Madeleine McCann: all aboard the ‘Our Maddie’ charabanc for a ten-year anniversary tour
Madeleine McCann: a look at reporting on the vanished child.
The Sun picks up the news that sleuths can book a place on the ‘Our Maddie’ charabanc. Armchair detectives can go mobile. The paper tells us:
The trips to the apartment – named Luz Tours – where the missing three-year-old was last seen alive has been slammed as “appalling”.
Why are they not named Maddie Tours or something equally to the point? Luz Tours seems a tad cryptic.
The paper then repackages old news: ‘The McCann family were staying in an apartment at the Ocean club, Praia Da Luz, Portugal, when she vanished.’
And since May 7 2007 that has been pretty much the entire story. As facts go, those are them. But the single thread story has spun out and out until we get news of an ‘unnamed’ tour operator who apparently wrote about his trips somewhere – the Sun doesn’t say where:
The tour organiser wrote: “Luz Tours are for people with considerable expertise in the Madeleine McCann case.” He added: “I don’t think there is a way to commercialise Luz Tours and I wouldn’t want to even if it was possible. However, I find it ironic that I get keel-hauled for trying to progress the Madeleine McCann case, for free, and Scott Michaels gets lauded for running a business based on dead celebrities.”
Far from being ‘ghoulish, the Maddie Tour is a public service. As for Scott Michaels, well, he ‘founded the now infamous Dearly Departed Tours in Hollywood 15 years ago’. Book a seat and Scott will show you where famous people croaked.
Is this news or is this marketing? The paper hears from ‘one expat’. They’re upset and aghast. “I don’t know what’s worse – running this sick tour or pretending it’s doing it to find Maddie,” says the unnamed source. “I think the organisers are twisted and the people that go on these ghoulish tours are not much better. It’s totally uncalled for and needs to stop.”
Best leave the Madeleine McCann sightseeing to the journalists and the cops.
The Mirror calls the tour ‘sick’. It adds:
The trips also take in the nearby tapas restaurant where her parents Kate and Gerry were dining when she vanished and wasteland spots where British cops have dug for her body.
And you thought you wouldn’t have any fun on holiday.
Tourists on the excursions – named Luz Tours and dubbed the “Luz Challenge” – are reportedly then invited to speculate on what happened.
When it comes to speculation best leave it to the Mirror, which helpfully produced its six theories in May 2010. The paper told readers of the “PAEDOPHILE GANG”, the “LONE PAEDOPHILE”, the “JEALOUS MOTHER”, Madeleine wandering off and “DROWNED”, the “OPPORTUNIST PAEDOPHILE”, the “CHILDLESS COUPLE”. You can print it out and use it to kick stat chatter on the tour bus.
In other news, the Mirror says:
Kate and Gerry McCann lodge complaint after court ruled couple were ‘not formally in the clear’ over Madeleine’s disappearance
You can read more about that here. The Mirror then says, in the interests of sound reporting and fact: ‘Detectives are said to be working on a theory that she was kidnapped by a European trafficking gang.’ No need to spend your cash on a tour when you can debate the vanishing at home.
The Mail has more. And it adds a new word to the Madeleine McCann Glossary:
Correio da Manha reported today: ‘The McCanns have requested the annulment of the Supreme Court decision, terming it frivolous for saying it ‘had not been possible for public prosecutors to obtain sufficient evidence of crimes by the appellants.’
The newspaper said the McCanns had described the ruling as ‘leviano’ in the complaint lodged through their Portuguese lawyer – which in English translates as ‘frivolous’ but can also mean ‘sloppy’ or ‘rash’.
Leivano could be used to describe much of the repotting on this matter – reporting that libelled the parents and Robert Murat, pointed the finger at gypsies, demanded dying paedophiles make death-bed confessions and made Madeleine McCann into ‘Our Maddie’, the benchmark for all missing people.
To prove how little the case has progressed the Sun asks:
MCCANN COURT BATTLE Who is Goncalo Amaral? Ex-Madeleine McCann cop whose claimed Gerry and Kate faked her abduction
Question asked. Question answered.
Over in the Star, the paper produces news from nothing.
Maddie McCann parents blast ‘cash-in’ claims ahead of 10th anniversary of disappearance
Ten years of this. When Anorak first started to cover this tory we told you it would run and run. In place of news, the Star oozes:
KATE and Gerry McCann have blasted claims they plan to make a fortune from the 10th anniversary of daughter Madeleine’s disappearance.
How? Are there to be commemorative mugs, tours, newspaper retrospectives – ‘Maddie: 10 Years of Guessing’?
Spokesman Clarence Mitchell denied allegations in the Portuguese press that the parents were taking fees for interviews. He said: “They want to make it clear they are not making any money out of Madeleine’s disappearance. Any claims are spurious nonsense but fit in with the Portuguese agenda.”
The Sun adds:
As interest increases daily to clinch the sought-after decade deal by broadcasting and publishing giants, the family have admitted: “It’s crazy!”
You might even call it ‘sick’.