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A comic book too far

Sunday Telegraph front page, 1.8.10

If this link is broken by the time you read this, it's possibly that the Sunday Telegraph has withdrawn the article on legal advice.

If it's still there, or even if it's not, then read in conjunction with this report from the ABC, and this subsequent publication on the Telegraph website of a conversation between Alexander Downer and its reporter of the original story, Claire Harvey.

Does any of this justify the Sunday Telegraph's hyperbolic reaction on its front cover? And is there any case for digitally-altered photography masquerading as news reporting in one of the country's leading daily newspapers?

(Let's not lose sight, either, of the fact that this nonsense about the ALP candidate for Griffith and former Prime Minister has erupted while he is recuperating in hospital from gall bladder surgery.)