Just what is happening at the Fairfax newspaper group? Today’s major front page story in The Sydney Morning Herald claims that swimmer Ian Thorpe is “getting fat”, and is supported by photographic evidence (below left) with the caption: “Flabby… Thorpe in Los Angeles last month, showing the effects of a less disciplined lifestyle”.

But wait. Last Sunday, in a front page and page 13 spread, Fairfax’s Sun-Herald published an almost identical photo of Thorpe taken at the same place (above right) alongside a story on how much Thorpe is enjoying his time in Hollywood – and reported that the swimming star hasn’t abandoned the pool and as “exclusive Sun-Herald photographs” reveal, “his famed physique is still impressive – perhaps more so than ever”.

Fit or fat? Who is right? (Who cares?).

Peter Fray

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