Double face-palm story from Australia’s Navy News.
From “The Australian”
THE Royal Australian Navy set out to boost morale with a report of its daring exploits on the high seas – the problem was that the account turned out to be fiction.
The bungle might not have been immediately obvious to the 14,000 navy personnel who opened the latest edition of Navy News to be greeted by a gripping account of war games involving the Collins-class submarine HMAS Dechaineux.
The only problem with the stirring account under the headline “Allies ‘Hunt’ For Dechaineux” was that it never happened.
Shades of “dodging snipers in Bosnia“, Batman!
The article continued:
Like a scene from the film The Hunt for Red October, HMA Ships Ballarat and Parramatta have been gliding through the waters of the South China Sea in search of an ‘enemy’ submarine.
But like most of “The Won’s” speeches, pronouncements, promises, and general statements, it simply wasn’t true.
But Dechaineux did not make it to the South China Sea to join Exercise Bersama Shield because of a fault in its propulsion system, which had left it stranded in port in Singapore.
By the time the submarine was scratched from the five-nation war games involving Singapore, Malaysia, New Zealand and Britain, it was too late for the Navy News. The pre-printed newspaper was already on the streets, rhapsodising about the imagined exploits of Dechaineux, which it boasted as being “the best diesel-electric boat in the world”.
Now, I loves me some Australia. My mother was born and raised there, and her father was an Aussie who fought in WWI in France, and my uncle with the RAAF in WWII. I learned to speak ‘Strine” at an early age. My first plush toy as a kid was a stuffed Koala. Beer is one of my major food groups.
HOWEVER….. this sort of stuff might always seem like a good idea, but it’s better to wait until after the fact, or in this case, exercise is completed before rushing to press with a story. Otherwise, you look bad, or like one of TOTUS’s enablers. Neither is a good thing.
So, learn from your mistakes, and remember Joe Friday’s admonishment: “Just the fact’s, ma’m”