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Anorak | Madeleine McCann: Clarence Mitchell For Hire, Richard Desmond And The Guardian Repeats

Madeleine McCann: Clarence Mitchell For Hire, Richard Desmond And The Guardian Repeats

by | 14th, July 2008

MADDIE WATCH – Anorak’s at-a-glance guide to press coverage of Madeleine McCann

DAILY TELEGRAPH: “McCann’s spokesman Clarence Mitchell ponders PR move

As Kate and Gerry McCann return from their first family holiday since their daughter Madeleine disappeared 14 months ago, their spokesman Clarence Mitchell is in talks to join a PR agency where he plans to help other parents who have lost children to deal with the media.

Such is the news of the McCann case that the internet traffic-hungry Telegraph is looking at Clarence Mitchell’s career options. An interviwer might ask him what good has come of all the PR and media handling, and point out that not every missing child is the the blonde, photgenic progency of middle-class doctors and thus not deemed to be as newsworthy.

Says Mitchell, the McCanns’ spokesman:

“I’m happy to help anyone in the eye of a media storm, but I need to put myself on a firm financial footing. I should stress, however, that there’s absolutely no question of me abandoning Kate and Gerry McCann.”

Working for the McCanns is a job, and it pays. But when will it end?

THE GUARDIAN: “Fakery fallout hits TV sector”

Deception rows caused several top television figures to slide down the top 100. It’s the MediaGuardian 100, an arbitrary league table of TV shows and staff.

The newspaper sector accounts for three of the top 10 fallers – two editors and a proprietor. Richard Desmond is the second biggest faller, down 20 places to 55, after his newspapers had to make unprecedented front-page apologies and pay £550,000 in damages to the family of Madeleine McCann.

And the Guardian loves to write about Desmond:

55. Richard Desmond

In March, Richard Desmond’s Express Newspapers titles ran unprecedented apologies and paid £550,000 in damages over stories they had run about the family of Madeleine McCann….

It was another blow to the credibility of the papers, credibility that has suffered ever since Desmond bought them in 2000…

Under-resourced and undermined by the McCann apology, Desmond’s newspaper group also saw the first 24-hour national newspaper strike for 18 years in a dispute about pay and outsourcing.

Desmond is Fleet Street’s least-loved proprietor, but as the Observer’s Peter Preston memorably put it: “No one likes him, though (in common with Millwall FC) he doesn’t seem to care.”

No.78 is Peter Wright, editor of the Mail on Sunday.

If Wright is occasionally a controversial figure, then he gained extra credibility this year when he joined the Press Complaints Commission after the Daily Express editor, Peter Hill, stepped down in the wake of Express Newspapers’ £550,000 damages payout to the family of Madeleine McCann.

Trading places

James Murdoch takes the top spot from his father as other City players suffer a tough year

Richard Desmond, the owner of Express Newspapers, has also had a mixed year, paying out £550,000 in damages to Gerry and Kate McCann for a string of inaccurate articles about their daughter Madeleine’s disappearance, and taking the unprecedented step of publishing front-page apologies in all four Express and Star national titles.

Is the Guardian obsessed with Richard Desmond?



Posted: 14th, July 2008 | In: Broadsheets, Madeleine McCann Comments (620) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink