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Christina Patterson: Kate McCann is in media purgatory

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Christina Patterson: Kate McCann is in media purgatory

Post by ROSA on 11.05.11 2:25

Christina Patterson: Kate McCann is in media purgatory

In the past few weeks, we've had earthquakes, and got bored with them, and tsunamis, and got bored with them, and revolutions, and got bored with them, and wars, and got bored with them, and elections, which bored us before we even started. We've had a wedding, which delighted us and then began to bore us, and we've had an execution, which delighted us and then began to bore us, until the authorities issued video footage to keep us going. And now, four years after she became almost as famous as another Kate, we have Kate McCann.



Four years on, the details of that terrible night come flooding back, like a language once learnt, and then forgotten. It was the Ocean Club. It was Praia da Luz. It was an apartment near a swimming pool and a tapas bar. It was 10pm when Kate McCann discovered that the bed where her three-year-old daughter had been curled up, with a princess blanket and her Cuddle Cat, was empty. For us, it was the beginning of one of the biggest stories ever to hit the news stands. For her, it was the beginning of a nightmare which may never go.

When Kate McCann went down on her knees, and begged God to protect her daughter, and phoned her priest, and phoned her best friend, and begged her to get her family to pray, too, she can't have guessed what would follow. She can't have guessed that the police, who she was trusting to find her daughter, would soon be telling her that her daughter was dead. Or that they would be bullying her to confess that she had killed her.

Can anyone forget the moment when the Portuguese police announced that dogs sniffing the McCanns' hire car had found the "smell of death"? Can anyone forget the word "arguido"? A word which meant that this woman, who walked along a beach clutching her daughter's Cuddle Cat, and who begged the world to help her find her, was a murderer, and a liar, and a fraud.

Can anyone forget the moment the media turned? The moment men and women who went home to kiss their children goodnight, started writing that they had known all along that there was something suspicious about this woman who seemed so calm, and who refused to cry for the cameras? And how pity suddenly turned to hate?

For Kate McCann, being abused by people she'd never met, and being bullied by policemen who could barely be bothered to leave their desks, and being portrayed by great swathes of the world's media as a bad mother, and by big chunks of it as a killer, must have been like being skinned alive.

But all of this fades next to the agony of losing a child.

No one who hasn't been to check on a child, and found that she has disappeared, and not known if she was still alive, and not known if she was being abused, or raped, can imagine what Kate McCann went through and what she still goes through every day. But now we can have a glimpse, if we want to.

Kate McCann's book, Madeleine, is published tomorrow. She wrote it because she wanted to "set down" for her children "a complete record of what happened in Portugal, so that, when they are ready, the facts will be there for them to read". And because she wanted "the truth to be told" to the world. "The press," she said, in an extract published over the weekend, "has published a mountain of stories, often without knowing, and perhaps without caring, whether or not there was any substance to them, causing great distress to our family and, more important, hindering the search for Madeleine".

For Kate McCann, it is, and will always be, about Madeleine. Proceeds from the book, which is already a bestseller on Amazon, will go towards the search. Which, it's clear, will never stop. For her, a front page of The Sun taken up by the words "I couldn't make love to Gerry", and topped by the words "Maddie, by her mum", in deliberate contravention of her stated desire, from the beginning of her ordeal, that journalists could at least respect her daughter by using her full name, is a price worth paying if it helps with the search. So are accounts, extracted in yesterday's Sun, of how she nearly lost her faith.

"There have," she says, "been many times when I've felt God has deserted me, or that He has let Madeleine down... I've shouted out loud and on occasion I've hit things... I do not blame God for Madeleine's abduction. The abductor is responsible for that. What I do wrestle with, though, is the inexplicable fact that despite so many prayers, almost total global awareness and a vast amount of hard work, we still do not have an answer. My aunt quotes a saying: 'Pray as if everything depends on God. Work as if everything depends on you', and I truly believe this is what we've done."

