Australian media called out for creating false finger gesture narrative

Driver's finger gesture taken out of context by media after tragic Hunter Valley bus crash.

Australian media called out for creating false finger gesture narrative
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Australia's Media Watch host Paul Barry has called out various media outlets created a false narrative by misrepresenting a simple hand gesture made by Brett Button, the driver of the ill-fated wedding party bus tragedy.

The incident, which claimed the lives of ten individuals, had already attracted national attention, but the media's misinterpretation only fuelled the public's outrage. 

Under the headline "Damaging and Disgraceful Slur," the segment showcased how several media organisations distorted the truth and wrongly accused Button of expressing contempt towards the media and the victims.

The Daily Mail, one of the publications to run the false story, initially featured a photo of Button with a caption insinuating that he gave photographers the middle finger. However, watching the real-time footage in context shows a different story.

Media Watch highlighted the misleading reports and condemned the media outlets for failing to verify the authenticity of the claims before publishing.

Sky News, Perth Now, and the Adelaide Advertise and alocal ABC reporter contributed to the spread of misinformation, wrongly confirming that Button did indeed make the offensive gesture.

However, the raw footage painted a different picture. As Button exited the Cessnock police station, he was visibly anxious and fidgety, constantly adjusting his jacket. Upon close examination, it became clear that his hand movements were a result of nervousness rather than deliberate provocation.

The contextual video depicted Button simply walking towards journalists and photographers, further dispelling the false claims.

The Daily Mail later retracted their initial report and removed the misleading image. Media Watch called on all other outlets involved in spreading the false narrative to do the same and rectify the damage caused by their irresponsible reporting. 

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  • By Avi Yemini

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