Thursday, 9 August 2012

The 'date' that wasn't

Yesterday, MailOnline published an article about double Olympic gold medal-winning cyclist Laura Trott. She was pictured sat next to Prince Harry at the beach volleyball and so the MailOnline gossip-mongers felt they could speculate about what was going on:

It said they 'got on like a house on fire' and were 'laughing and joking together'. She had been 'invited to join Prince Harry' at the beach volleyball. She was 'Cinderella Laura' on a 'date' with a Prince.

It seems this 'inspired' the front page of today's Express:

This morning, the article looked different. MailOnline discovered photos of Trott kissing fellow cyclist Jason Kenny, and decided to re-write the article a little:

Suddenly, Trott had had 'two dates'. She had been 'chatting up' Harry, but was then kissing Kenny.

A tweet this morning from Trott, confirming a relationship with Kenny, led MailOnline to re-write the article for a third time:

The second bullet point says Trott was 'chatting to' Harry. That's rather different from claiming she was 'Harry's Olympic date'.

But what's clear is that many of the photos of Trott and Harry that fuelled the innuendo in the first article were simply misleading:

As can be seen from the last of these, Jason Kenny was sat next to Trott throughout her 'date' with Harry. Whether he was cropped out by the picture agency or MailOnline isn't clear. But it does seem very clear that the hacks at MailOnline used these pictures to imagine a 'date' wasn't a 'date' at all.

(Hat-tip to Dylan Mitchell)

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