Ben McCormack, host of Channel 9’s A Current Affair program, was suspended after police raided the Sydney, Australia, TV station in their investigation of his alleged involvement with “sexually explicit” child pornography.
McCormack, who has worked at Channel 9 for 25 years, according to the Daily Mail is being investigated for sending child pornography using a carriage service and engaging in sexual conversations about children.
McCormack gained notoriety for his pursuit of convicted sexual predator Robert Hughes, an Australian actor found guilty in a jury trial of nine counts of sexual assault and indecent assault and sentenced to six years in jail without parole.
McCormack’s apparent bent for faking news, inciting racial divisions and questionable sexual misconduct fits his profile of also attacking peaceful religious activity such as the community betterment programs of the Church of Scientology.
While Channel 9 continues to defend McCormack, calling him “decent,” he is known to have stirred controversy and criticism over the years for reports he aired on A Current Affair that turned out to be false and misleading.
His November 2012 report that a shopping center in northwest Sydney had been taken over by Asian retailers and Australian shopkeepers had been “kicked out” was investigated and found to be false. It was widely condemned as racist and led to the station receiving a deluge of complaints. Stand-in host Leila McKinnon was forced to apologize on-air for the story. The Australian Communications and Media Authority, a national media watchdog, determined the story was not only inaccurate but was “likely to provoke intense dislike and serious contempt” of Asian people.
McCormack was under fire again last year when his reporting was slammed by public relations luminary Roxy Jacenko after A Current Affair ran a story called “Resort Roxy.” The program claimed, falsely it turned out, that she had checked into a $7,000-a-night luxury retreat with her two children the same weekend her husband, Oliver Curtis, was sentenced to two years in prison for insider trading.
“As her insider trader husband awaits classification within the jail system, within hours of his sentence Roxy has taken off. And you won’t believe where,” McCormack said in his report.
But shortly thereafter, Ms. Jacenko posted a photograph of herself sitting at her desk at work. Her response posted on Instagram: “Really A Current Affair? ... Looks like my bum and feet are firmly placed at my desk in my office.”
McCormack’s journalism also made quite a stir in 2008 when he led a protest of disgruntled game show contestants to stage a live on-air ambush of David Koch and Melissa Doyle of competitor Channel 7. McCormack claimed that Channel 7 had shortchanged National Bingo Night participants and he invaded a live broadcast of Channel 7’s Sunrise show with angry contestants in tow. A Channel 7 spokesman dismissed the stunt as an “act of desperation to try and find an audience.”
Ortega is best known as an apologist for Backpage.com, described by the California Attorney General as the “world’s top online brothel,” when he was editor at Village Voice that carried the sex ads.
McCormack’s apparent bent for faking news, inciting racial divisions and questionable sexual misconduct fits his profile of also attacking peaceful religious activity such as the community betterment programs of the Church of Scientology. No one believed him, but that he would attack religious people with his defamatory and incendiary speech marks him as a hateful bigot. Proverbially, it was only a matter of time before it would all catch up with him. And now it has.
As a final note, McCormack’s U.S. cohort in abusive reporting, Tony Ortega, an out of work , hate-blogger based in New York, was interviewed three times by McCormack. Their close connection is yet to be fully explored, but Ortega is best known as an apologist for Backpage.com, described by the California Attorney General as the “world’s top online brothel,” when he was editor at Village Voice that carried the sex ads. Ortega was ousted from the Voice and former Backpage.com CEO Carl Ferrer and former owners Michael Lacey and James Larkin are under sex trafficking, pimping and pimping a minor felony charges.