A Journo From ‘The Australian’ Is Now A Meme After Incorrectly Tweeting About Police Helicopters
Sophie Elsworth was shut down by the police after spreading misinformation all because she heard that "parents were talking about it".
As Australia battles a new wave of COVID-19 ripping its way through the nation, state governments are doing everything they can to keep people at home to slow community spread of the virus.
In Sydney, police are in the streets enforcing mask mandates and fining those who are out of the house for reasons deemed unnecessary. And across both Sydney and Melbourne, a 5km travel bubble for people to shop and exercise has also been set, along with no visitors being allowed in the home unless registered in the single person bubble.
And according to Sophie Elsworth, a journalist at The Australian, police helicopters are apparently targeting children in parks around Melbourne now, too.
Cannot believe this website is free💛 pic.twitter.com/KUT3VErwvY
— Steph (@saltyskin_) August 17, 2021
“Another new low in Melbourne, Australia,” Elsworth tweeted last night, a clear attempt at drumming up fear in the community with second-hand information. “A mum told me today in bayside there was a police helicopter hovering over their nearby park to move people on,” the tweet continued before Elsworth deleted it. “Came from a playground are to the park. Kids were there kicking footballs etc. This is beyond comprehension.”
And the reason that police helicopters targetting playgrounds is beyond comprehension? Because it just isn’t happening, according to Victoria Police.
“We can confirm that there is no truth to this story,” the Victoria Police responded to Elsworth’s claims. “Apart from deploying our choppers along the NSW state border, we are not using them in other parts of Victoria to monitor breaches of CHO directions.”
— Jon “Fleet Of Airships” Kudelka (@jonkudelka) August 17, 2021
Now one would think after being shut down by the police for spreading misinformation, you would stop digging your hole of incorrectness deeper and deeper — but that wasn’t the case for Sophie Elsworth.
Instead of accepting the fact that the story she probably heard from a friend’s uncle’s brother’s neighbour’s teacher was just incorrect, Elsworth clapped back at police and asked for more clarification on the non-police choppers up in the sky as she used “parents…talking about it” as her official source.
“Parents were talking about it this afternoon,” the journalist responded instead of just doing her job and researching things before blindly tweeting out unverified information as a trusted public figure. “Would be good to clarify what is [sic] was then.”
Lucky for the journalist, other people decided to do Elsworth’s job for her and found out that the “police helicopter” in question was actually a Nine News chopper — something Elsworth could’ve found out with a quick Google search.
Ah, so the “OMFG POLICE HELICOPTER” “over Melbourne playgrounds” was in fact the Nine News helicopter with the big Nine News logo on the side. That’s the Walkley Award in the bag for Sophie Ellsworth. https://t.co/HZFf17IpPl
— Stilgherrian (@stilgherrian) August 17, 2021
But if the police dunking on Elsworth for being wrong and spreading misinformation wasn’t already satisfying enough, people then decided to band together online to take the piss out of The Australian journalist, too.
Turning the whole chopper debacle into one big meme, Sophie Elsworth became Australia’s Dickhead of the Day™️ thanks to her obsession with helicopters and her clear inability to fact check despite it being her job to do so.
Just heading down to the shops near @sophieelsworth’s place. Anyone need anything? pic.twitter.com/Mm7Q9ELCXb
— Ken McAlpine (@KenMcAlpine) August 17, 2021
If only there was some kind of magical online flight tracker available or police media phone line reporters could ring to ascertain whether this actually happened before posting. pic.twitter.com/j4eJvAQ09y
— Benjamin Millar (@BenjaminMillar) August 17, 2021
Sophie, I just spotted this helicopter harassing people near my local playground pic.twitter.com/sBP0VuKWKd
— Creivoose (@CrevasseIceWing) August 17, 2021
Sophie Elsworth is the sort of person who used Wikipedia as her only reference in her essays
— 💧Emily 🇦🇺🇬🇧🏴 🔥💚✳️🅾️🎀🐀 (@drobwlldiad) August 17, 2021
I think today might be the day that Sophie Elsworth finally blocks me lol pic.twitter.com/BkOEYUEPmM
— UnHealthy Harold (@HealthyHaroldOA) August 17, 2021
Live frontline footage just coming in of @sophieelsworth performing a fresh reconnaissance mission at the back of Bunning's carpark. pic.twitter.com/8mt117nzPF
— 🕯 RonniSalt 🕯 (@RonniSalt) August 17, 2021
Maybe Sophie is really here to provide us with comic relief? This is the most I've laughed all day. pic.twitter.com/OHIogjA1AG
— Nic (@nicolethewestie) August 17, 2021
The moral of the story here? Stop spreading misinformation unless you want to be turned into the laughing stock of a nation, too.
Just got back from flying my helicopter over Bayside parks, what did I miss
— Patrick Stokes (@patstokes) August 17, 2021