It's hard to read those words without wanting to weep. There can't be a human being on this planet who thinks Kate and Gerry McCann haven't tried hard enough to get their daughter back. There can't be many who think that this quest, launched on that May night in Portugal four years ago, and which will, apparently, continue for the rest of their lives, or until their daughter, or her body, is found, isn't also a curse.

Kate McCann is on a pilgrimage which is also a kind of purgatory. It's like a pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela where, in hope of greater blessings, and maybe miracles, you shuffle on bruised and bloodied knees. You live in hope, even when you think the hope might kill you, and even when, as she confesses in her book, you sometimes think you might kill yourself. There was a time when you could only do so much. You could pray, and fast, and weep, and wail, and shuffle on knees and whip yourself with chains. But that was before the blessing, and curse, and god, and devil, and heaven and hell, we call the media.

Kate McCann knows all about the media as hell. She knows how this ravening beast, with its 24-hour appetite, and need for fresh meat, even when there isn't any, can chew you up, and spew you up. If she didn't before, she certainly does now. But she has also held fast to the belief in the media as the path to salvation, and the path to a kind of heaven. And for the possibility of this path to heaven, she has come near to selling her soul.

No one who hasn't been through what she has been through can blame her for the choice she has made. Most people would walk on their knees through broken glass, and many would write about their sex life in the pages of Britain's sleaziest red-top, to get a missing child back. Many write about their sex life, or talk about it on TV, when they don't have anything to get back. They do it because they don't think the media is a pathway to anything. They think it is heaven. Until it turns into hell.

This is a heaven and hell of our choosing. We can choose to feed the beast, by demanding more detail, and more detail, and buying the papers which think that gossip is the same as news, and fiction is the same as fact, or we can choose not to. We can choose to forget that writing, and reporting, and commenting, is meant to be about truth.

Kate McCann's book won't get her daughter back. If it brought her any catharsis to write it, then I'm glad she did. But now that she has, I hope, I really hope, that she can keep away from the god and devil that feeds her hope, and set her soul, and the memory of her beautiful daughter, free.

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Re: Christina Patterson: Kate McCann is in media purgatory

Post by ROSA on 27.06.11 13:07

Secrets of Kate: Walks were staged, 27 July 2008

Correio da Manhã

Notebooks of Maddie's mother reveal tactics with the British press

27 July 2008

Kate and Gerry McCann have controlled the media reporting their daughter's disappearance. In order not to be criticised by the British Press, Madeleine McCann's parents offered photoshoots, some of them during their usual morning walks – which were apparently routine but turned out to be pre-arranged, as Kate's personal notes reveal.

Kate managed the news and controlled the English Correio da Manhã

Maddie case – Press was manipulated in exchange for photoshoots

27 July 2008
Thanks to 'astro' for translation

The McCann couple took four hours to outline their strategy, went out for walks on request from the British photographers and escaped the Portuguese

Kate and Gerry McCann controlled the British media in the news coverage of their daughter's disappearance. In order to avoid criticism from the English press, Maddie's parents offered photoshoots, some of them during their usual morning walks in the Algarve – which were apparently routine, but previously arranged, as Kate's notes reveal.

"The British journalists were annoyed because they found out too late that I had been in the United Kingdom. It ended up with Justine receiving loads of phone calls and arranging for a photoshoot on the way to the church, to pacify them", Kate writes on the 5th of July, revealing a tactic that was adopted in the first days after the 3-year-old girl disappeared.

"Dress up and go for a walk. It had been requested by photographers and agreed that for sentimental reasons it would be good". This walk happened on the 7th of June, three days after Kate registered that she had been "annoyed" about the presence of Portuguese journalists outside the apartment. Before that, on the 19th of May, the photoshoot for the English newspaper 'Sunday Mirror' was previously arranged: "Us spending time with the twins for the Sunday papers".

In the same notes, Kate expresses distress about the Portuguese and the German journalists. On the 11th of June, in Morocco, after Kate made a positive evaluation of the trip because there were so many photographers present, the doctor remembers "noticing" Portuguese journalists. "We didn't want to give them a story", decided the McCanns, who classify the questions from the Portuguese as "sleazy and unexpected", even after preparation meetings that last "four hours": "I was very angry at a journalist today. I told her not to do so much detective work."

