Tara Brown’s return to 60 Minutes was a triumph of denial

by admin on July 13th, 2018

filed under 南京夜网

Tara Brown prepares to make magic happen.As comebacks go, it was more Whispering Jack than Lazarus – but then we always knew Tara Brown wasn’t really gone for good. She was just taking a spell in the naughty corner for the sort of behaviour Supernanny Jo Frost (remember her?) probably would have labelled “unasseptable”.
Nanjing Night Net

Nine had promoted this moment as “Tara Brown returns to 60 Minutes”. Not as “10 weeks after she monumentally stuffed up, we’ve decided to let Tara Brown return to 60 Minutes”. Not even as “having done her penance for that botched child abduction scandal in Beirut, we’re hoping you won’t mind if we let Tara Brown return to 60 Minutes”. Though in Willoughby HQ, they probably refer to it as “enough humble pie, already, let’s get Tara Brown back on 60 Minutes – we’re paying her a fortune whether she’s on air or not”.

It was safe territory for Brown, a crime with a clear villain, multiple “innocent” victims, and a bunch of survivors and loved ones more than willing to share their grief.

Best of all, there was a guilty verdict in a court case, with only sentencing to come. No legal minefields here, your honour. Phew.

The return of Brown also signalled a return of the show to the prime-time 7pm slot. But it wasn’t enough to lead the show to victory over Seven’s rival Sunday Night current affairs program in the same slot.

On a night comfortably won by MasterChef (1.32 million viewers in the five mainland metro capitals), Sunday Night finished in fourth spot with 928,000 viewers. The Tara Brown-led 60 Minutes finished fifth, with 756,000 viewers.

That was 136,000 less than it managed last week, when it was watched by 932,000 people in the metro markets.

The last time the show rated lower than this week was on July 3, when it was watched by 720,000 people in the metro capitals after a 9pm start.

The story – told over two segments – was about the September 2014 arson bombing of a convenience store in Rozelle, in inner Sydney, which left three people – including a mother and her infant son – dead. The owner of the store, Adeel Khan, was found guilty in June of one charge of murder and two of manslaughter.

Brown didn’t just report “the most powerful story of the year”, as Nine’s promos had put it. She got to open the show, too. You could practically smell the fatted calf roasting: the prodigal daughter was well and truly back.

Brown said the layout of the store, with its overhead flat and its cheek-by-jowl neighbours, made it clear “how it became such a death trap” after Khan pumped it full of petrol and paper and set it alight.

Then, as if conjuring the bastard offspring of Minority Report and Grand Designs, Brown magicked the buildings up from 2D form to 3D – just by waving her hands!

Oh yeah, baby, she was back.

She traipsed through the crime scene in white hazmat suit and hiking boots in the company of an arson expert in some of the most thought-provoking footage in the report. The thoughts provoked included the following:

Any way you cut it, it was weird.

There was, of course, no mention of the unmentionables: Brisbane mother Sally Faulkner; the children she sought to abduct from Lebanon, where they were living with their father (her ex-husband) with the aid of Tara Brown and her 60 Minutes production team; the “child recovery” agent who was left to languish in jail when Brown and her team were sprung.

But as luck would have it, said agent, Adam Whittington, was freed on the weekend. Perhaps next week we’ll get an “Adam Whittington returns to 60 Minutes” promo from Nine. No? I expect you’re right.

It was all a bit reminiscent of Basil Fawlty’s mad “don’t mention the war” routine. But then someone did.

Bill Keremelevski, father of Bianka O’Brien and grandfather of her 11-month-old son Jude, showed TB some footage of the baby boy on his phone.

“This is a precious moment, now frozen in time,” she narrated over the scene of the two of them on a couch, he on the brink of tears, she on the brink of intense discomfort. “A sad and sweet reminder of 11-month-old Jude. To Bill Keremelevski, his grandson will always be this happy, bouncing, baby boy.”

“I miss him so much,” Bill said.

“Hmmm,” said TB, sounding for all the world like that perennially sour head of comedy Myra Licht (Daisy Haggard) in the TV series Episodes.

Children. Eugh. Trouble.

If you didn’t know better, you’d swear Brown was wishing at that moment that she was somewhere – anywhere – else.

Well, anywhere but Lebanon, that is.

Follow Karl Quinn on facebook at karlquinnjournalist or on twitter @karlkwin

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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