Michael Laws calls Hilary Barry unprofessional for tears for John Campbell
Former MP and radio host Michael Laws has called Hilary Barry "utterly unprofessional" and says she lacked perspective when she broke down during a TV3 news broadcast over the departure of John Campbell.
The broadcaster lost her composure after a segment on Campbell on Thursday night, turning away and requesting co-presenter Mike McRoberts read the next section of news instead.
Laws wrote on his public Facebook page that Barry was an "overpaid news presenter (who) tears up about… another overpaid presenter declining a three year contract worth eight times the average wage because his nose is out of joint".
"Girl, you need some perspective. Urgent," he wrote.
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In a comment he described Barry as being "utterly unprofessional and in this case utterly undeserved considering he resigned over an ego issue".
Thanks for all your lovely messages xx— Hilary Barry (@Hilary_Barry) May 21, 2015
"Child murders are a tragedy, innocent people maimed is a tragedy, hundreds made redundant is a tragedy. This is pique and pride sure and simple and demonstrates the priorities of media people."
When approached for comment on Friday, Laws said the comments spoke for themselves and that his Facebook posts were private and meant to be shared between friends.
He would not comment on the backlash he's received online, including dozens of Twitter and Facebook users criticising him for being insensitive.
A spokeswoman for MediaWorks said they would not comment on the posts.
Barry herself tweeted on Friday morning: "Thanks for all your lovely messages xx."
The episode resulted in an outpouring of sympathy for Barry on Twitter, with many appreciating her honesty.
Michael Laws clearly not grasping what it is to be loved and respected by one's colleagues. pic.twitter.com/aPCrxc7VaD”— Russell Brown (@publicaddress) May 21, 2015
After leaving the set teary-eyed, a sombre-looking Barry returned a few items later, and struggled through the rest of the news.
On Friday morning she appeared on TV3's The Paul Henry Show looking considerably more cheerful.
Mediaworks, the broadcaster of both 3 News and Campbell Live, announced Campbell's departure earlier on Thursday.
Barry and Campbell have been working together since the 1990s when Barry was a TV3 news reporter and Campbell was asked to replace John Hawkesby on the 6pm news.
The two are said to be great friends.
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