Don’t be too harsh on Clare Werbeloff – everyone but the media loves a media hoax

I must admit, I’m struggling to be outraged at Clare Werbeloff’s Kings Cross shooting hoax.  

Although a new twist may yet emerge in her now much anticipated interview on A Current Affair , the whole incident seems to have created a great deal of fun and not much harm, except for those offended by the word wog.

It sounds like she fessed up straight away when the police made contact, so there’s no issue of her wasting police time. And wasting the media’s time is something  the public seems to actively encourage.

Indeed, one of my favourite TV moments was when my uncle managed to get himself on a Sky Sports vox pop outside an English Premier League game. A West Ham fan, he was asked about the team.

Sounding like a very knowledgeable fan indeed, he reeled off a long list of names of the promising youth squad who were, he said, the team’s future. It was duly broadcast. The only thing was, the names were just a list of his mates.

Or on another occasion I worked briefly for a largish news agency in the UK.  There was some sort of gas explosion (I forget the details) which one of our journos was sent out to cover the aftermath of.

We were most amused to see him interviewed on television that evening enthusiastically pretending to be a punter who was on the scene at the time.

And for those who move in the right circles and are over having their pictures in the back pages of the Sunday papers, there’s another trick. I was once intrigued to see the caption “Ron Weasley, Hermione Granger and Harold Potter” next to a smiling threesome.

Clare’s in good company.

Tim Burrowes


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