The Sydney Morning Herald caught the eye this morning with Peter Hartcher’s bold “exclusive” front-page splash that Foreign Minister Bob Carr had “turned on” Prime Minister Julia Gillard. After Carr flatly denied the report this morning, The SMH updated its story:

And The SMH has it on very, very good authority Labor figures were “astonished” to hear Carr back Julia Gillard. Why, the paper quotes its own reporter, Peter Hartcher, to provide the evidence — what more could you want?

What a curious little circle, where all roads lead to Hartcher.

Hartcher is a fine journo and he may be right on this one. But has leadership speculation really devolved to the stage of journalists quoting themselves (and precious little else)? It’s worth noting the ALP party room did not move against Gillard today. Perhaps we’ll give the last word to Carr; he described today’s SMH story as “speculation feeding on itself“.