GOLD Coast mayor Tom Tate has slammed the city’s leading newspaper, accusing its editorial team of “chasing cheap headlines” following Wednesday’s damaging front page story linking the Gold Coast Titans with the Hells Angels.
The Gold Coast Bulletin merged the Titan’s logo with that of the Hells Angels symbol on their front page, alongside the photos and names of several key players, including Jarryd Hayne.
It comes after Snap Chat footage emerged of Hayne and several other players allegedly partying with Chris Bloomfield, a patched member of the Hells Angels outlaw motorcycle gang, on Saturday night.
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Outraged at what he says what an attempt by the Bulletin to tarnish the reputation of the Gold Coast football club, mayor Tom Tate called a press conference this morning to publicly blast the publication.
“To get all of the whole Titan’s team and trying to say that their brand is linked with the Hells Angels brand disgusts me,” Mayor Tate said.
“The damage has been done to help elevate these scumbags (Hells Angels) and really, you’ve got to be a scumbag newspaper to do that.”
Following the presser, the mayor took to Facebook where he urged Gold Coasters to boycott the newspaper.
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“Their (The Gold Coast Bulletin’s) trumped-up front page article suggesting that the Titans team court, encourage or have extensive relationships with bikies has ploughed this once great paper to new depths in the search for a quick sensational headline in an attempt to stem a long slow decline in print revenues and circulation,” mayor Tate said.
“Sure Jarryd (Hayne) has erred being in the social media video post. As I said yesterday the Hayne Plane needs to fly a bit more under the radar.
“But this all out attack by the Bully is reprehensible. The club doesn’t deserve it. The players don’t deserve it. The members don’t deserve it, the fans don’t deserve it and the city doesn’t deserve it.”
The mayor has called for locals to boycott the publication, including advertisers, large and small.
“I invite Gold Coasters to vote with their feet and with their wallets and reconsider supporting this publication, at least for a while.”
“I am also strongly suggesting that advertisers, large and small, reconsider their own commercial relationship with this publication into the future.
“To the Gold Coast Bulletin I ask “Hands off our Titans, they are our City’s sporting heroes!”
Gold Coast Bulletin journalist Ryan Keen hit back at the mayor while on air with 102.9 Hot Tomato’s Mal and Luke show on Wednesday afternoon.
“The mayor is jumping the gun and we will continue covering the developments as they unfold,” Keen told the radio station.
“We encourage free speech so you (Mayor Tom Tate) are more than welcome to express your stance, and you have done, even if it’s not one we agree with.”