Anorak

Tabloids | Anorak - Part 7

Tabloids Category

The news as told by the UK’s tabloid press – The Sun, Daily Express, Daily Mail, Daily Mirror, Daily Star and News of the World.

Bias media: Daily Express rejects Crusader Jeremy Corbyn over NHS parking charges

On July 1 2014, the Daily Express launched a “Crusade” against parking charges at NHS hospitals. Readers were urged to sign a petition, which began: “I petition the Prime Minister to step in to end the scandalous cost forced on patients and families when parking at hospital…”

 

daily express crusade nhs parking

 

Sarah O’Grady had news:

THE Daily Express has launched a crusade to help the sick, the elderly and hard-pressed families across the country by calling for an end to the disgraceful and unfair practice of sky-high parking charges in hospital car parks.

 

nhs daily express

 

The campaign thundered on. It was backed by a pretty impressive 97% of Daily Express readers.

 

nhs charges

 

Things improved for patients in August 2014 when Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt ordered a relaxation of rules on hospital car parking to ensure seriously ill patients are not penalised.

“Daily Express Crusade victory as ministers get tough on rip-off hospital parking,” cheered the paper, aligning its crusade with political policy. When politicians promise to end the charges they do so because they are on the same side as the Express. The paper reported:

Under new guidelines announced by ­ministers today, “priority groups” should be allowed to park without charge or at a greatly reduced cost.

They include visitors with relatives who are gravely ill or who have to stay in hospital for an extended period.

People with disabilities, those who make ­frequent outpatient visits and staff working shifts will also be able to take advantage of the concessions, the Department of Health said.

The announcement is a major victory for the Daily Express crusade to prevent thousands of people up and down the country being ripped off by extortionate charges of up to £4 an hour.

More than 10,000 people have pledged their support via postal coupons or on our website calling for the sky-high parking charges to be abolished or reduced. The Daily Express will continue to press for the guidelines to be adopted by hospital trusts.

But the charges kept on coming.

 

nhs charges express

 

 

On December 22 2015, the paper picked up its simple sword of truth and the trusty shield of fair play to slam the “Greedy” hospitals earning up to £3.7m a year each through parking charges. “Their current behaviour is completely at odds with the ethos of the NHS,” it added.

As the BBC notes:

Hospital car parking fees were abolished in Scotland and Wales in 2008, although a small number of hospitals still charge as they remain tied in to contracts with private companies that manage their parking facilities. Fees may be charged in Northern Ireland.

In England, whether to charge fees is a decision for individual trusts, with some making parking free for particular patients, such as cancer patients or those using dialysis, or for parents staying overnight with their children.

Who will end this greed? One man will. It’s Jeremy Corbyn, who will end this “tax on serious illness”. He says:

“Labour will end hospital parking charges, which place an unfair and unnecessary burden on families, patients and NHS staff. Hospital parking charges are a tax on serious illnesses.”

So how does the Express report on this breakthrough, the arrival of a champion to lead their Crusaders into Jerusalem’s free parking zones? It doesn’t. There’s not single a word on it in the paper. You can, however, read about it on the Express‘ website – but you’ll find no word on how Corbyn is part of the paper’s Crusade. In fact, there’s no mention of the Crusade at all. The 97% will be disappointed.

Spotter: Liz Gerard – follow her here and here. And read her on Sub-Scribe.

Posted: 9th, May 2017 | In: Politicians, Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Daily Express: Macron win overshadowed by breaking Broccoli news

Having supported UKIP and Marine Le Pen’s Presidential bid (she was backed by former UKIP and Express columnist leader Nigel Farage) – “Good news for the UK’ EU trembles as Marine Le Pen victory would make pound STRONGER” (April 17);  “‘It will be GAME OVER’ Le Pen victory will DESTROY European Union’, warns former Italian PM” (March 1); “Marine Le Pen will BREAK DOWN the European Union even if she LOSES, experts claim” (April 23) – how does the Daily Express cover the news that Le Pen lost and Emmanuel Macron won in France?

Answer: with Broccoli.

 

express macron

Posted: 8th, May 2017 | In: Politicians, Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Green Left Weekly: ‘British Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn has done remarkably well’

jeremy corbyn the green paper

 

Australian publication Green Left Weekly aims to deliver “news and ideas the mainstream media won’t”. For instance, it’s the only paper we can find that says “British Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn has done remarkably well since Conservative Prime Minister Theresa May’s April 19 announcement of general elections on June 8.”

Green Left Weekly reported that on May 4. Two days on and the poisonous mainstream media has a different view on Corbyn’s performance.

 

council elections theresa may corbyn newspapers

 

Spotter: Tim Worstall

Posted: 6th, May 2017 | In: Broadsheets, Politicians, Reviews, Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


In 2009 the Sun and Sky told Gordon Brown to grab the TV debate or else

UK's First Ever Leader's Debate

 

Compare and contrast the the Sun’s view on televised leadership debates. Tory leaders Theresa May will not be taking part in one.

April 21 2017:

THERESA May would make mincemeat of Jeremy Corbyn and Tim Farron on TV. She is the only credible option as PM, as would be blindingly obvious to anyone watching. But The Sun doesn’t really care how much or how little TV she does if she thinks her election campaign is better spent touring marginal constituencies. We DO object to self-important broadcasters acting like their debates are a cornerstone of our democracy…

Broadcasters who try to shame the PM by “empty-chairing” her in her absence will be playing with fire. How would that remotely be impartial?

2009 (via Private Eye):

…if Iran and Afghanistan can have TV debates  between party leaders, so can we. David Cameron and Nick Clegg are backing a debate before we vote next year. There can be no hiding place for Gordon Brown.

 

leaders debate Sky the sun gordon brown

 

In September 2009, Sky TV launched a petition for a televised leaders’ debate.

We, the undersigned, support the campaign for a leaders’ debate.

Sky News has launched a national campaign calling for a live television debate as part of the General Election, the first of its kind in Britain.

John Ryley, the head of Sky News, has written to the Prime Minister Gordon Brown, Conservative leader David Cameron and Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg to invite them to take part.

He told them faith in politics and politicians has been shaken, and a debate during the forthcoming election campaign would offer a unique opportunity to re-engage disillusioned voters.

“There is a chance here, not just to do something that has never been done, but to energise an electorate, to reconnect with the millions of people who have been alienated by politics and the way it is so often covered, to achieve something that is truly democratic,” Mr Ryley wrote.

Sky News is calling on readers and viewers who support the campaign to sign the online petition here.

 

This was supported by Sky News’ Adam Boulton telling Sun readers that “the people want it, politics needs it and Gordon Brown should grab the opportunity with both hands.”

Such are the facts.

Posted: 5th, May 2017 | In: Reviews, Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Madeleine McCann: most of the British Press ignores the 10th anniversary

Ten year ago today Madeleine McCann was reported missing. Today the media marks the unhappy truth that a decade of reporting, fund-raising, investigating and watching has added not a single new fact to the original report: child vanishes. This is a round-up of the anniversary’s reporting. It’s a the usual mixture of speculation, name-calling and gawping.

 

madeleine mccann newspapers

 

Daily Mirror (front page): “As the McCanns mark 10 agonising years without their Maddie, how can Portuguese police keep being so vile”

Are feelings of paramount importance when investigating what happened to an innocent child? The Mirror’s front page promises more on pages 13 and 17.

Page 13: We see Madeleine McCann holding tennis balls. She is “THE LOST GIRL”. The headline tells us: “Portuguese cops: Brits’ search for Maddie is a waste of £11m.”

Is that an opinion exclusive to former Portuguese police officer Carlos Anjos, who says the the theory that the child was taken dying a burglary is “absurd”?  He states: “Not even a wallet disappeared, no TV disappeared, nothing else disappeared. A child disappeared.”

