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Anorak | Madeleine McCann: Porn, Liverpool For McCanns And Libel

Madeleine McCann: Porn, Liverpool For McCanns And Libel

by | 22nd, March 2008

madeleine-liverpool.jpgMADDYWATCH – Anorak’s at-a-glance guide to press coverage of Madeleine McCann

THE INDEPENDENT: “Saga of the McCanns is not yet over”

Says Richard Ingrams:

No one can feel too sorry at the thought of Express owner Richmond Desmond, who has made a huge fortune out of pornography, having to shell out a fraction of his profits to the needy McCanns.

No, not climate porn, the Independent’s apocalyptic visions of climate change, but real flesh and hair porn – the porn that has given Richard Demsond “huge profits”; which must mean many not only enjoy porn and are happy to pay for it. Would “no one” feel sorry for Mr Desmond if his fine curtailed his porn output?

The Story of the McCanns and Express Newspaper was broken by Anorak 

All the same, the story is puzzling. The Express was undoubtedly guilty of libel. But the suggestion that the McCanns might have been in one way or another responsible for their daughter’s death did not originate with the newspaper. It was the Portuguese police who long ago branded the McCanns as suspects. And officially they remain so. It has never been explained why they were so convinced of the McCanns’ guilt when all the facts seem to point the other way.

Facts? There is only one fact: Madeleine McCann is missing.

But, following this week’s libel settlement, there was general agreement that as a result of the Daily Express apology the McCanns had finally been cleared. But that isn’t so. They are still officially labelled arguido, or suspects. The Portuguese police are even anxious to re-interview the McCanns’ friends, the so-called Tapas Nine. So all those who were hoping they had heard the last of this story are likely to be disappointed.

General agreement by whom? And if the Tapas Nine are the McCanns’s friends aren’t they the Tapas 7, or the Sangria 7? Mr Ingrams is right to note that the case still open, those who thought they had heard the last of the story will be put out. But these days Madeleine McCann is no longer on tabloid front pages; she appears in comment pieces in the largely unread Independent. She is also missing.

LIVERPOOL POST: “Call for boycott of two newspapers in support of Madeleine McCann

Guardian journalist Roy Greenslade, former editor of The Mirror, suggested the idea on his blog.

Has the city of Liverpool so taken Madeleine McCann to its heart that it will boycott the Sun and Star, as it has the Sun? Of course, with the internet, locals can read such organs in privacy, behind closed curtain and locked doors.

Speaking to the ECHO, he said: “This isn’t good enough compensation, I feel that one editor should resign and proper action taken. These papers carried out a lengthy campaign and treated the McCanns very shabbily. For a multi-millionaire to be told to pay £550,000 is not a great deal of money.

“Lawyers were giving these papers due warnings during the coverage. No journalist has paid any price, but they will have been forced into the position and write these stories. There should be a boycott. Liverpool is a shining example of a city that refuses to allow bad journalism to go unpunished.”

Is there a special link between the McCanns and Liverpool?

Today, Susan Healy, Liverpool-born Kate’s mother, said that the untrue stories had caused great hurt to the family and friends. She added: “Kate is quite bitter about it as you’d expect. To see all those headlines again this week shocked me. It shouldn’t be legal. It was a diabolical time and I don’t know how anyone who gets satisfaction with writing lies like that.”

But the case is not over. Madeleine McCann is missing.

Clarence Mitchell, the McCann’s spokesman, said: “Kate and Gerry are pleased that the Express Newspapers apologised as fulsomely as they did. Immense distress was caused to the couple and their wider family and any action by people in the Liverpool area always helps to keep newspapers aware of their responsibilities and their requirements to stay within the law.”

Is your take on the disappearance of Madeleine McCann shaped by your region. Fact: 100% of Liverpudlians believe the McCanns are innocent; but just 56% of Cheltenham locals agree?

LEICESTER MERCURY: “MORE LIBEL SUITS TO COME?

Madeleine McCann’s family have not ruled out further court action following their £550,000 libel settlement. Kate and Gerry McCann’s lawyers are said to be holding a file of stories that could be acted upon, if they feel it is the right thing to do.

Kate and Gerry McCann are innocent. They have not been charged with any crime. Robert Murat is innocent. He has never been charged with any crime.

Says Clarence Mitchell:

“We are keeping all options open, neither ruling in further libel actions nor ruling them out. The lawyers have got a very large file of coverage they were unhappy with. We felt the Express group did it on a more defamatory basis, but there are other reports that gave the family cause for concern, not just in the UK. If action is taken it will be taken at a time of their choosing. This is a couple who have lost their daughter, who are not accused of any crime, yet who have been vilified unfairly and unjustly. They will act when they feel the boundaries are overstepped. We need to see how the dust settles.”

 Madeleine McCann: a media feeding frenzy



Posted: 22nd, March 2008 | In: Broadsheets, Madeleine McCann, Tabloids Comments (453) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink