MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - SEPTEMBER 01: Tim Watson, Coach of Victoria addresses his players during the 2017 EJ Whitten Legends Game between Victoria and the All Stars at Etihad Stadium on September 1, 2017 in Melbourne, Australia. The match is held to celebrate the life of the legendary Ted Whitten and raise awareness for prostate cancer. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Media/Getty Images)

Three-time premiership Bomber Tim Watson has responded to Damian Barrett’s barbs in no uncertain terms, labelling the AFL journalist ‘the voice of treason’.

Initially reported by Herald Sun journalist Michael Warner, Watson’s claims come in the wake of Barrett’s lack of support for fellow AFL reporter Mitch Cleary, who was stood down earlier in the week following his report on Brooke Cotchin’s Covid breach.

When asked on his Sounding Board podcast about Cleary being stood down, Barrett backed the league’s stance on the punishment, a view that was criticised by Watson as his senior colleague.

A terse Barrett began by linking Watson, a legend of the club and father of then captain Jobe Watson, to the Essendon supplements saga.

“Tim Watson gives a lot of advice to a lot of people. He gave a lot of advice to Essendon Football Club people during the drugs saga – and how did that work? So what would he know about what journalists should do in that situation?”

Responding this morning on SEN Breakfast alongside co-host Garry Lyon, Watson admonished Barrett for his “holier-than-thou attitude towards journalism” and added that the AFL and Triple M employee was “inconsistent in his own values”.

“I used to listen religiously, as you did, to their podcast and you know all the reasons why in the end I had to turn it off and I couldn’t listen anymore,” Watson said, before labelling Barrett “the ‘Voice of Treason’”.

Watson continued by condemning his co-host Lyon for aiding Barrett’s persona and professionalism.

“I know he is a mate of yours, but in fact you’re to blame. You created this Frankenstein, you and your mates at Triple M and Channel 9.”

Watson added to his tirade by calling Barrett’s journalistic integrity into question by declaring Barrett “holds biases, holds petty grudges and loses his balance which is a fundamental plank of journalism.”

The former Essendon captain also called into question Barrett’s independence as a journalist claiming that “he is beholden to the AFL.”

Watson reloaded for one final swing at the bespectacled Barrett by linking him to a recent purchase of high end wine glasses.

“I have been talking to you (Lyon) about the beautiful burgundy glasses. They’re a fine hand blown Austrian zalto glass.”

“You can put them in the dishwasher but they’re very easily broken. They’re very fragile. The Voice of Treason’s jaw I think is made from the same glass. And that is all I’m going to say this morning. That is as much as I want to say.”

Lyon supported his on air partner’s views, stating: “It sounded like someone that was under a bit of pressure when he spoke those words. A bit frustrated and I didn’t like where he went with that.”