News

Star of Daily Telegraph’s ‘new breed of bludger’ expose admits she made it all up

News Corp’s attempt to paint millennials as lazy layabouts, more interested in government payouts than working, has been debunked with one of the women featured in a front-page splash admitting she had lied to The Daily Telegraph.

daily-telegraph-neets-story

Last Thursday the paper splashed with an image of Amy Arman and Ashleigh Whiting under the banner ‘A new breed of bludger’, and carried an interview with the pair in which they said they would rather laze about at McDonald’s and go off-roading in their Holden Barina than get jobs.

Thursday's Daily Telegraph splash

Thursday’s Daily Telegraph splash

However, today the paper ran a story on page two with the father of Arman claiming that the original story was based on lies from a “silly little teenager” who he said had a job at McDonald’s.

The revelations cast a shadow over the Daily Telegraph’s journalistic processes with questions around how a teenager’s unsubstantiated comments made it to the front page without basic fact-check or consultation with her parents.

The Daily Telegraph editor Chris Dore told Mumbrella the stories were accurate.

“I stand by our stories, they are accurate and they speak for themselves. It is not unusual for people to change their stories to suit themselves, as is quite evident in this case. Also, she is not a child.

“The girls quotes are accurate. The suggestion that anyone should be disciplined or require extra training is ridiculous,” he said.

“As the original story clearly stated and as Amy’s dad confirmed in today’s story, she had trouble holding down a job because she would prefer not to work and instead call in sick. She was applying for welfare last week.”

The original story appeared to be an attempt to create a modern version of the Paxtons, a Melbourne family pilloried as dole-bludgers by Nine’s A Current Affair over a decade ago.

A follow up story saw the duo knock back jobs from McDonald’s in Mt Druitt, with the story gaining traction in Canberra as treasurer Scott Morrison told shock-jock Ray Hadley he would look into the status of their welfare benefits with the Social Services Minister.

While Arman originally claimed she was recently been kicked out of trade college, telling the Tele “They pay nothing so why would I rock up”, her father has since come out insisting she made the whole thing up, and that she actually works for McDonald’s.

In the interview Arman’s father Steven said: “She’s just a silly little teenager who was acting up and wanted her five minutes of fame.

daily-telegraph-bludgers-story

“She made the whole thing up…She’s a good girl and has been depressed recently. I’m sending her to see a counsellor.

“She wasn’t claiming Centrelink. She’s been working at Maccas for seven months and was just there to accompany friend.”

Arman herself told the Telegraph: “I do work, I don’t know why I made it up, I thought I was being cool.

“I just went to Centrelink with my mate as she was making an application. I’m going to work tonight even though I feel depressed.”

 

Earlier this year The Age in Melbourne fired freelancer Tara Kenny after she admitted she had made up a fashion vox pop which went viral and saw its subject dubbed the “world’s biggest hipster” and ‘Melbourne Man’.

ADVERTISEMENT

SUBSCRIBE

Sign up to our free daily update to get the latest in media and marketing