Madeleine McCann: Viscount Rothmere Fails To Explain The Daily Mail’s Omissions
Viscount Rothermere, the controlling shareholder of the Daily Mail, says he is “very deeply sympathetic to everything the McCanns have gone through“. However, he but that he stood by Paul Dacre, the Daily Mail editor-in-chief’s coverage of the missing child.
“My paper writes about many things that give me personal cause for concern but I feel it’s my duty to allow editors the job to edit.
“If I picked up the phone every single time I disagreed with an article then I would make their job a lot harder to do. I rely on the processes within the organisation and their obeyance of them in order to run a professional outfit…
“I had personal concerns, yes. I think what the McCanns went through was very difficult for them but I did not bring up the issue with Paul Dacre, if that answers your question.”
The McCanns told the Leveson inquiry into press standards three weeks ago how they were subject to a string of “disgusting” and “offensive” stories after their daughter Madeleine went missing in Portugal four years ago.
The McCanns sued Rothmere’s Associated Newspapers for libel. The Daily Mail made a donation to the Find Madeleine campaign and ran free adverts for it. Gerry McCann says the Mail refused to apologise.
What did they have to apologise for? Well, The Mail says Kate McCann felt “mentally raped” by the NoTW’s decision to publish her diaries. Rothmere says any “comparison to News International is unfair”.
In September 2007, the Mail produced the headline news:
“I pray the Portuguese police are careering down the wrong track, but from the start, a terrible nagging doubt has refused to leave me?”
Said Gerry McCann at the Leveson Inquiry:
They paid damages and there was an apology published in the Evening Standard [then owned by Rothmere]. The Daily Mail did not publish an apology.
Q. Thank you. Then paragraph 100, you deal with a piece in the Daily Mail, quite recently, July of this year, about an alleged reported sighting in India. What are your feelings about that, please?
G McCann. It’s probably one of the most recent examples of what I would say is the contempt for Madeleine and her safety. There was no check. This sighting had been reported to the police, I think we were actually on holiday. They emailed us a photograph and we quickly indicated that it was not Madeleine, and as far as we were concerned, it was dealt with. And then a day or two later, it’s published and the newspaper on that occasion have chosen to publish it and they may want to justify why, but from our point of view, they don’t know whether it’s true, they haven’t contacted us, and additionally we have the issue that if this really was a genuine sighting of Madeleine, then her captors may be alerted and move her. So the story has precedence over the safety of our child. And that’s clear.”
Those words were not published in the caring Daily Mail…