60 Minutes finally apologises for Beirut bungle

It’s a bit baffling why senior 60 Minutes reporter Michael Usher was the one tasked with presenting us with a five-minute

It’s a bit baffling why senior 60 Minutes reporter Michael Usher was the one tasked with presenting us with a five-minute apology for the show’s poor form in being involved in that mess in Beirut, but still it was an apology.

In begging for forgiveness, the apology also highlighted that Channel 9’s involvement in trying to bring two children back to Australia with their mother was ‘not worth the risk’.

“We sincerely apologise,” Usher said. “There is a lot to learn from this experience for us at 60 Minutes and for the entire network.”

It was then that the show’s founding boss and co-author of the internal inquiry report into the issue announced that the child abduction adventure should never have been commissioned and that judgement and priorities were awry.

When Usher asked Stone why the producer, Stephen Rice, was the only person involved in the incident to have been put out of a job he said there was “no doubt” that the judgement of both Rice and reporter Tara Brown was blurred; he just didn’t believe a journalist should have to take the fall.

Stone said the failed mission to return Sally Faulkner’s children to Australia in April was “without doubt the greatest misadventure in 37 years of 60 Minutes.

Naturally, there was criticism on social media that Brown was not the one to sit before us and make the apology on Sunday, May 29.

Also a notable exclusion from the discussion was the child recovery agent Adam Whittington, who remains in jail in Lebanon.

Through his lawyer Whittington responded to the 60 Minutes apology saying Channel 9 has abandoned him and others recruited for the mission and had moved to “settle the matter without us” when negotiating the release of Sally Faulkner and the 60 Minutes crew.

The only comment made about Whittington was this from Michael Usher: “There is an ongoing criminal case in Lebanon involving our crew and the child recovery team led by Adam Whittington and for legal reason we’re not able to say any more about that.”

 Did you see the apology on 60 Minutes? What do you think about the show since the Beirut bungle? Is an apology now too late?

  1. If they were really sorry for getting Adam Whittington involved in this mess, they would get him out of there.

    • Nine didn’t “get Whittington involved.” He’s a grown up and he got himself involved for $115,000. #nosympathy

  2. Jenni king  

    It was the most false apology I have ever heard. They are not sorry they did it, they are only sorry it all went wrong and people can now see the types of lengths they will go to for a story. Too little too late. Am one of thousands that will never watch this program again.

  3. Trish  

    Didn’t see the show. Not worth watching any more. But Channel 9. If you really care. Get Adam out of there.

  4. Should have been Tara Brown making the apology, also think that she was as much at fault as Stephen Rice so think he was pretty badly treated.
    They should also be trying to get Adam Whittington out of there if they are really sorry

  5. Janice Langer-Waters  

    Tara Brown should also have apologised & been sacked. Why did it fall on Michael Usher to apologise? Typical & are they doing anything to help Adam Whittington, who I believe is still being held in custody by the Beirut authorities. I did not watch the show but heard about what took place. I refuse to watch 60 minutes since Liz Hayes lied & tried to discredit Storm captain Cameron Smith. He had to wait just short of 12 mths for an apology that didn’t come from either Liz Hayes or 60 minutes but instead it was left to the host of the NRL Footy Show host to apologise to him on behalf of channel 9 & the only reason it was done is because State of Origion is being played this week.

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