A leading TV commentator has weighed in on Rebecca Maddern’s future at Channel Seven following her incendiary off-air rant about tennis pro Novak Djokovic.

Seven News Melbourne presenters Maddern and Mike Amor made headlines overnight after they were caught badmouthing the world No. 1 over his visa debacle in a ‘hot mic’ rant that was leaked online.

Their expletive-laden conversation, which took place as they prepared to present the station’s 6pm news program, included Maddern saying: ‘Whatever way you look at it, Novak Djokovic is a lying, sneaky a***hole.’

What happens next: Leading TV commentator Robert McKnight has weighed in on Rebecca Maddern's future at Channel Seven following her incendiary off-air rant about tennis pro Novak Djokovic. Pictured: Maddern at the 2019 TV Week Logie Awards on the Gold Coast

What happens next: Leading TV commentator Robert McKnight has weighed in on Rebecca Maddern's future at Channel Seven following her incendiary off-air rant about tennis pro Novak Djokovic. Pictured: Maddern at the 2019 TV Week Logie Awards on the Gold Coast

What happens next: Leading TV commentator Robert McKnight has weighed in on Rebecca Maddern’s future at Channel Seven following her incendiary off-air rant about tennis pro Novak Djokovic. Pictured: Maddern at the 2019 TV Week Logie Awards on the Gold Coast

While some have called for the hosts to be sacked, TV Blackbox editor Rob McKnight believes Maddern and Amor will emerge from the controversy unscathed.

‘At the end of the day, this was never meant to be broadcast, and Mike and Bec are seen as a big part of Seven Melbourne’s future, so I think they’ll ride this out,’ he said.

Mr McKnight, a former executive who worked at Seven, Nine and 10, also noted that most viewers would understand Maddern and Amor’s conversation was private.

'Whatever way you look at it, Novak Djokovic is a lying, sneaky a***hole': 7News Melbourne presenters Maddern and Mike Amor (left) made headlines overnight after they were caught badmouthing the world No. 1 over his visa debacle in a 'hot mic' rant that was leaked online

'Whatever way you look at it, Novak Djokovic is a lying, sneaky a***hole': 7News Melbourne presenters Maddern and Mike Amor (left) made headlines overnight after they were caught badmouthing the world No. 1 over his visa debacle in a 'hot mic' rant that was leaked online

‘Whatever way you look at it, Novak Djokovic is a lying, sneaky a***hole’: 7News Melbourne presenters Maddern and Mike Amor (left) made headlines overnight after they were caught badmouthing the world No. 1 over his visa debacle in a ‘hot mic’ rant that was leaked online

'They'll ride this out': While some have called for the hosts to be sacked, TV Blackbox editor Rob McKnight (pictured) says Maddern and Amor will emerge from the controversy unscathed

'They'll ride this out': While some have called for the hosts to be sacked, TV Blackbox editor Rob McKnight (pictured) says Maddern and Amor will emerge from the controversy unscathed

‘They’ll ride this out’: While some have called for the hosts to be sacked, TV Blackbox editor Rob McKnight (pictured) says Maddern and Amor will emerge from the controversy unscathed

'In the old days a leaked video would kill a career but the rules have changed: Mr McKnight said most viewers would understand Maddern and Amor's conversation was meant to be private

'In the old days a leaked video would kill a career but the rules have changed: Mr McKnight said most viewers would understand Maddern and Amor's conversation was meant to be private

‘In the old days a leaked video would kill a career but the rules have changed: Mr McKnight said most viewers would understand Maddern and Amor’s conversation was meant to be private

‘In the old days a leaked video would kill a career due to the language used, but ever since Karl Stefanovic’s drunk post-Logies Today show, the rules have changed,’ he added.

Mr McKnight was referring to the infamous broadcast of Channel Nine’s Today show when inebriated host Karl Stefanovic slurred his words and started laughing uncontrollably live on air the morning after the 2009 Logie Awards.

Rather than ruining his career, Stefanovic’s antics actually boosted his appeal and helped him to become one of Australia’s most popular presenters.

Opinion: 'If you're pro Djokovic you're likely to be upset by the video, but if you are anti you'll agree with what they're saying,' Mr McKnight said. Pictured: Novak Djokovic and wife Jelena

Opinion: 'If you're pro Djokovic you're likely to be upset by the video, but if you are anti you'll agree with what they're saying,' Mr McKnight said. Pictured: Novak Djokovic and wife Jelena

Opinion: ‘If you’re pro Djokovic you’re likely to be upset by the video, but if you are anti you’ll agree with what they’re saying,’ Mr McKnight said. Pictured: Novak Djokovic and wife Jelena 

‘Rebecca and Mike will survive this just fine,’ Mr McKnight said. 

‘Viewers are more likely to be divided on the opinions expressed in the video rather than the language used. I have a feeling if you’re pro Djokovic you’re likely to be upset by the video, but if you are anti you’ll agree with what they’re saying.’

