Media Watch: Paul Barry apologizes after false claim about Sky News presenter who broke down when she realized she knew Bondi stabbing victim

ABC’s Media Watch host Paul Barry has issued a stunning apology for wrongly suggesting a Sky News presenter ‘put journalists on the trail’ of Bondi stabbing victim Dr. Ashley Good.

Dr. Good was one of six victims killed by knifeman Joel Cauchi in the bloody rampage at Westfield Bondi Junction shopping center on Saturday afternoon.

Her nine-month-old baby Harriet was also stabbed but survived. On Tuesday, the infant’s condition was downgraded from critical to serious and she was moved out of the intensive care unit.

Saturday evening, shortly before Dr. Good was identified as the first death, Sky News presenter Laura Jayes revealed during a tearful live cross-examination outside Westfield that she knew the 38-year-old osteopath personally.

She did not name Dr. Good didn’t offer any identifying information, but said only that she was an ‘amazing athlete’ and ‘so excited to be a new mom.’

But Barry falsely suggested that her report was the spark that set off a firestorm of media coverage that Dr. Good’s family would later complain about their privacy being violated.

A day after Media Watch went live on Monday, Barry issued a mea culpa on X.

He acknowledged that Jayes, 40, was not responsible for subsequent media coverage and had actually taken care to protect her family’s privacy while revealing her personal connection to the victim.

“Just wanted to say last night very careful was taken to protect her friend Ashlee Good’s privacy at the emotional live junction from #BondiWestfield”, he said.

‘She didn’t ‘kick it’ off’, my mistake. Pardon. PB.’

Dr.  Ashlee Good, 38, was one of six people killed in the mass stabbing at Bondi Junction

Dr. Ashlee Good, 38, was one of six people killed in the mass stabbing at Bondi Junction

Paul Barry on Monday's episode of Media Watch

Paul Barry on Monday's episode of Media Watch

Laura Jayes during the live cross on Saturday

Laura Jayes during the live-cross on Saturday

Barry, 72, (left) accused Jayes, 40, (right) of ‘putting journalists on the trail’ after she revealed she personally knew beloved osteopath Dr. Ashlee Good, 38, during an emotional live cross

His apology came after he smugly accused Jayes of ‘putting journalists on the trail’ after she shared details of Dr. Good’s life.

He then called out the media for using photos from Dr. Good’s Instagram account.

Jayes had taken great care in her living cross not to identify the first-time mother, although she probably knew her name would soon become public knowledge.

“There is one victim that I know of and it’s just so cruel…” Jayes said.

‘She has a beautiful circle of friends, she was an incredible athlete and she had the world at her feet.

‘Her family are on their way and rushing here now, so many family and friends wanted to be at the hospital this afternoon, they had to take turns going in and out of the waiting room.

‘They both (Dr Good and her child) were operated on, her husband didn’t know if either of them had survived and now the worst imaginable news.

‘I just can’t really get my head around it. It’s just so cruel’.

Crucially, Jayes ended by saying she did not want to ‘betray the family’s trust and privacy right now’ and that she ‘couldn’t imagine’ how they were feeling.

After Barry’s apology, many viewers praised Jayes for protecting Dr. Good’s private life while also struggling with a ‘deep personal loss’.

“I thought LJ’s interview at the time was very good, also responsible for protecting AG’s identity,” one person said.

“As a Sky subscriber, Laura Jayes did a brilliant job for her viewers in the most distressing conditions on Saturday,” said another.

‘I have seen no one else do anything but praise Laura’s reporting and composure in what must have been the most intensely disturbing circumstances.’

Dr. Good was one of six people killed after Joel Cauchi, 40, entered the busy mall armed with a 30cm knife on Saturday afternoon.

Five Women; Dr. Good, Dawn Singleton, Jade Young, Pikria Darchia, Yixuan Cheng were killed and one man, security guard Faraz Tahir.

Dr. Good’s nine-month-old baby, who was injured in his pram, was moved from intensive care to a ward after undergoing surgery for his injuries.

The mass stabbing marked Sydney’s worst massacre in over 20 years, with dozens leaving floral tributes outside Westfield Bondi Junction this week.