Anorak News | Madeleine McCann: Press Complaints, Tony Parsons And No News

Madeleine McCann: Press Complaints, Tony Parsons And No News

by | 22nd, May 2008

madeleine-mcann2.gifMADDIE WATCH – Anorak’s at-a-glance guide to press coverage of Madeleine McCann

Madeleine McCann is missing…from the papers.

There’s no sign of the child whose name and face are linked to every hack’s keyboard (press f9).

But Madeleine is mentioned in the Press Complaints Commission: Annual Report for 2007.

In 2007, the PCC received 4,340 complaints in total, a 70 per cent increase on the 1996 figure. One column alone in The Mirror about Madeleine McCann attracted 485 complaints.

Might these complaints have been triggered by the Mirror’s mawkish positioning of a yellow ribbon in its cover, which has now gone the way of its WMD counter?

More likely it’s the October 29, 2007 article by Tony Parsons. In “Oh, up yours, Senor”, Parsons invited the Portuguese ambassador to “shut your stupid sardine-munching mouth”. We should not be too hard on Parsons who has experienced the sting of having a child go missing when his own daughter dispapeared from view for, well, it felt like seconds.  

My wife and my daughter were in the school changing room packing up the tutu after ballet. I was waiting right outside, kicking around a ball with the kid brother of one of my daughter’s friends. Eventually my wife came out alone. ‘Where is she?’ my wife asked. ‘Isn’t she with you?’ I said. And that’s how it happens.”

Parsons’ child was found in a classroom. She was “chilling out”.

Incidentally, in 2001 the Mirror’s travel writers told readers: “If your image of Portugal is sardines, golf courses and Benfica football club, then it’s time you paid the place another visit.”

Parsons is one of the few hacks not to have braved the stench of raw fish and reported live from Praia da Luz. Go to Portugal and find the golf courses gone, children gone, the football club in ruins and the locals spraying flakes of sardine skin at you when they talk.

A lot can happen in a few years…

But Madeleine McCann is still missing…

Posted: 22nd, May 2008 | In: Madeleine McCann Comments (348) | TrackBack | Permalink