Yesterday The Daily Telegraph splashed
with “Rude Sydney,” a story about how Sydney commuters are too mean to
offer their seats to pregnant women. But the story was a sham, says
Josh Raymond, a graphic designer who appeared in the left hand corner
of
The Tele’s photo of rude commuters (right):

“I was on a bus on the way from Bondi to Bondi Junction and the first
thing I noticed was this guy with a little digital camera taking
photos,” says Raymond. “I could see his focus light flashing on and off
and he was taking pictures of a woman who was standing in the aisle.
But the bus wasn’t crazy busy or anything, there were seats available –
they were the only ones standing. I was looking right at him when he
took the photo of me. The photographer and the woman, who works for The Tele, stayed on for a couple of stops and then got off.

“The
story is a sham. I am the guy pictured on Page four apparently refusing
to get up for a pregnant woman but this woman didn’t want a seat, she
didn’t look for one, and hence I didn’t offer one. Yet I am pictured as
rude. It’s the kind of stuff we expect from The Tele. There was
no attempt to analyse what was really going on. It’s nonsense to say a
whole city is rude and the way they go about this they could write
anything they want.”

Glenn Dyer writes:

Well, well, well. Campbell Reid, the editor of The Daily Telegraph
has dipped into the kitbag of the master, Col Pot, as former editor Col
Allan is known, to give Sydneysiders a beat-up of shameful proportions.

Today, The Tele
returned to the fray with a feature on Page 47 where they looked at the
situation in London, Tokyo, Jakarta, Mexico City and New York. The
paper claimed “based on the experience of our staff reporters, Sydney
is up there with the best”.

Staff reporters? All the paper did
on Tuesday was to describe them as “four pregnant women”. No disclosure
about their real identities. That’s an interesting disclosure a day
late. So too was the treatment of at least three people in the
accompanying photo of Tele features editor Evie Gelastopoulos. The faces of the three people are obscured in the pic on Page 47. Now why didn’t The Tele do that on Tuesday? Josh Raymond’s face was certainly not obscured. What’s The Tele scared of?