Daily Star front page today*:
You might be forgiven for thinking, having read that, that Ashley and Cheryl are back together, given the 'Ashley and Cheryl back together' headline. It's a clever mislead, not maliciously deceptive, just a way of trying to get you to join the dots and come to a conclusion that isn't explicitly stated anywhere.
Look at the photo, for example - it's a snatched paparazzi picture to give you the impression that the estranged couple have been spotted out together in the 'secret reunion' mentioned in the second headline. But no, this picture comes a set that were taken in August 2008, where this alternative photo was used by the Evening Standard:
The Star cunningly never say this is a picture of the couple out together now - they just put up a snatched photo and leave you to make your own conclusions. They're hoping you'll buy the paper after a quick scan in order to read the story, which isn't a great crime of course.
But it does go to show what kind of techniques newspapers like the Star will use to try and make you leap to the wrong conclusion. The headline actually means "Ashley and Cheryl might be back together for one meeting, if this story about Roman Abramovich (for it is he who is the 'mystery cupid') is real". The picture is actually just a stock photo that might lead you to think this is the 'secret reunion', whereas in fact it's nearly two years old, and taken during happier times. There are no outright lies and no real deception; it's just a story from nowhere. One day it'll be Ashley & Cheryl; one day it'll be something else and someone else.
* Thanks to the ever-brilliant Beau Bo D'Or for finding the Star front page. I haven't used the whole paper because it's got some bollocks rumour about Jon Venables, quickly dismissed as a 'theory' - the guessing game just keeps carrying on with that one. By the end of the week he'll probably have been blamed for half of all the crimes in Britain.