Is that “vile”? Isn’t it just a statement of fact? Reading on we are told that Kate and Gerry McCann will attend a prayer service in Rothley, Leicestershire. We get to read a “leaked” 2010 Home Office report, which says: “The McCanns acknowledge a distinct lack of trust between all parties.”

We read of “more bile” from another former Portuguese policeman, this time it’s Goncalo Amaral, who appeared on the telly to tell viewers that the child could have been cremated. He says: “Three figures went into the church. They had a box. It is possible the child’s remains were in the box and cremated a well.” Can he prove his theory? Clearly not. But we get to hear Amaral’s opinion, and we are told how to read it.  It is “vile”. It is full of “bile”. It is a “snub”. It’s speculation. There’s been a lot of that.

Page 17: “Fresh hell adds to Maddie pain.”

Alison Phillips uses her column to record “another agonising anniversary for the McCann family”. She spots the “slug-like” Amaral. She says the chances that the parents will be reunited with Madeleine are “less likely than ever”. Having told of the parents’ hurt and suffering, Phillips says: “Yet as the family mark 10 agonising years without Maddie today, how can some Portuguese cops be so cruel?” Amaral has been “airing his ludicrous claims about her disappearance.” He’s been on “local” TV in Portugal.

On May 10 2007, the Mirror produced “6 THEORIES” of its own. They were: “PAEDOPHILE GANG”, the “LONE PAEDOPHILE”, the “JEALOUS MOTHER”, Madeleine wandering off and “DROWNED”, the “OPPORTUNIST PAEDOPHILE”, the “CHILDLESS COUPLE”.

They never did get to the burglar theory.

Phillips returns to Amaral’s appearance on the TV, where he was “again pointing the finger at Maddie’s parents”, making “ludicrous claims about her disappearance”. Phillips wonders: “Why the Portuguese broadcasters give him airtime is a total mystery”. For those of you missed the show, the Mirror helpfully transcribes parts of it. Why a British newspaper gives him front-page coverage is a total mystery. Phillips says Anjos and Amaral could do “everyone a favour…by keeping their opinions strictly to themselves.” Even if it does give a columnist one less thing to write about.

She then notes – get his  – “…these men know every smear or suggestion will be lapped up and repeated by sickos and saddos on social media.” There are some nasty sods on twitter and Facebook. Perish the thought that the mainstream media would stoop do low as to point the finger and whisper.

Daily Star (front page): “MADDIE: Parents Kept Info From Cops.”

The story begins:

“Madeleine McCann’s parents withheld information from police that had been gathered by private investigators hunting for her, says a Home Office report. The couple believed their treatment by Portuguese police was ‘inhumane’.”

Page 9: “Maddie’s parents did not trust them”

Jerry Lawton writes that the parents “did not truth detectives handling the case after they were declared suspects… Though the couple’s ‘arguido’ status was lifted in 2008 and the case archived as unsolved, the McCanns withheld details unearthed by their private eyes from both them and their local Leicestershire  force , the report states.”

Daily Express: nothing. Not a single word is published on the child who has featured on the paper’s cover many times.

Telegraph (page 23): Allison Pearson says it is “miracle” of faith and fortitude that the McCanns are still together. She then embarks on a ‘Maddie & Me’ story:

My own children were small when she was taken and, for a while, my son was obsessed with her. I had to answer endless questions. “No, they didn’t find her yet, sweetheart. Yes, it’s very sad. No, a bad man will not take you. Because Mummy and Daddy will keep you safe, that’s why.”

In the past decade, how many parents have mentally run the “Madeleine safety test” before daring to leave their children even for a moment? It’s no consolation to the McCanns, but that may be her lasting legacy.

The Sun (page 6): “MADDIE BRUSH’S RERURN”

“A hairbrush belonging to Madeleine McCann has been returned to her parents on the tenth anniversary of her disappearance.”

Are the two moments linked, the brush’s return and the anniversary? Surely this isn’t some kind of macabre tribute?

The brush was in the possession of Danie Krugel, a private investigator. It was “handed” to the ex-cop after he offered to help the search for the the child. The McCanns spokesman, Clarence Mitchell, says: “Gerry did give a hairbrush to Mr Krugel at the time to assist in his work. He eventually returned to  South Africa and the hairbrush slipped their minds. But they were delighted to get one of Madeleine’s possessions back.”

The paper goes on to refer to Amaral and his “vile suggestion Madeleine’s body had been frozen before being cremated”. Mitchell says the claim is “deeply offensive”.

Daily Mail (Page 31): “McCanns fell out with Portuguese and UK police”

Madeleine McCann’s parents fell out with both the Portuguese and British police investigating her disappearance, a leaked report revealed today. Gerry and Kate McCann’s relationship with detectives became so poor that they refused to share information dug up by their own private investigators.

A Home Office report ordered by then Labour minister Alan Johnson before the 2010 election shows that the couple’s ‘turbulent relationship’ with police led to a breakdown in trust.

It says that the McCann’s felt badly treated by the Portuguese authorities who closed the investigation into Madeleine’s 2007 disappearance.
But when the Met Police came in they then fell out with police in Praia de Luz – and later the McCanns too, the report says.

 

madeleine mccann theories

 

The Mail says its report is rooted in a Sky News scoop. Over on Sky, alongside a story on – yep – 6 theories on what happened to Madeleine McCann, we read:

The revelations are contained in a report ordered by the then Home Secretary Alan Johnson who wanted to know if it was worth getting Scotland Yard involved after Portuguese officers closed their first investigation. The report said: “It is clear that from the beginning the McCanns felt there was a lack of clarity and communication on the part of the Portuguese police. Despite the involvement of British consular staff, they were, by their own accounts, left for long periods without any updates or communication with the investigators. They state they were taken to the police station on more than one occasion and then left for hours waiting to speak to someone who never materialised.

“They describe this situation as inhumane, with no real consideration for their emotional and physical wellbeing.”

The report, written by the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre, also said too many UK law enforcement agencies had rushed to help and caused chaos, and that frequent criticism of the Portuguese investigation led to accusations the UK was acting like “a colonial power”.

The report said: “Clearly, the McCanns have had a turbulent relationship with both Portuguese and UK law enforcement. They now openly acknowledge that there is a distinct lack of trust between all parties.”…

The report said: “It is clear that the McCanns and the private investigators working on their behalf have gathered a large amount of information during the course of their enquiries. This information does not appear to have been shared fully with the Leicestershire constabulary or the Portuguese authorities.

“It is imperative that they are encouraged and persuaded to share this information.”

What happened to Madeleine McCann? She vanished. And that’s the sum of the facts.

Posted: 3rd, May 2017 | In: Broadsheets, Madeleine McCann, Tabloids, TV & Radio | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Madeleine McCann: the woman in purple and plum

Only one front page features Madeleine McCann today: the Daily Star leads with “Hunt for woman in purple”.

News is that a”mystery woman in purple was spotted where she vanished 10 years ago”. On Page 6, there’s more. Indeed, Police are “SET TO ‘SWOOP'” on the “prime suspect in Madeleine McCann’s disappearance”.

What do we know of this mysterious woman? Only that she was seen “lurking outside” the McCanns’ holiday apartment 90 minutes before we know the child vanished. Two “witnesses saw her staring at the holiday flat”. Scotland year “believe” they know the woman’s identity. She “could have been involved in the youngster’s disappearance”.

Daily Mirror (Page 5: “A ‘woman in purple’ now Maddie cops’ No1 suspect.”

Big news, then. But the paper says the woman is someone British police are “thought to be searching for”. We hear from Jenni Murat, “whose son Robert Murat was the first arguido… but was formerly cleared  of suspicion in 2008”. She’s quoted: “I saw the woman standing on the corner of the street… She caught my eye as she was dressed in purple-plum clothes. It struck me as strange. It’s so unusual for anyone, particularly a woman, to be standing alone on the street in our resort, just watching a building.”

