Friday, May 22, 2009

Clare Werbeloff Had The Right Words At The Right Time In The Right Place

But Is She For Real?

UPDATE : No, She's Not

By Darryl Mason

What, a shock :

Internet sensation Clare Werbeloff, instantly famous for her eyewitness account of a Kings Cross shooting last weekend, has admitted she fabricated the story.

The Sunday Telegraph can reveal the 19-year-old told investigating police that she "made the whole thing up".

"We've spoken to her, but she's not a witness to the shooting," a senior Kings Cross officer said.

"She's told police that she didn't actually see it."

As Ms Werbeloff's newly hired agent, Adam Abrams, confirmed, "She was not a witness. She saw the camera, ran over to it and told this story."

Did she run over from a nearby PR agency?

Interesting. She didn't lie to the police, she only lied to a freelance cameraman near the scene of the shooting, who then sold the footage to Channel Nine.

This might spark an interesting social experiment with the media. People running up to freelance television cameramen at police-heavy scenes and giving totally quotable witness reports to events they didn't see unfold.

Is the "Two Wogs Fighting" mini-saga the kind of News Event the mainstream media is expecting us to start paying to read and view online?

Is this the business model that will save journalism?

Now the media will blame Whoever She Is for forcing them to whip this fakery into a Big Story.

No doubt, 'Clare' and her friends think all the media time devoted to her non-witness comments is fucking hilarious. And it is.

Particularly all the journalists who have proudly declared themselves to be raging against political correctness because, like 'Clare', they too are "part-bogan".

The Herald Sun's Andrew Bolt, again showing why he never stops earning the title of The Professional Idiot, fell deep under the hypnotic spell of hypnotically non-PC Clare :
Clare Werbeloff prefers accuracy to manners in describing a shooting - and that includes doing the voices, too.

It’s made her instantly famous, thanks largely to Tim Blair.
Yes, The Daily Telegraph's Tim Blair was particularly excited when he thought 'Clare' really had witnessed what she claimed she had :
"This is excellent."
Tim Blair also once believed that Iraq had nuclear weapons and couldn't wait to attack London. He also believes global warming poses about the same threat to human life as swine flu : zero.

Now Blair knows he, like so many others, got royally P'knd by Clare's very entertaining sham, he's not a happy blogger, and he's sniffing at some kind of conspiracy as a distraction :
Creative Clare....obviously had a source for certain elements of her account.
Blair's solution? Get Clare's friend :
Her friend “Swanny” – who, you’ll recall, also “witnessed” the shooting – might be able to help here.
Why bother? He didn't lie to police either.

The Chk Chk Boom! Chick was worth some 190 comments at Blair's blog, and thousands of page views, when his readers thought her words were real, and what a gormless parade of 20th century insight it provided, filled with high schoolish-gleeful debate about "Wogs" and "Niggers".

When Clare was real, Andrew Bolt helped promote "the club mix" of "Two Wogs Fighting", and claimed :

The police, on the other hand, have suddenly gone blind.
Clare prefers accuracy over manners and the police are "blind".

How much will Rupert want us to pay for that kind of guff?

The thing, most of those in the mainstream media who hyped "Two Wogs Fighting" the hardest won't even care that it's all as fake as the now classic Sunday Telegraph EXCLUSIVE about Pauline Hanson's tits. The Sunday Telegraph editor who said he would quit if the photos turned out to be fake never did.

Channel Nine won't apologise, neither will the rest of the media that treated "Two Wogs Fighting" so seriously, and pumped it to the world. Look at this, this is Australia!

They won't have editorial meetings where they resolve, "to never let this happen again."

Instead, it will be "Next!"

Of course, whoever 'Clare' is will not be forgotten, somebody has to wear the blame for making the media look like morons, again, and if there's more ratings and hits in it, she will be hounded and harassed.

Tooheys did quite well out of it, however.

That big ad in the background of a extremely popular YouTube clip viewed a few hundred thousand times, and seen by millions elsewhere online and on international TV, was a free advertising coup, accident or otherwise.

And regardless of what newspapers or current affairs show claim, this story was broken by an independent news blogger, Mumbrella.


This is Clare "Two Wogs Fighting" Werbeloff :

But is this 'Clare' as well? Working at a PR agency, located just up the road from where the shooting and her stardom began? A PR agency specialising in marketing to youth through viral videos?

Mumbrella lists the reasons why the the Two Wogs Fighting girl might be a cleverly improvised piece of viral marketing.

Channel Nine News insists Chk Chk Boom! Clare is for real, a freelance cameraman said so :

"I think she came up to me and then I said 'Do you know what happened?' and she said 'Yes' and she just spontaneously came up with what you saw on the vision there," Greg said.

"I think she was a young girl that had had a few drinks… it wasn't a beat up.

"She didn't stand there [in front of the beer ad] specifically ... I framed it so that the police car was in the back [of the shot].

"You've got to understand that you're at a shooting, you're there to get the action at the time and usually get a grab afterwards."

Besides Greg's account, there are a few more reasons why this is one of the sillier conspiracy theories to do the rounds of the blogosphere.

It seems highly unlikely (as Mumbrella acknowledged) that The Projects could have reacted quickly enough to turn a random, late-night shooting into a marketing stunt.

Unless they are very good at what they do, and can improvise at a moment's notice.

The suspicion cast upon anything that suddenly becomes popular in viral culture is both good - to flush out the fakes - and cynical, but it is necessary.

PR fakery and press-release journalism fills our newspapers and the evening news, an online generation grows up suspicious of the fact that they are constantly being marketed to, and manipulated. They revel in the fact that, unlike their parents, they are very well aware that marketeers are aiming to influence them, everywhere they go online. It's a game to bust the fakes and they usually win.

You can lobby to have Clare Werbeloff join the ABC's Q & A panel as a social commentator in the Q & A comments section here.