Underbelly creep you won’t see on ACA

“Journalist arrested for links to hitman from Sydney’s seedy underbelly” – it’s almost the perfect opportunity for ACA to run a cross promotional Underbelly story. Only he’s one of their own. Ben Fordham. I can’t believe I missed this last week. Now the hitman (a nephew of Sydney’s mayor) has been arrested. No doubt he’ll come up with a plea bargain that sees the journo and his producer chucked in the slammer as an example.

Ben Fordham’s career as a corporate speaker will no doubt take off. He also has the added benefit of a PR manager – his famous father.

I remember watching the original story – where Fordham bravely foiled a “hit” and thinking they were crossing into some murky grey area of journalistic entrapment. Turns out it was murky enough for criminal charges.

I’m not sure how I feel about this. Personally, from a journalistic perspective, I loathe the sensationalism ACA and Today Tonight pursue. But I also think journalists should be able to become as involved in the story as they do. ACA ran an interesting piece last night where their journo, Martin King complete with prosthetic nose, lived as a homeless person for a period of time and explored the way Melbourne’s homeless are treated. It’s worth a watch.

Ben Fordham is getting a reputation as a bit of a toe rag. The police also cautioned him after an interaction with Belinda Neal last year. He was also the guy who brought us the controversial story about the “last tribe of cannibals” and their prospective dinner, Wawa. Who Nine didn’t rescue – and Fordham allegedly blew the whistle on Seven as Today Tonight made an illegal attempt.

So, what do you think? Should the courts thank Channel 9 for aborting this hit via their story, or should they throw the book at the guy?