You can read more about how innocent Mr Murat was brought to the police’s attention here. Indeed, the Express mentions it online:

At the time he was living with his elderly mother, Jenny, at their villa, Casa Liliana, only a couple of hundred yards from apartment 5a. In one of the greatest blunders of the case, police arrested him after hearing vague suspicions from a British journalist who was nowhere near Luz at the time Madeleine vanished.

That British journalist worked for the Daily Mirror.

The Mirror quotes a “police insider” who says the woman is not currently resident in Portugal. Police are “ready to move in and arrest the mystery woman”.  It is a “hugely significant line of inquiry”.

No other newspaper features the news in it print editions.

Is that because it’s not new news?

In 2015, the Daily Express reported:

Jenny Murat, 78, the mother of wrongly accused Robert Murat, has potentially breakthrough evidence but no one has spoken to her. At 8pm on May 3, 2007, she went to a supermarket and then drove past Apartment 5a and saw a woman hanging around. Her notes from the time say: “There was a woman standing on the corner under a lamp post.

“I don’t remember much of her other than she was of slight build and was wearing a plum coloured jacket. She moved around the lamp post as if trying not to be noticed.”

As she turned into the driveway of her home, Casa Liliana, she was nearly hit by a car going the wrong way. “When I stopped to open the gates I could not see the car but the woman was in the road looking in my direction.”

And in 2009, the Express reported the words of a woman who wished to remain anonymous:

The slim, Portuguese-looking woman in a plum-coloured top and white skirt with long, dark, swept-back hair acted furtively when she was spotted at 8pm on May 3 in 2007 near the Mark Warner Ocean Club complex.

She was standing under a streetlight at a crossroads only 40 feet from where Madeleine was sleeping with her brother Sean and his twin sister Amelie.

Not quite the “New Clue” the Star presents it as, then.

 

Posted: 2nd, May 2017 | In: Madeleine McCann, Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Bear Payne: Cheryl and Liam’s son wears wooden nappies

bear payne

 

In a “showbiz exclusive” the Sun leads with news that Cheryl Cole has named her baby…Sophie. No, only joking. It’s Bear Payne, the surname born of the baby’s dad Liam Payne, formerly of One Direction, and the first name inspired by an animal famed for shitting in the woods and time spent “getting to know their baby”.

Happily, Cher and Liam have loads of money to equip each of their bathrooms with a copse, so making Bear feel very much at home and preventing the bairn suffering any undue embarrassment.

Posted: 2nd, May 2017 | In: Celebrities, Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Manchester United balls: Zlatan’s farewell party

Nursing an injury that that pretty much ended his career at Manchester United, Zlatan Ibrahimovic is, according to The Sun, planning to take “50 club staff and players out for a ‘thank you’ dinner.”

“The Swedish striker, 35, is paying for the first team, coaches and support staff, including masseurs and groundsmen to join him for the meal.”

As of Q1, 2016, Manchester United PLC employed 837 full-time employees. Making a list of who’s in and who’s out might be more problematic than its worth. Zlatan might be better off going with option b: a gold statue of himself stood in the centre circle.

PS: the restaurant picks itself.

18 Jul 2016 – “Louis van Gaal and wife Truus take one more trip to Wing’s Chinese restaurant in Manchester.”

9 August 2016: “WING WIZARD Paul Pogba toasts record £109m move with Chinese takeaway from famous Wing’s”

17 Feb  2017: “‘LA POGBANCE’ Paul Pogba, brother Florentin and family have a rave in Old Trafford tunnel before heading out to Wings restaurant for dinner in Manchester”

All in the Sun.

Posted: 1st, May 2017 | In: Back pages, manchester united, Sports, Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Madeleine McCann: the 10th anniversary brings a routine ‘revelation’

So many words have been written on Madeleine McCann in the 10 years since she vanished from a holiday flat in Portugal – and not one word of it has led to readers knowing what happened to her. All we have is a reporting milestone. And the tabloids are going big on the child who became ‘Our Maddie’.

The Sun gives readers the “definitive case files”. They turn out to be just four pages long, half as long as the preview to Anthony Joshua’s heavyweight boxing match. And they could have been written months ago because in reading them we learn nothing new.

 

madeleine mccann

 

The Express, which has featured the blonde child on its front page many times in a a slot once reserved for blonde Princess Diana, says there is a ‘Prime Suspect’. And the big news is that this person of interest is a woman. Not a man. A woman. It’s an “exclusive” because this might be the first time the paper has couched the story in binary terms.

 

 

madeleine mccann

 

The Mail opts to play safe and look at the parents. Kate McCann is “brave”. She wears a “brave smile”. She and her husband have been talking to the TV media. Readers gawp. And readers learn nothing new.

 

madeleine mccann

madeleine mccann

 

The Mirror says Kate McCann “reveals” that she still buys birthday gifts for her missing daughter. It’s sad stuff. But even this fact is not much of a revelation.

The Sun, April 26: “DECADE OF HEARTACHE Madeleine McCann’s parents Kate and Gerry have a pile of unopened presents for their missing daughter in the hope she will return.”

Daily Mail, December 2016: “Kate McCann lays presents in Madeleine’s bedroom as she faces her 10th Christmas without her daughter.”

Daily Express, May 2014: “Kate and Gerry will remember their missing daughter with gifts and a cake as ­British police press on with plans to dig around the holiday resort where she vanished seven years ago.”

Daily Star, May 2013: “Kate and husband Gerry, 46, yesterday laid presents in their abducted daughter’s bedroom to mark her birthday at their home in Rothley, Leics. ”

 

madeleine mccann

 

The news has become routine. The story remains unfinished.

Posted: 30th, April 2017 | In: Madeleine McCann, Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Ex-copper Number 3429 shares this thought on Madeleine McCann and Facebook’s chances of finding her

The Sun has some Madeleine McCann tenth anniversary news. Across two pages, the paper asks “Could Facebook find Madeleine?” It hasn’t found her so far, and the site’s been up and running for a few years now. But it could. Could is the new buzzword in media and police reporting on the investigation. Based on the premise that anything could happen, we’d say ‘yes’, Facebook could find Madeleine McCann. We hope it does.

 

Maddie Mccann facebook

 

And while we’re on it, you can get odds on all sort of things that could happen. You could win the lottery  – the odds are around 1 in 13,983,816. You just need to buy a ticket and take the plunge. So “retired detective” Mick Neville is the latest to buy his ticket for the ‘Our Maddie’ charabanc for retired coppers – destination: media – and delved into Facebook. He now “believes the site’s cutting edge face recognition software could be the key to finding here”. The detective reckons that if Madeleine McCann is using Facebook to chat to mates and spread fake news about Hillary Clinton, she stands a better chance to being found than if she not on the web. Moreover, if her kidnappers or new parents are posting photos of her.

“If she is still alive – and there is no proof she is not,” says Neville, “then by using a combined tactic of technology and people with advanced facial recognition skills you could potentially find where Madeleine is today.” Yeah. Ten years of thinking went into that. And you can’t knock it for insight, precision and usefulness.

 

Maddie Mccann facebook

As the Met Police read the Sun and utter a collective ‘DANG!’ – and the press all race to copy the Sun’s story (see above) – we read if a DNA test that “could offer hope to investigators”. Called DNA17, the test “can produce a profile of a suspect from samples once deemed too small to analyse properly”. A “source close to” Kate McCann says the technology “seems to offer them real hope… If the test could be used to help solve the case it seems only sensible that UK and Portuguese police consider having he crime scene samples retested.”

Sounds right. But how new is the test? It’s new – but not breaking-news new. The CPS tells us:

DNA-17 is the term that has been adopted to describe the next generation of DNA (Deoxyribonucleic Acid) profiling methodologies to be utilised by the National DNA Database (NDNAD).

