We know the Adelaide Advertiser is a real tabloid newspaper after it ran this picture on its news front page yesterday:

The photo is of Brisbane woman Tanya Power (a witness in the Brimble inquest)
lying on a bed with Adelaide man of interest Dragan Losic. While she wasn’t
naked, and was wearing underwear, the pixilation made it look like she was
naked.

The negative public
reaction to yesterday’s picture was immediate and it was almost
impossible to get through to the switchboard.

But amid the furore the Advertiser’s editor, Melvin
Mansell, was seen meandering nonchalantly around his office, acting as
if the storm would blow over. And today he was on ABC Radio sounding
laidback.

It was the kind of arrogance displayed in the
paper’s page-two backdown in today’s paper headlined “Readers critical
of picture”. The story even had a justification, saying the “same
photograph was also published around the nation, albeit with a
different treatment”.

The “different treatment” was that they
cropped the photo so the woman wouldn’t be degraded further by making
her look naked. The non-apology reads like a bland news report, is less
than half the size of the paper’s footy promotion, and concludes with
these words: “The Advertiser appreciates, welcomes and considers
such forthright feedback from readers. We value your feedback and will
act upon it.” Then it throws to a few short negative letters on page 17.

Crikey
understands that more “feedback” will be heading the way of Waymouth
Street from several powerful community and church leaders.

As for Mansell, rumours of his departure from Waymouth Street have been
rife since late last year. If yesterday’s tabloid act costs sales, it
might just be his ticket on the next cruise ship out.

Peter Fray

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