The long weekend’s newspapers were dominated with the Sunday Herald Sun exclusive story on parliamentarian Theo Theophanous’s writ against his accuser in Greece and an interview with him that appeared in the Sunday Age.
What has intrigued media observers though are the differences between the story that appeared in the Sunday Age’s first edition and second.
The Sunday Age’s Mark Forbes has been accused of stealing the the Sunday Herald Sun’s story and incorporating it in the Sunday Age’s own account as if it was discussed in Theophanous’s interview.
Astonishingly, it also appears that Forbes added in to the article these words:
A creature of vicious ALP politics, who admits to using “dirty, grubby” tactics he knew would “hurt” opponents, revenge and retribution have always been part of Theophanous’s political armoury. In advancing the cause, his cause, the ends could justify most means.
VEXNEWS understands the words attributed to him were never uttered by Theophanous in his interview with Melissa Fyfe or at any other time. They did not appear in the first edition version of the story. And one cannot imagine Fyfe excluding them if Theo had actually said them.
We understand that Ms Fyfe is “feral” about what happened as the incident makes her look like a liar and plagiarist when the whole thing was due to the corrupt antics of Mark Forbes, who clearly spent too much time in Indonesia dealing with dodgy government officials.
The words attributed to Theo would certainly be an odd thing for any politician to concede. Having quotes fabricated against you is perhaps what politicians sign up for in the rough and tumble of life.
But for the rest of us the implications of Mark Forbes’s dirty and grubby tactics are clear.
The Sunday Age and its Deputy Editor Mark Forbes appear perfectly comfortable engaging in plagiarism, deception and fabrication. They are willing to run a rival’s story, pieced together from reading its first edition, quickly paraphrasing it and running it without any checks of any kind. What happens if their rival had been wrong? How long have they been doing this? The implications of all this for the few Age readers left are gravely serious indeed.
We have obtained a copy of the first edition and make it available here.
It can be compared with the second here.