Currently, samples are profiled using the SGMPlus methodology, but from 24 July 2014, samples will be profiled using a DNA-17 profiling methodology.

News from July 2014 is news in April 2017.

Such are the facts.

Posted: 27th, April 2017 | In: Madeleine McCann, Reviews, Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Chelsea captain and the non-celebrity sex tape story

The Daily Star leads with the news “JOHN TERRY IN VILE SEX TAPE”.  Bit of tautology there. It’s hard to think of sex with John Terry being anything other than vile. But each to their own – and in the case of married John Terry, who allegedly shagged a team-mate’s girlfriend, a little bit of everything to John. But before you wonder who else features in the Chelsea captain’s sex tape, or if it’s a solo act, the Star says the tapes doesn’t feature John Terry. It;s got nothing to do with him  whatsoever. Apparently, what is does show is a “lookalike of his mother”.

Knowing what John Terry’s mum looks like clothed or otherwise, let alone watching a sex film because someone in it reminds you of her, adheres to Rule 34 – “The 34th rule of the Internet, which states that any object, character, or media franchise imaginable has porn associated with it.”

On Pages 6 and 7, Star readers get to see a photo of Sue Terry, identified as “not the woman the X-rated sex video”, and  hear from her son, who is quoted: “It’s not her. We will go legally unbelievable hard on anyone suggesting it is her.” As a conniving porn producer cuts the quote and slaps “Unbelievably hard – John Terry” on the video’s cover, we wonder if the Star can create more news from non-celebrity sex tapes, and if Camilla Parker Bowles has quashed rumours about her looking a bit like the star of Debbie Does Dallas.

 

Posted: 27th, April 2017 | In: Chelsea, Sports, Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


The Sun invites readers to sit on Kim Kardashian’s arse

The Sun invites its readers to experience the full width of Kim Kardashian’s backside. “How do you measure up to reality beauty’s booty?” asks the paper. You might need to undress and sit on the Sun to gage things fully.

The Sun is not printed on soft, absorbent, three-ply paper and the good people of Liverpool should shower before use (surely a good hose down after – ed). 

 

kim kadashian arse the sun

 

 

Posted: 26th, April 2017 | In: Celebrities, Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


The British Invasion: killer jellyfish are back

Here is is, the first invasion story of the summer – and it’s only April! The Daily Star tells readers of a “DEADLY” jellyfish “set to invade the country”.

This jellyfish – the Portuguese man o’ war – has tentacles “as long as five London buses” (but not quite as long as the queue for one – ed). It’s been “spotted off the coast of Cornwall”. But it hasn’t been. Because in the very next line we hear from a local man who says he saw ten  barrel-jelly fish in Port Gaverne Bay. These jellies are “harmless but the sighting have led to fears the  more lethal man ‘o war will be following them.”

They don’t so much follow as get blown in.

In 2016, the Daily Star – “Warning issued as KILLER sea creatures wash up on UK beaches” – quoted Dr Peter Richardson, Head of the MCS Biodiversity Programme. He said: “We don’t receive reports of Portuguese Man-of-War every year, but when we do they can turn up in big numbers, usually around about this time of year…With the earlier strandings in Ireland, these recent sightings could herald the arrival of more of the creatures as they get blown in from the Atlantic.”

See also in the Daily Star, wherein killer jellyfish do arrive every year:

July 2016: “Beach TERROR: Killer jellyfish the size of DOGS attacking Britain”

July 2016: “Britain’s heatwave means KILLER jellyfish with 150ft long tentacles heading to UK shores”

August 2016: “Giant killer ‘floating terrors’ to invade UK in Bank Holiday beach terror”

September 2016: “Warning issued as KILLER sea creatures wash up on UK beaches”

October 2016: “Terrified tourists spot DEADLY ‘floating terrors’ on British beach”

December 2016: “Britain under attack: The DEADLIEST animals known to man are on our doorstep… All jellyfish sting to some extent but the sting of the Portuguese Man O’War is lethal….Although not actually a jellyfish the Man O’ War looks and stings like one. There have been increased sightings in the UK in recent years with the tentacled monster emigrating to our waters each summer.”

File under: fishy news.

Posted: 26th, April 2017 | In: Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Madeleine McCann: the Met’s 10th anniversary PR exercise ‘COULD’ be news

Madeleine McCann: 10th anniversary news round-up.

The Daily Mail (front page): “MADDIE POLICE CHASING ‘CRITICAL LEAD'”.

 

maddie mccann daily mail

 

That Madeleine McCann remains front-page news 10 years after her vanishing – and after ten years of no evidence of what happened to her emerging – is remarkable. As for the news, we learn that police are “chasing a critical leader”. How critical? Well, it “could crack the Madeleine McCann case”. So only potentially critical, then.

What of the “mysterious new clues”, then, that “could explain why the three-year-old vanished in May 2007″?

We hear from Mark Rowley, a Metropolitan Police assistant commissioner, who tells us that the “latest lead” is “worth pursuing”. He says: “It could provide an answer, but until we’ve gone though it I won’t know whether we are going to get there or not.”

That’s three “coulds” on the front page alone. So much for the “critical lead”. Rowley says – without irony – “I’m not going to discuss…because it is very much a live investigation”.

The Mirror makes “COULD” part of its front-page lead. It could just as easily says ‘Could Not”.

daily mirror maddy mccann

 

Millions of pounds invested in the search for answers and still none are forthcoming. Ten years of looking and the Met are in full PR mode. They “don’t want to spoil it by putting titbits of information our publicly,” says Rowley as he chucks a tasty morsel to the Press. Indeed, this isn’t a hunt for alleged VIP sex criminals. There will be no televised raids and no airport arrests. So can Rowley tell us anything? “We don’ have evidence telling us if Madeleine is alive or dead.” says Rowley, “but as a team we are realistic about what we might be dealing with.”

As the Met gets realistic about theories, the Mail moves on to look at the parents. Over pages 4 and 15, we get “10 YEARS OF PAIN”.

Pages 14-15: “Maddie’s bedroom is piled high with a decade of unopened gifts. Kate’s given up work to care or their twins – while Gerry’s now a world-renowned heart doctor. As police reveal a ‘significant’ new line of inquiry… 10 YEARS OF HOPE AND HEARTBREAK”.

What a parent looking after their own children has to do with the case is moot, moreover the husband’s job. But this story always was laced with a middle-class thread. The blonde child. The medical professional parents. The upmarket holiday camp destination. It all overshadows the fact that police only might have a significant new line of enquiry. We don’t know. They don’t know. All we know is that Kate McCann is a “fitness fanatic” who “finds finds comfort in daily work-outs at he gym”; Gerry McCann “was recently praised for saving the life of former footballer Alan Birchenall after he suffered a heart attack and ‘died’  for seven minutes”; and “they have coped in different ways with the tragedy”.

 

daily express maddy mccann

 

Daily Express (front page): “VITAL NEWS CLUES IN MADDY HUNT.”

No. They could be critical clues. They might not be of any value at all. The Express notes that Operation Grange, the police investigation, has cost £11m.

Page 5: “Yard reveals ‘critical lines of inquiry’ in Maddy case.” It did. And it didn’t. The Met mentioned the leads and then said they were secret.

The paper does have some news, though. We learn that in 2013, “officers identified four people as possible suspects but they have now been ruled out.”

The Telegraph prefers to lead with a question: “Madeleine McCann: Are the police any closer to knowing the truth?” As Betteridge’s law of headlines states: “Any headline that ends in a question mark can be answered by the word no.”

This is Mark Rowley’s statement in full – delivered to deadline. The Met calls it “AC Mark Rowley reflects on the tenth anniversary of the disappearance of Madeleine McCann.” It reads like mixture of school report and therapeutic journey:

As an investigation team we are only too aware of the significance of dates and anniversaries. Whatever the inquiry, we want to get answers for everyone involved.

