As early as 23rd October 2007, The Daily Mirror's Chief Crime Correspondent, Jeff Edwards, had this to say:
"I get pissed off with columnists who say the parents can't have had anything to do with it. All the murder squad people I know say 'don't talk to me about certain things being impossible'. There's been a certain amount of unconscious racism here about the Portuguese police. Actually, it's not a third world country."
"They may not have our level of competence but they are not stupid and they are limited by their own constitution. Whatever is said about that inquiry, everything they've done has been driven by something such as significant inconsistencies between the McCanns and their friends."
So why do our press have a phobia of writing balanced articles on the McCann case?
On October 2nd 2014, two days before the death of Brenda Leyland, Gerry McCann gave a tale of self pity, woe, and sorrow to The Guardian:
"Nearly three years ago my wife, Kate, and I appeared before the Leveson inquiry to talk about the campaign of lies that was waged against us after our daughter Madeleine went missing. We described how our lives had been turned into a soap opera so that newspapers could make money, with no regard for truth, for the distress they were inflicting, or for the damage caused to the search for Madeleine. We asked Lord Justice Leveson to ensure that in future things would be different and that nobody would ever again have to endure the dishonest reporting we experienced, or at least that there would be some quick, effective way of correcting false reports in newspapers.
Nothing has changed since then. Big newspaper companies continue to put sales and profit before truth. The protection for ordinary people is as feeble as it always was.
A year ago, when Kate and I were experiencing a time of renewed hope as the Metropolitan police stepped up its new investigation into Madeleine’s disappearance, we received an email late on a Thursday night from the Sunday Times. Its reporter asked us to comment on information he planned to publish. This turned out to be a claim that for five years Kate, I and the directors of Madeleine’s Fund withheld crucial evidence about Madeleine’s disappearance. We rushed to meet his deadline for a response. In the vain hope that the Sunday Times would not publish such a clearly damaging and untrue story, we sent a statement to the newspaper. We denied the main tenet of the story and emphasised that since Madeleine’s disappearance we had fully cooperated with the police and that the directors of Madeleine’s Fund had always acted in her best interest.
However, the Sunday Times went ahead and published the report on its front page, largely ignoring our statement. We tried to settle this matter quickly and without legal action. I wrote to the editor asking for a correction, but all we got in response was an offer to publish a “clarification” and tweak a few lines of the article – but still to continue to publish it on the newspaper’s website. Indeed, further correspondence from the paper only aggravated the distress the original article had caused, created a huge volume of work and forced us to issue a formal complaint to get redress through our lawyers.
Eventually, two months after the article was published, a correction was printed, retracting all the allegations and apologising. But even then – and despite the grotesque nature of what it had falsely alleged on its front page – the apology was on an inside page and the word “apology” was absent from the headline. Since then, it has taken 11 months and the filing of a legal claim to get the Sunday Times to agree to damages, all of which we are donating to charity, and to get our right to tell the public that we had won the case. But the cost to the paper is peanuts – the fee for a single advertisement will probably cover it. And there will be no consequences for anyone working there. Nothing will be done to ensure that in future reporters and editors try harder to get things right. And so the same people will do something similar, soon, to some other unfortunate family – who will probably not have our hard-earned experience of dealing with these things and who will probably never succeed in getting a correction or an apology."
The rest of Gerry's paradoxical piffle can be read on the link below:
Apart from the obvious, and blatant hypocrisy from Gerry McCann, who has never once condemned the press for their blatant smearing of Goncalo Amaral, Brenda Leyland, or indeed Euclides Monteiro, the article above was littered with lies.
The Times didn't retract all of the accusations against the McCanns, and rightly so. Yes, the two journalists who wrote the article got some facts wrong, but not as entirely as Gerry would have us believe. In fact his own report was far more misleading than the original.
The McCanns didn't hide the efit from the police for 5 years, it was actually 11 months (still this was hardly with any urgency). They did hide it from the public for 5 years though. Scotland Yard went as far as to make it the centrepiece on Crimewatch in October 2013, describing their findings as "a revelation moment". It was hardly that, given that the efits were handed to the McCanns in November 2008, (5 years previous to Crimewatch) So we begin to see where the confusion arose. Even after the Crimewatch episode the McCanns weren't quick out of the blocks to splash this newly released efit onto their Official Find Madeleine Page.
So despite claims to the contrary (and not for the first time), Kate and Gerry McCann did suppress vital evidence. Yet, eventually, the newspaper rolled over (albeit half heartedly), handing Gerry McCann the opportunity to write his own article, telling the public how everything The Times wrote, was unfair, and untrue.
The following extract is from The Press Gazette Journalism Today, and is in relation to the above story:
"They said that the story led to them having “suffered serious damage to their reputations and severe embarrassment and distress.
They also claimed that the paper's Insight team, which wrote the story, had not told their spokesman the full extent of the allegations which were to be made against them.
The McCanns also said that the story did not include several points made to Insight by their spokesman. They said this denied them "a proper opportunity to inform the readers of The Sunday Times of the falsity of the allegations against them".
Unless the McCanns had another spokesman we don't know about, it is safe to assume that the person in question, was none other than the mendacious manipulator, Clarence Mitchell. It is clear from the report above, that the McCanns had become accustomed to being told the foundations of a story, and would then be allowed to tweak the story to better suit themselves; something Mitchell in his pomp, admitted to in the past.
On October 18th 2007, Mitchell made a speech at Coventry University. The slippery eel talked with great bravado of how he "fed" the media stories, and of how, when the press quoted him or the McCanns in an unfavourable light he would "pull journalists to one side and say, look, if you want further co operation, this is what we said, and this is what we meant" in other words manipulating the press to favour the McCanns, in exchange for stories.
Of course, this story is just one example, but when linked with many others, illustrates the working relationship the McCanns have enjoyed with the press.
It is no secret that the McCanns paid £500,000 to Bell Pottinger. In exchange for that cash from the fund, it was agreed they would be kept on the front pages of the UK's national papers, and painted in a favourable light. Which brings me nicely onto another example of how the McCanns manipulated the media.
June 2011, and as part of another European tour, the McCanns were in Amsterdam promoting Kate's book. The Daily Express ran an article with the headline:
"AT LAST, SAD KATE McCANN CAN SMILE AGAIN"
The article was in no way derogatory, but accompanying it, was a picture of Kate and Gerry with broad smiles. In fact, so broad was Kate's smile, that it wouldn't have looked out of place spread across the face of the Cheshire cat (and not a side-splittingly funny balloon in sight).
It was this photograph that the McCanns took exception to. The couple contacted The Express, and the offending photograph was removed.
During a phone call, the sub editor of The Express was reported as saying, "...no papers will print anything regarded as unfavourable regarding the McCanns, and that the couple's "office" had complained that a picture of them laughing was unfavourable as it is a "misrepresentation" of how they feel, which was why they insisted it should be removed."
A misrepresentation of how they feel?
Do the McCanns have a medical condition that causes them to look ecstatic, whilst actually being steeped in deep depression?
Was the grin photoshopped?
Was it perhaps the effects of elation Amsterdam is famous for?
Did the article suggest that?
That would be an "emphatic no" on all counts...as far as I know.
No, it was merely a picture of Kate McCann stood with her husband, both of whom were happy, both of whom knew it, and both of whom forgot not to show it.
Clarence Mitchell once described his work on the McCann case as, "The perfect PR campaign". With Madeleine McCann still missing, and her parents controlling what is said about them in the press, you have to ask yourself; perfect for who?