[UPDATE August 20, 2:35pm] Unless our Googles aren’t Googling, it looks as though both sites have now taken down the article.
In a powerful declaration of journalistic integrity, The Courier Mail and news.com.au have published an article proving definitively that although Prime Minister Julia Gillard may indeed have fallen victim to mean-spirited and disrespectful coverage, it was not because of her gender.
Written by Hannah Davies, the article — ”Moon-faced’ PM ‘comfort eating’ as the stress of the federal election takes its toll“ – serves as an important reminder that in the Australian media landscape, we’re all held to the same standards. And those standards are, quite often, terrible.
“He clearly enjoys a good pie (and a cheese platter, and a pizza),” begins the lede, “but it looks like Prime Minister Kevin Rudd may have enjoyed a few too many in recent weeks.”
To back up her claim, Davies points to Rudd’s “jowels and double chin [sic]” which have him modelling a “fuller-faced look”, going on to demonstrate the energetic investigation that took place. She tracked down a nameless staff member of Rudd’s local pizzeria, for instance, who — after what we can only assume was a fierce and concentrated interrogation — confirms that, “You can tell he loves his pizza because there isn’t a scrap left on his plate when he leaves.”
She also spoke to an anonymous former staff member, who says Prime Minister Kevin Rudd is “likely” eating his favourite snack RIGHT THIS VERY SECOND: cheese washed down with wine (“No wonder his face looks so bloated!” is a quote that made it into an article in a newspaper).
She consulted with two dieticians and one Brisbane nutritionist, too. The nutritionist’s name is Anthony Power, and his logo is a crisp green apple. “My God, Rudd has packed on the weight!” he says, before likely blowing out his cheeks and stomping around like a sumo wrestler. The two dieticians were sought out for their specific expertise: one to explain that eating pies can make you fat, and the other to explain that being fat can make your face fat.
The article, which calls him “moonfaced” three whole times, admits that “the stress of the looming election” could have something to do with it. “[But] while Opposition Leader Tony Abbott makes sure campaigning does not interfere with his morning run, these days Rudd barely finds time to go for a walk.”
Also, as long as we’re all here, Rudd is not just fat but he is also a fat loser, who is losing probably because he is so fat. “The latest polls show Rudd’s popularity has hit a new low as Labor heads for election defeat.”
When quizzed, Rudd’s spokesperson was typically cagey: “I don’t know if he’s going to respond to a question about his weight.”
Good work, everyone!