The disappearance of Madeleine McCann is no different in that respect but of course the circumstances and the huge public interest, make this a unique case for us as police officers to deal with. In a missing child inquiry every day is agony and an anniversary brings this into sharp focus. Our thoughts are with Madeleine’s family at this time – as it is with any family in a missing person’s inquiry – and that drives our commitment to do everything we can for her.

On 3rd May 2017, it will be 10 years since Madeleine vanished from her apartment in Praia Da Luz, a small town on the Algarve. In the immediate hours following her disappearance, an extensive search commenced involving the local police, community and tourists. This led to an investigation that has involved police services across Europe and beyond, experts in many fields, the world’s media and the public, which continues to this day. The image of Madeleine remains instantly recognisable in many countries across the world.

The Met’s dedicated team of four detectives, continues to work closely on the outstanding enquiries along with colleagues of the Portuguese Policia Judiciária. Our relationship with the Policia Judiciária is good. We continue to work together and this is helping us to move forward the investigation.

We don’t have evidence telling us if Madeleine is alive or dead. It is a missing person’s inquiry but as a team we are realistic about what we might be dealing with – especially as months turn to years.

Now is a time we can reflect on an investigation which captured an unprecedented amount of media coverage and interest. The enormity of scale and the complexity of such a case brings along its own challenges, not least learning to work with colleagues who operate under a very different legal system. The inquiry has been, and continues to be helped and supported by many organisations and individuals. We acknowledge the difference these contributions have made to the investigation and would like it known that we appreciate all the support we have and continue to receive.

Since the Met was instructed by the Home Office to review the case in 2011, we have reviewed all the material gathered from multiple sources since 2007. This amounted to over 40,000 documents out of which thousands of enquiries were generated. We continue to receive information on a daily basis, all of which is assessed and actioned for enquiries to be conducted.

We have appealed on four BBC Crimewatch programmes since April 2012. This included an age progression image which resulted in hundreds of calls about alleged sightings of Madeleine; an appeal for the identity of possibly relevant individuals through description or Efit; and information sought relating to suspicious behaviour or offences of burglary. These programmes collectively produced a fantastic response from the public. The thousands of calls and information enabled detectives to progress a number of enquiries. This was in addition to over 3,000 holiday photographs from the public in response to an earlier appeal.

The team has looked at in excess of 600 individuals who were identified as being potentially significant to the disappearance. In 2013 the team identified four individuals they declared to be suspects in the case. This led to interviews at a police station in Faro facilitated by the local Policia Judiciária and the search of a large area of wasteland which is close to Madeleine’s apartment in Praia Da Luz. The enquiries did not find any evidence to further implicate the individuals in the disappearance and so they are no longer subject of further investigation.

We will not comment on other parts of our investigation – it does not help the teams investigating to give a commentary on those aspects. I am pleased to say that our relationship with the Portuguese investigators is better than ever and this is paying dividends in the progress all of us are making.

We are often asked about funding and you can see that we are now a much smaller team. We know we have the funding to look at the focused enquiry we are pursuing.

Of course we always want information and we can’t rule out making new appeals if that is required. However, right now, new appeals or prompts to the public are not in the interest of what we are trying to achieve.

He says publicly.

As detectives, we will always be extremely disappointed when we are unable to provide an explanation of what happened. However the work carried out by Portuguese and Met officers in reviewing material and reopening the investigation has been successful in taking a number of lines of interest to their conclusion. That work has provided important answers.

Answers? But there was only ever one question: what happened to Madeleine McCann?

Right now we are committed to taking the current inquiry as far as we possibly can and we are confident that will happen. Ultimately this, and the previous work, gives all of us the very best chance of getting the answers – although we must, of course, remember that no investigation can guarantee to provide a definitive conclusion.

However the Met, jointly with colleagues from the Policia Judiciária continue the investigation into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann with focus and determination.

No progress, then. The Met is looking back – just as it always has done.

Posted: 26th, April 2017 | In: Broadsheets, Key Posts, Madeleine McCann, News, Reviews, Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Sexism row: Kim Kardashian’s arse takes on Angela Akins’ short skirt

“It’s Kim Kardashian as you’ve never seen her before.” throbs the Daily Star on its front page. “Wait until you see the rear view,” ploughs the Sun on its cover. Both tabloids lead with the same picture of Kim Kardashian in:

a) a burqa

b) an orgy

c) a Job Centre

d) a bikini

e) panto

It’s ‘d’, which is a disappointment for all of you who’ve seen Kim K. in a bikini more than you’ve seen your own feet.

 

Kim Kardashian the sun arse

 

 

As for the story, well, on Page 7 the Star dubs the reality TV star Kim “Lard-Ashian”, on account of her figure. The Sun calls it a “rear treat”.

One oddity about the Sun’s ogling is that on April 10 the paper was aghast at the BBC’s perceived sexism. In “SKIRTY OLD MAN”, the BBC’s golf commentator Peter Alliss is admonished for making “disgraceful” comments about the length of Masters winner Sergio Garcia’s fiancee’s skirt.

Paul Revoir writes:

Peter Alliss caused a sexism row by referring to the short skirt worn by golf hero Sergio Garcia’s fiancee… As images were shown of Angela Akins, 31, reacting to Sergio’s win, Alliss’s muffled voice was heard saying: “She’s got the shortest skirt on the campus”…

This is the latest in a string of sexism rows to engulf the long-serving commenter.

 

The Sun’s outrage was supported by no fewer than 6 photos of Angela Akins in her short skirt. Indeed, you can read about the BBC’s sexism alongside two stories based on photos of Kim in her bikini:

 

angela akins skirt

 

Such are the facts.

Posted: 25th, April 2017 | In: Celebrities, Reviews, Sports, Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Transfer balls: Joe Hart to Liverpool and £20m written off

Transfer balls: a look at fake news football reporting. Is Joe Hart heading to Liverpool?

 

joe hart liverpool

 

The Sun April 19: “Joe Hart is on his way back to the Premier League with Liverpool.”

KLOPP LOVES HART – Joe Hart set for Liverpool move as Jurgen Klopp signs off £20million swoop for Manchester City goalkeeper

Having scored a “exclusive”, the rest of the online media play catch up.

Joe Hart to Liverpool: Man City star set for £20m switch, Jurgen Klopp  – Daily Star

7 things that will definitely happen if Joe Hart signs for Liverpool – Daily Mirror

Or as Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp out it one day late: “He’s a fantastic keeper, the highest quality, but it’s not for us at the moment, nor in the future.”

No harm done. No-one in Liverpool reads the Sun.

 

Posted: 24th, April 2017 | In: Back pages, Liverpool, Sports, Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Madeleine McCann: seeking the man by The Dolphin

Madeleine McCann appears on two national newspapers front pages today. You can read more about the Mirror’s news on a top cop’s theories here.

 

madeleine mccann daily mirror

 

So much for the opinion. What we who have followed this story from the outset crave are facts.

The Express has actual news on the actual investigation into what happened to the missing child.  The paper leads with the “phone box clue” to “Missing Maddie”.

 

daily express maddy mccann

 

James Murray says:

DETECTIVES are investigating phone calls made from a telephone box in Praia da Luz in a bid to trace a man acting suspiciously shortly before Madeleine McCann disappeared.

Indeed. It is odd. Who uses a phone box these days?

The story goes that Adrian and Lizelle Marais, a married couple working at an eatery called The Dolphin close to the phone box, spotted a “strange” man who “looked similar to a photofit of a suspect”. Their restaurant is around 700 metres from the Ocean Club, where Madeleine McCann was staying.

So which suspect are we looking at? We’ve seen a few in the media. The paper notes:

That led Portugal’s public prosecutor to order all phone records for the call box to be checked in an effort to find the man, who has never been traced.