Mr McKnight also said Maddern and Amor’s language wasn’t unusual for a newsroom. 

‘This conversation, language and all, is the same kind of conversation happening in newsrooms all around the country,’ he added.

‘Luckily for Mike and Bec, we’re more accepting of that than in years gone by when we expected our news presenters to be above all that.’

The search is on: It comes as furious Seven executives race to track down the mole responsible for leaking footage of Maddern and Amor's rant

The search is on: It comes as furious Seven executives race to track down the mole responsible for leaking footage of Maddern and Amor's rant

The search is on: It comes as furious Seven executives race to track down the mole responsible for leaking footage of Maddern and Amor’s rant  

It comes as furious Seven executives race to track down the mole responsible for leaking footage of Maddern and Amor’s rant. 

The duo were caught criticising the anti-vax Serbian tennis ace in an extraordinary hot mic rant that was leaked online on Tuesday night.

Djokovic had landed in Australia with a medical exemption from vaccination on the basis he had tested positive to Covid-19 on December 16 but was detained for five days when border force officials denied the exemption.

'Whatever way you look at it, Novak Djokovic is a lying sneaky a***hole': In the footage, Maddern (pictured) was heard repeatedly slamming the tennis star

'Whatever way you look at it, Novak Djokovic is a lying sneaky a***hole': In the footage, Maddern (pictured) was heard repeatedly slamming the tennis star

'He got a bullshit f***ing excuse': Her colleague Amor (pictured) quickly joined in on the rant

'He got a bullshit f***ing excuse': Her colleague Amor (pictured) quickly joined in on the rant

‘Whatever way you look at it, Novak Djokovic is a lying sneaky a***hole’: In the footage, Maddern (left) was heard repeatedly slamming the tennis star, while colleague Mike Amor (right) quickly joined in on the rant

He’s since been released from detention but it is still unclear if he will be able to play in the Australian Open beginning on January 17.   

‘Whatever way you look at it, Novak Djokovic is a lying sneaky a***hole,’ Maddern told Amor during the off-air exchange. 

‘He got a bullshit f***ing excuse and then fell over his own f***ing lies. It’s just what happens, right, that’s what happened,’ Amor responded.

Strong words: Maddern added that there were multiple errors made in the process of cancelling and then reinstating Djokovic's visa to play at the Australian Open. Pictured: Djokovic training in Melbourne on Tuesday

Strong words: Maddern added that there were multiple errors made in the process of cancelling and then reinstating Djokovic's visa to play at the Australian Open. Pictured: Djokovic training in Melbourne on Tuesday

Strong words: Maddern added that there were multiple errors made in the process of cancelling and then reinstating Djokovic’s visa to play at the Australian Open. Pictured: Djokovic training in Melbourne on Tuesday

Maddern added that there were multiple errors made in the process of cancelling and then reinstating Djokovic’s visa to play at the Australian Open.   

In a statement issued on Wednesday morning, Craig McPherson, Seven’s Director of News and Public Affairs, said the person responsible for leaking the ‘private conversation’ would be dealt with.

‘The illegal recording was of a private conversation between two colleagues,’ he said. 

Consequences: In a statement issued on Wednesday morning, Craig McPherson, Seven's Director of News and Public Affairs, said the person responsible for leaking the 'private conversation' would be dealt with. Pictured: Djokovic training in Melbourne on Tuesday

Consequences: In a statement issued on Wednesday morning, Craig McPherson, Seven's Director of News and Public Affairs, said the person responsible for leaking the 'private conversation' would be dealt with. Pictured: Djokovic training in Melbourne on Tuesday

Consequences: In a statement issued on Wednesday morning, Craig McPherson, Seven’s Director of News and Public Affairs, said the person responsible for leaking the ‘private conversation’ would be dealt with. Pictured: Djokovic training in Melbourne on Tuesday 

‘It was an underhanded, cowardly act in breach of the Victorian Listening Devices legislation the perpetrator of which will be accordingly dealt with when found.’  

Another executive, Melbourne chief Lewis Martin, told Radio 3AW the probe into the leaker was well underway.  

Mr Martin said he had spoken with Maddern and she had apologised to him. 

‘We have got broadcast operations people that are looking into it from last night. So they are working out how the vision was recorded and how it was distributed.’ 

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT NOVAK DJOKOVIC’S CASE 

Will Novak Djokovic play at the Australian Open? Nobody will know until the Minister for Immigration Alex Hawke declares his hand – either to allow Djokovic to stay in Australia or to re-cancel his visa.

If he does not decide to cancel his visa, Djokovic will be free to stay in Australia and defend his title. 

What happened in court? Judge Anthony Kelly quashed the decision to tear up Djokovic’s visa and ordered him to be freed and his belongings to be returned.

Will he still be deported? Again, this comes down to immigration minister Alex Hawke. The Djokovic case has been a debacle for the government and divided Australians over the best course of action.

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Source: DailyMail

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