, Novak Djokovic is a lying, sneaky, a***hole.
“It’s unfortunate that everybody else stuffed up around him.
“To go out when you know you’re Covid-positive — well, I don’t think he was even Covid-positive …”
Amor echoed the sentiment, also calling Djokovic an “a***hole” and adding: “You’ve got a bulls**t f***ing excuse and then he fell over his own f***ing lies, which is what happens right? That’s what’s happened.”
Maddern went on to question whether Djokovic had lied about his recent travel movements on his Australian Travel Declaration form as Amor said “I think he’s going to get away with it”.
“I think most fair-minded people would say, ‘The bloke’s an a***hole’. Did they do the right thing by him? I don’t know. They f***ed it up. That’s the problem, isn’t it,” he added.
Maddern said she didn’t think “anything was gained from putting him in immigration hotels”.
“The fact is life is never fair. Some people fly first class … it’s never fair,” she added.
Channel 7 was quick to respond, announcing they’d launched an investigation into the “illegal leak” and making it clear there’d be serious ramifications for the perpetrator.
But while Maddern herself has apologised for the rant, a number of viewers have seemingly deemed it unnecessary.
It fact, some have claimed it was the best news segment they’d seen in a long time given it reflected the mood of a number of frustrated Aussies watching the Djokovic saga unfold.
“Every Australian needs to stand by Rebecca Maddern & Mike Amor. They are only saying what we – & the rest of the world is thinking,” one wrote.
“Great watch. Just saying what 90% of Australians think,” another agreed.
“Now this is news I‘d watch. Rebecca Maddern has certainly made a strong return to Channel 7 hey,” was another response.
“I hope Mike Amor and Rebecca Maddern are promoted on the basis of that leaked video,” added another.
Summing up the general consensus, TV industry writer Colin Vickery weighed in that he can’t see how the leak will do any damage to their reputations “if that is what the perpetrator was hoping”.
So who had access to the footage — and why leak it to begin with?
Over on Triple M Perth’s Breakfast with Basil and Xav today – Basil, who is also a Channel 7 employee, added his two cents into how the incident occurred as the network’s investigation continues.
How did the footage leak?
“Whatever happens at the newsdesk, that feed is available to whichever relays might be taking it,” Basil explained.
“So for example — and I’m just making this up — if the channel in Bendigo takes 7 Melbourne’s news then they probably get (the footage) pumped through.”
He went on to point out that the “central hub” which records whatever happens at the newsdesk was not only used by Seven, but by rival network Nine.
“Those little stations, they may be able to record it, or the central hub – which feeds all of those things out (and) which is not at seven, it’s a place that seven and nine news use — somebody there may have recorded it.
“Obviously it’s been initially posted somewhere. Whoever posted it first, that’s the link,” he added after Lewis Martin, 7 News Melbourne managing director, told 3AW this morning they were close to identifying the culprit.
‘Publicity stunt’ rumour
Given the support both Maddern and Amor have received in light of the leak, some have speculated it was not a mistake at all.
Industry publication TV Blackbox even penned their own investigation into whether the video was a “Leak that breaks trust, or off the books PR stunt”, deducing that due to the time stamp and their casual language, it’s a stretch at the least.
“There were some suggestions (that) maybe this is a publicity stunt, maybe this is exactly what you want when Bec comes back to get a bit of news going, maybe reflecting the mood of what most people in Melbourne are thinking,” Basil said this morning, adding that the network were “not taking it lying down”.
Speaking this morning, Seven Network Director of News and Public Affairs, Craig McPherson, said in a statement: “The illegal recording was of a private conversation between two colleagues. It was an underhanded, cowardly act in breach of the Victorian Listening Devices legislation the perpetrator of which will be accordingly dealt with when found.”
Channel 7 managing director Lewis Martin told SAW radio: “There has been an illegal recording of a private conversation.
“It is something that is going to be looked at and is being looked at thoroughly.
“We are going to have an outcome. What has happened here is illegal.”
Calls for the duo to be sacked
Not everyone is team Amor and Maddern, with some viewers absolutely appalled by the comments.
“Mike Amor and Rebecca Maddern need to be sacked. Showing their bias. Disgusting language,” one wrote.
“Rebecca Maddern!! Mike Amor!! not a good look Oops! Should be sacked!” said another.
It all comes just a week after Maddern officially headed back to Channel 7 following her departure from Channel 9 late last year.
What a return.
Originally published as Viewers rally around Rebecca Maddern for calling Novak Djokovic an ‘a***hole’
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