Adding:

The prosecutor made the order on the grounds that the man may have abducted or murdered the lost three-year-old.

And so the jump is made. From being man at phone box at a busy summer holiday report, he is now someone who “may” have murdered a child.

We then get to which “suspect” the story relates to.

The call box is 50 yards from the spot where a man carrying a child similar to Madeleine was seen by Irishman Martin Smith and his family, who had been dining at the Dolphin at around 9pm on the night she disappeared.

Mr Smith’s account formed part of a Crimewatch reenactment.

Policia Judiciaria files on the case outline what Lizelle told officers the day after Madeleine vanished. The report states: “The person used the public telephone for long periods of time, always more than 10 minutes. To her, the person did not appear to be either a tourist or a resident. One time she had passed close to him and had felt ‘strange’ but did not know why.”

Mysterious stuff. But not new. Just old and in light of no developments in the case over ten years, still worthy of a look. And, as the Star proves with its interpretation of the Express‘ story, anything can be vital in the mystery of ‘Our Maddie’. Says the Star: “Madeleine McCann: Phone box may be key to finding Maddie.” Or not.

 

Posted: 23rd, April 2017 | In: Madeleine McCann, Reviews, Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Madeleine McCann: five theories, three ex-coppers and 10 years of nothing

Madeleine McCann: A look at reporting on the missing child. It remains frenzied, speculative, lurid and light on news.

Daily Mail: “Did Madeleine McCann wander off and have an accident? Was she stolen to order? Or was it a burglary gone wrong? Detective lays out theories about her disappearance.”

In short: did any crime befall Madeleine McCann? The detective isn’t sure if one did. But, then, he’s isn’t a professional detective. He’s a “former Scotland Yard detective” who “believes he has come up with the five most plausible theories to explain the disappearance of Madeleine McCann”.

Only five. This is progress. On May 10 2007, the Daily Mirror produced SIX theories. They were: the “PAEDOPHILE GANG”, the “LONE PAEDOPHILE”, the “JEALOUS MOTHER”, Madeleine wandering off and “DROWNED”, the “OPPORTUNIST PAEDOPHILE”, the “CHILDLESS COUPLE”.

Colin Sutton is the “detective” with the five-fingered theory. He first told it to the Mirror, which is the source for the Mail’s story.

 

madeleine mccann daily mirror

 

Daily Mirror: “Was Madeleine McCann stolen to order, taken by lone paedo or did she just wander off? The scenarios that could explain her disappearance.”

Sutton’s Five Theories that could be useful are:

1 The McCanns or the Tapas Seven

The McCanns have been libelled. Take care. Speculation hurst lives. Says Sutton:

I can understand why the Portuguese police asked questions about the McCanns and the Tapas Seven. As uncomfortable as it is, the first place I would have started looking is their group. Without any other information to go on, the most likely scenario when a three-year-old girl disappears into thin air is that someone close to her knows what happened.

However, the police do appear to have decided quite quickly that was the only line of investigation they were going to take.

By concentrating just on that scenario they may have missed tips or other lines that meant going down a completely different investigation route.

After that he adds a further four theories:

2 Targeted kidnap by a trafficking gang

This is the most likely scenario once those closely linked to Madeleine have been ruled out.

Concluding;

Given all the facts we know, it’s the most likely and credible scenario.

But why did they take her?

A trafficking ring is more likely than a lone paedophile or paedophile ring. Yes there are paedophiles, yes she is a little blonde girl. But I think six and seven-year-old girls are much more at risk from paedophiles or child abuse rings.

Paedophiles target blonde girls more than, says, brunette or black girls? We know that the media prefers blonde victims.

Looking at the trafficking angle, unless the order was specifically for a young blonde girl, why her and not one of the twins?

Dunno. Got a theory?

Babies have less memories than a three-year-old. If Madeleine is alive she will probably remember she had another mother and father and used to live in another house.

Probably. Or not. The theories contain more theories.

If you were stealing on spec you would have taken one of the twins. Not both, just one. So it goes back to a specific order for a young blonde girl.

Has a young blonde girl died and their parents want to replace her? Or is there another reason for stealing to order? When you pick it all apart it’s the most likely scenario.

He picks, but he comes up with no answers, just more questions. The scab grows back over the wound:

3 She wandered off and had a fatal accident

He says Madeleine McCann left Cuddle Cat, her toy, behind. He says the fact of the toy remaining in the holiday flat makes this theory unlikely.

4 Opportunist abducted her

This is less likely than other scenarios. The chances of a predatory paedophile just happening across Madeleine and being able to abduct her without being detected are just so remote.

Sarah Payne, right, who was eight (when she was killed by Roy Whiting in 2000), and five-year-old April Jones (who was killed by Mark Bridger in Wales in 2012) are probably the only cases that match something like that.

Yeah, Probably.

5 Killed as part of a burglary gone wrong

This is extremely unlikely. If you have got a burglar who has gone into the apartment for material theft, the chances are once they find there are kids in there they will run a mile.

The Mirror concludes this flight of fancy by telling readers: “Anyone with information about Madeleine McCann’s disappearance should call the Find Madeleine investigation line on: 0845 8384699 or email: investigation@findmadeleine.com.”

Exactly. If you know anything, tell the police. If you know nothing, tell the readers.

The Sun: “MADDIE SUSPECTS – Convicted British paedo, heroin-addicted burglar and bogus charity collectors among main suspects in Madeleine McCann disappearance, says top cop.”

The top cop is Sutton As as for the smack head being a child snatcher, well, he told the Mirror: “Junkies don’t take three-year-old girls.” The convicted British paedo is Raymond Hewlett. He’s dead.

Having conjured suspects from the ether, the Sun adds in a second story: “WAS MADDIE KIDNAPPED TO ORDER? Top Brit ex-cop says Madeleine McCann could have been snatched by traffickers to replace grieving parents’ own dead child.”

As Sutton of the newsroom guesses – is that big reward still on offer? – and the newspaper lap up his thoughts, the Mirror turns to another ex-cop for more theories.

Sunday Mirror: “Ex-top cop breaks Madeleine McCann silence to say where he thinks she was taken.”

Madeleine McCann was snatched and taken to a warren of caves nearby that have never been searched, a Portuguese investigator has suggested.

The theory comes from ex cop Paulo Pereira Cristovao – who became the boss of Portugal’s missing children agency in the same year the three-year-old disappeared.

He says: “I think this case has lots of mistakes – from many persons, from many situations, from the police and maybe from the government. At the end of the day we all forgot one person: Madeleine McCann.”

No. We don’t. There has been ten years of reporting on the case. The innocent child has not been forgotten – she has, though, be turned into the benchmark for all missing children and used to sell papers. And, like all ex-ops with opinions, Cristovao didn’t take long to add a “maybe” to what he thinks.

We’re not told why Cristovao is talking now, only that he has imagined what he’d have done if he had kidnapped a child in Praia da Luz. He thinks Madeleine McCann is dead:

“I put myself in the role of someone who knew nothing about the streets or the region. Where would I put the body of a girl? I stood at the apartment door – to the right is the town of Portimao. There are lots of people there, lots of buildings. If I had kidnapped her that’s not the way I’d want to go. I would want to go left, and find the first side road. I put my car on that road, and I went straight to Burgau. It’s a nearby beach, with a lot of rocks with caves.

“It’s a good place to put somebody. As far as I know the police never went there, because you would need divers.”

As far as he knows. Good idea to check, no? Aren’t facts useful when you’re investigating and theorising?

“In a case where you hear theories like aliens and gypsies kidnapping Madeleine, I think this is as good as all the others.”

Alien abduction is notoriously hard to verify. Police divers looking in a lake less so.

“We’ve heard theories so stupid over these 10 years,” he adds without irony.” When we don’t understand something, we complicate it. I think sometimes – always – the best solution is the simple solution.”

