Following the news of yesterday’s shock arrest of Channel 9 reporter Ben McCormack over child pornography allegations, his colleague has spoken out live on air.
Speaking during last night's show, stand-in host Leila McKinnon told viewers that the program would cover the story “without fear or favour”.
Her full statement read:
Here at A Current Affair we've always given it to you straight and told it like it is. So let's get into it.
Tonight, one of our most senior reporters is facing serious charges involving child pornography offences.
“Ben McCormack, a 25-year veteran of the Nine Network, was arrested today and charged by NSW Police with using a carriage service for child pornography material.
We should stress the pictures you're seeing now are blurred images from police not done by us here at A Current Affair.
And while justice must take its course and given the serious nature of the allegations, Nine has taken a strong position and immediately suspended Ben McCormack.
A short time ago McCormack was released from police custody.
A Current Affair has a long history of pursuing offenders in these type of cases and we intend to cover this story without fear or favour.
We stress these charges relate to Ben McCormack's alleged personal conduct and in no way reflect his behaviour with A Current Affair or within the Nine Network.
Police yesterday raided the Channel 9 offices in Willoughby, the network reports that the long-time Channel 9 journalist had been arrested and charged by NSW Police with using a carriage service for child pornography material.
Sydney Morning Herald reports that Nine's news and current affairs director Darren Wick confirmed to staff following the raid that police were "investigating matters relating to a staff member at A Current Affair" but that it “He stressed that the investigation "does not relate to the program or Nine".
"However, we are not in a position to comment any further as this is an ongoing investigation."
The journalist has been with the Nine Network for 25 years and in his career with A Current Affair, McCormack has reported on several child pornography and abuses cases, including the high-profile case involving Hey Dad! star Robert Hughes.