There’s never one around when you need one.
Hours before the ABC broadcast an on-air apology last night to Kenny, the Chaser presenter named in the defamation suit, Andrew Hansen, appeared to defy the terms of the settlement in a tweet: “ABC’s apologising to Chris Kenny, again. The Chaser isn’t, again. But we’ve agreed not to make more pictures of ABC execs shagging hamsters.”
The Chaser’s Chris Taylor posted on Facebook: “Just to be clear. The Chaser team is not apologising, and will never apologise to Chris Kenny. Tonight’s on-air apology is from the ABC, not us.”
Both statements appeared to breach the terms of the ABC’s settlement with Kenny that specified members of the Chaser team would not make public statements that “detract” from the apology.
This clause in the settlement, which also included the ABC paying Kenny’s legal fees and some damages, was intended to prevent a repeat of the way The Chaser’s Julian Morrow undermined Mr Scott’s personal apology to Kenny in April. Mr Scott refused to respond to questions yesterday about whether statements made by the Chaser presenters breached the terms of the settlement. A source close to the ABC said, “If management is not able to insist that its instructions be followed then what you have is anarchy.”
Mr Turnbull welcomed the apology but said the entire affair had been mishandled by the ABC. “My only regret is that immediately following the tasteless skit the ABC did not apologise to Mr Kenny,’’ he said. “I have no doubt that would have settled the matter. As it is, the only winner out of this mishandled episode has been the legal profession.”
Back to court for Mr Kenny?
Time to resign, Mr Scott.