Clydebank Post: “Madeleine McCann breakthrough: Aussie TV show claims to have solved mystery of tot’s disappearance.”

Pull up an armchair. You too, detectives.

Channel 7’s Sunday Night show has released a teaser clip of this weekend’s programme in which it promises to be a “landmark television event”.

The video claims the show has a new line of inquiry which could bring investigators closer to solving the mystery of the youngster’s disappearance.

Trailing a theory about what happened to Madeleine McCann is grim. A post on the channel’s Facebook says:

“The disappearance of Madeleine McCann has continued to captivate the world for nearly ten years. Maddie was only three years old when she vanished from her family’s holiday apartment in Portugal. The police search that followed became the largest in Portugal’s history – but no trace of the missing toddler was ever found. Now, new developments in the case could finally reveal the truth about what happened to little Maddie.”

Could. Or could not. Stay tuned. We’re right back after these ads.

Daily Star: “Madeleine McCann: Missing Maddie now 13 and looks like THIS.”

She’s alive! The Star knows it. In the paper’s rush to dash out an “exclusive” artist’s rendering of what the child might look like, it produces this (below). The person on the left looks a lot like Kate McCann.

madeleine mccann daily star

Daily Record: “Cop in Madeleine McCann case remains utterly unrepentant after damning book blaming Kate and Gerry.”

The hatchet job on Goncalo Amaral begins:

Despite becoming a shadow of his former self, Goncalo Amaral still has no sympathy for the parents of the missing youngster.

F*** the policeman:

On the side of the run-down apartment building, the grafitti reads “Foda a policia”. You don’t need to be fluent in Portuguese to figure out the expletive-laden translation.

This crime-ridden Lisbon estate is home to the ex-detective once tasked with solving Madeleine McCann ‘s disappearance.

So crap at police work is Amaral that even his own home if plagued by crime. We then get a potted history of his life, which is portrayed as unrelentingly sad and failed. We learn that he was “sacked from the Maddie probe after criticising British police and making mistakes”. He “then penned a damning book pointing the finger of blame at her parents, Kate and Gerry . He accused them of covering up her death and faking her abduction. The couple sued, sparking an eight-year libel battle that the ex-cop has now won.”
It was always risky to sue in a country where free speech has been so hard won.
The Mirror then get personal:

In the early days, he was alleged to work just four-and-a-half-hours a day. Sporting a large beer belly, he regularly enjoyed three-hour lunches.

Amaral, 57, split from second wife Sofia in 2012, blaming the pressures of the case. He moved back to the tough Lisbon suburb of Olivais, where he grew up. His expensive suits and fedora are gone.

So too has the beer belly and chauffeur-driven Mercedes, replaced by a battered Citroen Picasso.

His slimming is a negative?

But the arrogance remains – as the Mirror discovered when we confronted Amaral last week. Amaral also refused to apologise for the mistakes that hampered the early days of the probe. Instead, he threatened to have our reporter and photographer arrested.

But it was his cruel refusal to offer any sympathy to Kate and Gerry that was the most damning.

Is the purpose of the Mirror’s barrage of ‘Our Maddie’ articles aimed at securing an exclusive with the McCanns?

Daily Mirror: “Madeleine McCann’s parents Kate and Gerry met as junior doctors and had perfect life until their daughter vanished.”

That’s pretty much the entire story, which shows no sign of reaching an end.

Such are the facts.

Posted: 23rd, April 2017 | In: Madeleine McCann, Reviews, Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Daily Mirror news trust: Arsenal and Theresa May are both for turning

How about this for wraparound newspaper cover. The Daily Mirror’s front page leads with Theresa May’s “U-turn”. Having said there would be no General Election before 202o, May has called one for June 8 2017.

 

daily mirror u-turn may theresa

 

If it’s all about trust, what are Mirror readers to make of the paper’s back page news story that Arsenal have made it clear Arsene Wenger will still be manager next season? The paper says Schalke defender Sead Kolasinac, 23, has been been told Wenger will remain at Arsenal for a further two seasons.

June 8 is one for the diary. And while you’re on that page, you might care to put a line through another event scheduled for that month. On June 30 2017, Arsene Wenger is to quit the club. We read that in the Daily Mirror.

 

Daily Mirror wenger quits Arsenal

 

Such are the facts.

 

Posted: 19th, April 2017 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Politicians, Sports, Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Daily Mail health warning: breathing gives you cancer

daily mail cancer health

 

It’s Health Tuesday in the Daily Mail. In today’s issue readers are asked: “Does your lifestyle put you at risk from Air Pollution”.

If you don’t breathe, you’re ok. If not, read on…

Air pollution can increase your risk of getting – deep breath (and so hastening you’re death? – ed) – heart disease, cancers, a stroke, asthma and dementia.

You are at most danger if you are on the school run, an urban cyclist, the owner of a wood burner or on a train commuter, says the paper. But the list should include Daily Mail readers because there’s a chance that what the Mail tells you places you in peril.

November 2016: The Mail tells its rears that wood burners are ace:

One way of making a home more cosy this winter – and potentially saving money along the way – is installing a wood-burning stove. While the initial outlay can be expensive, they can reduce your fuel bills, while at the same time being a fashionable addition to your home.

October 2016: Cycling to offices and shops is great, says the Mail:

Cycling to work drastically lowers your risk of having a heart attack – even if it’s just for 30 minutes a week

January 2017: Commuting longer distances makes sense.

House prices drop by £3,000 for every minute of train travel out of London – try our interactive map to see how much commuters could save

As for the school run, well, the Mail says you’re all mad and more likely to kill than die from air:

How stress on the school run is turning mothers into maniacs – STRESSED mothers are putting their children and other road users at risk as they race through the streets on the school run.

Don’t worry. Most likely you’ll be dead by tea time.

Posted: 18th, April 2017 | In: Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Digging deep for Scarlett Moffatt’s topless photos

They are, says the Daily Star, the topless pictures Scarlett Moffatt does not want you to see. They are the “sizzling pictures” topless Scarlett Moffat hoped had been “lost for ever”.

 

SCarlett Moffatt

 

We are invited to see Scarlett go “completely topless in unearthed pics”. But how far into the earth did the Star have to dig to retrieve photos of topless Scarlett? One day after the papers were full of news that Scarlett, winner of last season’s I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here, is to front a spin-off show, we learn that in 2013 she went “completely topless” on MTV’s Beauty School Cop Outs.

 

scarlett moffatt mtv

 

In case you missed it, in July 2016 the Mirror showed photos of topless Scarlett Moffatt getting a televised spray tan on the show.  “Gogglebox star Scarlett Moffatt snogs Jeremy McConnell before stripping naked in jaw-dropping footage,” declared the paper.

That same month the Sun thundered: “The incredible moment Scarlett Moffatt snogs Jeremy McConnell and strips NAKED.”

But what about Scarlett being embarrassed by her “raunchy” past? Well, in June 2014, the Star told readers: “Gogglebox babe Scarlett Moffatt will flash her boobs for every England World Cup goal.” Said demure Scarlett: “I will flash my boobs for each goal.”

One month later, Scarlett told Star readers: “I’ve seen threesomes on the bar’ Gogglebox Scarlett exposes ‘soft porn’ of Magaluf mayhem.” Said Scarlett: “I’ve been working in Magaluf over the last two months now and have seen first-hand the crazy shenanigans that happen most nights. Yet to the tourists downing alcohol like water and spreading their legs more often than you lose coppers, it’s not that big a deal.”

The pictures are less the hidden photos Scarlett didn’t want to see than they are the topless photos that get an airing whenever the reality TV star scores a new job.

Posted: 17th, April 2017 | In: Celebrities, Tabloids, TV & Radio | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


The Last Easter: nuclear war, nuclear bunker puzzles and killer eggs

It’s Easter, when Christians thank God for being alive. But will they make it to next Easter? The newspapers are full of doom.

