Barcelona and Real Madrid usually dominate the Spanish football agenda. The media is fixated with the two giants; the Madrid-based Marca and AS are Real Madrid's greatest cheerleaders, while Barcelona-based Sport and Mundo Deportivo focus on Barcelona - much to the chagrin of Atletico or Espanyol fans. These papers do have regional editions - Marca in Valencia would focus on Los Che for instance, but then Valencia also has its own smaller sports paper in Super Deporte.
AS was the subject of a controversy this week after it photoshopped (ie, made him disappear) an Athletic Bilbao player out of a match photo to make Daniel Alves look clearly offside before a Barca goal when he wasn't. It's not the first time that images have been tweaked. Graphics or favoured camera angles have been used to distort or add weight to an argument - the Madrid press against Barca and vice versa - but seldom as blatantly as this. AS apologised several times for "misleading", but the damage to their credibility had been done.
One of the fundamentals of journalism should be trust. A news journalist should relay the facts without distortion. Comment is different, but people have historically trusted photos believing the camera never lies. Except it does in the world of Photoshop as any fashionista seeing images of supposedly flawless models knows.
Not everyone is surprised by the deception in Spain, but because it was done by a Madrid paper and because it involves Barca everyone has an opinion. Almost everyone in Spain 'supports' Barca or Madrid, even if only as a second club.
I've spoken to fans of huge clubs like Valencia and Sevilla who watch their team live most weeks - yet they will have a clear preference for Madrid or Barca. The manager of one top four club asked me not to mention the fact that he was a childhood Barca fan.
A friend was the captain of Barca B before going to play in England. He no longer plays for Barca so this information no longer matters, but he told me one night that he'd always been a Madrid fan before joining Barca. He couldn't admit that when he was Lionel Messi's captain, but it was normal to support Madrid where he came from in Mallorca. Rafa Nadal is from the same area as him and he's Madrid supporter - even though Mallorca boast their own successful top flight team.
The big two are omnipresent so it's inevitable that people take sides, except royalty.
The King of Spain has always been very diplomatic in his support, though his son, the Prince of Asturias, is an Atletico Madrid fan.
The Prince will have been relieved that Atletico managed a rare win at the weekend at Zaragoza after a run of four straight losses had seen then tumble into the bottom half of the table. There were high hopes for the Europa League winners at the start of this season, but they wouldn't be Atletico if they didn't dash the dreams of their 45,000 diehards.
Despite winning four out of five in January, Real Zaragoza - one of several Spanish clubs with the 'Royal' prefix like Madrid, Sociedad, Oviedo, Betis and Mallorca - sit just a point above the relegation zone. And just two points separate the three teams in the drop zone; promoted Hercules, Almeria and bottom placed Malaga.
The Andalusians bought big in January, but Manuel Pellegrini's side haven't won a game since January 2nd and several of the expensive new players have been either dropped or injured.
Almeria's position is almost understandable as they have the second lowest budget in the league, but all the relegation candidates were spooked by the three-game winning run from the league's lowest payers Levante which took them up to 16th. That was only ended by a 2-0 defeat at the Bernabeu against Madrid on Saturday. With Barca comfortable and five points clear at the top, none of the Catalan press were tempted to "mislead" their readers about any aspects of that victory. Not this time anyway.