A rival TV presenter has criticized Lisa Wilkinson as “out of touch with reality” when she made her “dramatic” departure from The Project, before listing the TV presenter’s “mistakes” over the years.
Wilkinson revealed she would be leaving Channel 10’s current affairs program on Sunday night, saying “targeted toxicity” from sections of the media was behind her departure.
It comes as comedian Peter Helliar abruptly quit the show on Tuesday night and Carrie Bickmore leaves next week.
But right-wing commentator Rita Panahi decided to sink the boot in Wilkinson again, claiming her resignation speech was overblown.
Lisa Wilkinson (pictured) announced her shock departure from The Project on Sunday. It comes as Peter Helliar and Carrie Bickmore also announced their resignations from the program
“Typical for Lisa Wilkinson, the announcement is full of drama and self-pity,” she said.
Panahi then cut short of saying goodbye to Wilkinson on The Project, where the TV host said, “The past six months haven’t been easy.”
And the relentless targeted toxicity by some sections of the media has taken its toll, not just on me, but on people I love…I don’t always get it right. But God, I tried.’
She then played audio of entertainment reporter Peter Ford, who relentlessly mocked her farewell speech.
“Lisa, dear, you don’t work in the salt mines off Siberia, it’s three hours a week on television. Someone takes care of your dress, someone does your make-up, your script is written for you,” he said on Melbourne radio station 3AW.
It cut short on Panahi, who commented, “That was entertainment reporter Peter Ford giving Lisa Wilkinson a much-needed dose of reality.”
Panahi went on to outline Wilkinson’s many “things” throughout her years in the media.
She started with the TV host delaying the trial of Brittany Higgins’ alleged rapist Bruce Lehrmann over her Logies acceptance speech.
Wilkinson won a Logie for her sit-down interview with Brittany Higgins, in which the ex-Liberal staffer claimed she was raped in 2019 by her colleague Bruce Lehrmann in a minister’s office.
The original trial date was set for June 27, but in the wake of Wilkinson’s Logie’s acceptance speech, a judge delayed ruling the high-profile case that it would be “unfair” to proceed due to public comment surrounding the case.
Right-wing political commentator Rita Panahi (pictured) accused the TV presenter of all her ‘mistakes’ in a segment on Sky News
3AW entertainment reporter Peter Ford (pictured) criticized Wilkinson for her overly dramatic resignation speech on the current affairs show
Panahi then spoke of Wilkinson’s apology to former Coalition MP Dr. Andrew Laming for accusing him of taking an inappropriate photo of a woman.
She apologized to Dr. Laming for creating the controversial tweet, which she wrote in March 2021.
“To be clear, it only took her 16 months to admit she was wrong about that,” Panahi clarified.
The Sky News presenter then turned to Wilkinson’s memoir, in which she alleged that her former Today show co-host, Karl Stefanovic, had mistreated her after she returned from her honeymoon.
She wrote in her book, “How could he still treat me with such indifferent contempt?”
“For two hours I sat there feeling utterly useless. The Today Show was now The Karl Show.”
“What was the point of me being there? The camera was pointed at me, so there was nowhere to hide. And yet I felt completely invisible.’
Wilkinson claimed that “targeted toxicity” from parts of the media was behind her departure
Stefanovic co-hosted the Today show with Wilkinson for ten years until 2017. She claimed that he had treated her badly after she returned from her honeymoon.
Panahi showed the footage of the day she referred to in that case, where Stefanovic warmly greets his co-host and asks about her honeymoon.
Finally, right-wing host berated Wilkinson for berating former NSW Prime Minister Gladys Berejiklian for not enforcing stricter lockdown and Covid restrictions during the pandemic.
Wilkinson also praised Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews for ‘wiping out’ Covid outbreaks with harsh lockdowns.
“That would be Victoria, where more than five million people have endured the longest lockdown in the world and where the state government managed to record the highest number of Covid deaths in the country,” Panahi said in response.
“You’ve got it right, Lisa,” she joked.
Wilkinson was signed by Ten in 2018 for a whopping $1.7 million a year.
However, her performance in The Project did little to halt the ratings decline.
OzTAM ratings previously revealed that The Project had lost nearly a third of its audience since 2011.
Last year, OzTAM ratings revealed that Channel 10’s premier current affairs program had lost nearly a third of its viewers since 2011. Pictured (LR): Tommy Little, Peter Helliar, Hamish Macdonald, Carrie Bickmore, Waleed Aly, Lisa Wilkinson and Gorgi Coghlan
The struggling show saw subway’s ratings plummet to an all-time low of just 367,000 last year.
That’s a 30 percent drop from the five-city population of 538,000 a decade earlier.
Peter Helliar became the latest star to quit as the mass exodus from the struggling Channel Ten show continues.
The comedian mentioned the need for more time to work on other ventures.
Former presenter Carrie Bickmore confirmed her departure a month ago. Her last performance is scheduled for next Wednesday.