On the Mail, it looks like two reality TV stars are threatening to blow up the world. But it’s not Kim Kardashian, of course, it’s Mr Kim, North Korea’s hereditary leader, and Donald Trump, formerly of The Apprentice and now as President of the USA giving top jobs in USA Inc. to enthusiastic amateurs, not all of whom he’s related to.

 

kim's threat north korea trump

 

At least the Mail is looking on the bright side of life with this brilliant front page.

 

easter trump

 

Over in the Mirror, help is at hand for all of you spending the holiday in nuclear bunkers. The paper’s tales of Armageddon are padded by a full eight pages of puzzles and games. The world might well be “IN CRISIS”, but there’s no excuse to be bored at you await annihilation. You can even place a bet, and those cheeky bookies will most likely lay odds on you being alive to collect any winnings and them being around to rub their stumps when you don’t.

 

daily mirror death trump war

 

And hold any thought of enjoying your Easter chocolates left by the housebreaking Easter bunny. Those Easter eggs are out to kill you, says the Daily Star.

 

daily star easter

 

Happy Easter!

 

Posted: 16th, April 2017 | In: Politicians, Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Madeleine McCann: hiding in ‘plain sight’

More news on Madeleine McCan in our occasional look at reporting on the missing child. And the news is huge. The Sunday Express thunders: “Madeleine McCann alive but hidden in plain sight.”

She’s not hidden at all, then? Which begs the question: where is she? And then we read the paper’s news that this is not a fact. This is the view of “an expert”. He says the missing child whose picture travelled the world “could be living in an isolated property just miles inland from seaside towns on the Algarve”. She could be. And, then again, maybe she isn’t.

In this “exclusive” bout of speculation the Express  hears from former police detective Dave Edgar, “who was hired by Kate and Gerry McCann for three years to try and find their missing daughter”. That he didn’t find the child is clear. But his work has formed an opinion. “There is every possibility that Madeleine is still alive and could be being hidden somewhere,” says Mr Edgar. It’s possible she could be alive. So says the expert, who adds: “When you get up beyond the main strip of the Algarve there’s countless isolated properties where Madeleine could be being held.”

So she’s not hiding in plain sight, then? She’s being “held” in a remote property. Maybe. Maybe not. We heard much the same eight years ago. Why is a man’s old theory presented as news today?

Having wondered aloud about the child’s whereabouts, Edgar then reads minds. “I would suggest that 10 years, while it seems a long time, would not feel like that to that person with information,” says Edgar. “What happened on that night would still be fresh in their mind.” Unless they’re deranged, demented, ill or forgetful.  Or dead.

Such are the facts.

Posted: 9th, April 2017 | In: Madeleine McCann, Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Brexit blamed for Croydon attack on Kurdish asylum seekers

Grim news from Croydon, where a 17-year-old Kurdish-Iranian asylum seeker has been beaten up as he and two friends – also Iranian Kurds – were at a bus stop. Police are calling it a “hate crime”, which of course it is. Any violent attack is hateful. The Mail calls it a “suspected ‘hate crime'”.

Why are the police so sure it was a hate crime and the Mail and Guardian less certain? According to the CPS: “A Hate Incident is any incident which the victim, or anyone else, thinks is based on someones prejudice towards them because of their race, religion, sexual orientation, disability or because they are transgender.”

If you think it is a hate crime, then it is a hate crime. Were the thugs who beat up three teenagers waiting for a bus looking for asylum seekers to further a racist cause or violent people looking for an excuse to hit someone? The police know. The rest of us should be less certain.

We should also wonder why existing laws are not enough and the State thinks we need a new kind of crime to cover what looks like a brutal attack?

What happened?

The teenager was set up by upon by up top eight other youths, who chased him down the road and kicked him unconscious. Croydon’s Metropolitan Police Borough Commander, Ch Supt Jeff Boothe, calls it “a frenzied attack by a large number of people”. As the victim was being kicked, “members of the public [were] asking them [his attackers] to stop”. This “horrendous and frenzied attack” only ended when the police arrived.

Gavin Barwell, Croydon Central’s MP, labels the attackers “scum”.

Det Sgt Kris Blamires has more:

“At this early stage it is believed that about eight suspects approached the victim as he waited at a bus stop with two friends outside The Goat public house in the Shrublands. It is understood that the suspects asked the victim where he was from, and when they established that he was an asylum seeker they chased him and launched a brutal attack. He has sustained critical head and facial injuries as a result of this attack, which included repeated blows to the head by a large group of attackers.”

Four 20-year-olds, a 24-year-old woman and 24-year-old man have been arrested.

The Agenda.

But can this attack be politicised? Can any agenda-driven soul find political mileage in a violent assault about which all facts are not known? Yes. Al Jazeera links the attack to Brexit. The police – those right-on champions of civil liberties – know a hate crime when they see one. Labour’s Shadow Home Secretary, Diane Abbott, tells the Sun: “Sadly, this is not an isolated incident but part of a sustained increase in hate crimes that this Tory government is yet to offer any effective response to.”

She adds: “With rightwing politicians across the world scapegoating migrants, refugees and others for their economic problems, we are seeing a deeply worrying rise in the politics of hate. We must make clear that there is no place for anti-foreigner myths, racism and hate in our society.”

It’s no longer a very nasty incident outside a pub at 11:40 on a Saturday night. It’s a politically-triggered attack. Well, it is if you want it to be.

UPDATE.

Posted: 2nd, April 2017 | In: Broadsheets, Politicians, Reviews, Tabloids | Comments (2) | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Madeleine McCann: Spain’s gypsy child kidnappers

The absence of anything beyond theorising has turned Madeleine McCann into a commodity. And like all goods and services, the media’s speculative assault on Madeleine McCann means ‘Our Maddie’ can be exported to become any nation’s very own Maddie. BrazilIsraelAmericaSpain, New Zealand, Panama, Greece and Holland have all had their versions of the media’s benchmark for missing children.

 

madeleine mccann daily star gypsies

 

On March 31, the Daily Star led with news of a “Spanish Maddie ‘kidnap'”. That the word “kidnap” was served to readers wrapped in inverted commas promised a story light on facts. Line one told us: “A Madeleine McCann lookalike has been grabbed by a ‘scar-faced’ gypsy” in Estepona.

The “British girl’s mum said the abductor grabbed her daughter’s hand and tried to take her away after promising sweets”. The man known locally as “Paco” was already with a young child, “whom he used to strike up a conversation with the girl”. Paedo gypsy child kidnappers? (Always the gypsies.) “When the girl’s mum began to scream the man with a scar on his head ran off.”

So not all that much like the vanishing of Madeleine McCann, then. Unless you, like the Star, considers it relevant that the “girl bears a resemblance to Madeleine McCann”.

 

maddleine mccann suspect

Is this Paco?

 

maddleine mccann suspect daily star

Paco’s dead?

 

In other ‘Their Maddie’ news, the Sun says the remains of “America’s Maddie McCann” have been found. This ‘Maddie’ was called Isabel Celis. Her parents last saw her alive at their home in Tuscon, Arizona, in April 2012. “The mysterious case sent shockwaves around the world,” says the Sun, “and bore a haunting resemblance to the disappearance of Maddie McCann”.

 

Isabel Celis

Isabel Celis

 

But kgun9, Tuscon’s local news station, makes no mention of Madeleine McCann at all as it delivers the grim news of a dead child. Isabel Celis was 6-years old at the time of her disappearance.

But the Daily Mirror does. “Harrowing 911 calls from devastated parents of ‘America’s Maddie McCann’ on morning she vanished after police find remains,” comes the headline. The paper invites its readers to listen in. Come on, readers, pull up an armchair and watch the parents.

Such are the facts.

Posted: 2nd, April 2017 | In: Key Posts, Madeleine McCann, Reviews, Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0