Concerning the editor of the 'Sun' newspaper, on the 11th of July Kate was assured that there would be no "adverse publicity": "She was really nice. Perfect solution", Maddie's mother noted.

Clarence replaced Justine when the tension rose

Clarence Mitchell was the first one to offer his face for the McCanns. He met Gerry on an occasion when the latter was returning from England, at the end of May 2007, at a time when he was part of the Consular Assistance Group, representing the Foreign Office. He took over the couple's defence on the 22nd of May, but returned to England in the mid-summer, when he was replaced by Justine McGuinness, who directed the campaign to search for Madeleine from the 22nd of June onwards.

The tensions between the McCanns and Justine were never evident. But the fact that she abandoned the couple's defence immediately after they were made arguidos and returned to England, remains unexplained.

Now, it becomes clear that the tension came from before. Justine and Gerry had already discussed the honoraries. The advisor wanted to receive overtime and demanded a payment that was above what had initially been agreed.

On the 28th of July, the tension between the family and the spokeswoman was obvious. Kate wrote in her notes that she [Justine] did not have good "interpersonal aptitudes" and that she could even be very "unpleasant". Kate remembered that there had been an argument between Justine and a relative and that Gerry had tried to calm them down. "It all ended well", Kate McCann concluded, but still seriously doubted the advisor's character.

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Re: Christina Patterson: Kate McCann is in media purgatory

Post by lj on 27.06.11 13:30



Kate blab some more! Your next book should be how to pi$$ off good friends and former allies.

f Kate let this slip, you wonder how much real dirt is there.

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"And if Madeleine had hurt herself inside the apartment, why would that be our fault?"  Gerry

http://pjga.blogspot.co.uk/?m=0

http://whatreallyhappenedtomadeleinemccann.blogspot.co.uk/

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Re: Christina Patterson: Kate McCann is in media purgatory

Post by Baronstu on 27.06.11 13:37

There can't be a human being on this planet who thinks Kate and Gerry McCann haven't tried hard enough to get their daughter back.

Ermm, sorry you sycophant, heres one.
I've spent as much time physically looking for Madeleine as the McCanns -------------- Zero days, Zero Hours, Zero Minutes.
I've contributed as much money to finding Madeleine (Not counting my Taxes that are being mis-used by Scottie Yard) as the McCanns have, a big fat £0.

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Re: Christina Patterson: Kate McCann is in media purgatory

Post by ufercoffy on 27.06.11 14:07

@Baronstu wrote:There can't be a human being on this planet who thinks Kate and Gerry McCann haven't tried hard enough to get their daughter back.

Ermm, sorry you sycophant, heres one.
I've spent as much time physically looking for Madeleine as the McCanns -------------- Zero days, Zero Hours, Zero Minutes.
I've contributed as much money to finding Madeleine (Not counting my Taxes that are being mis-used by Scottie Yard) as the McCanns have, a big fat £0.

big grin Make that 2 Mr Stu winkwink

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Whose cadaver scent and bodily fluid was found in the McCann's apartment and hire car if not Madeleine's?  Shocked

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Re: Christina Patterson: Kate McCann is in media purgatory

Post by PeterMac on 27.06.11 15:36

@Baronstu wrote:There can't be a human being on this planet who thinks Kate and Gerry McCann haven't tried hard enough to get their daughter back.
Be fair.
They have kicked furniture and bashed walls and roared like bulls, and wailed. They have prayed in PdL, in their bedroom, in Rome, and in whatever the other stupid place was called.
Only a miracle of Lazarus (Lazarian ?) proportions can help. Even Jesus only did that once. Superman did it, also just the once, and got told off. No one else has managed it.

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Calling Christina Patterson if she can hear us on her own planet

Post by Marian on 27.06.11 15:58

Have I assumed correctly that this is the journalist in the Independent? It's doubly depressing when this sort of nonsense appears in one of the better class newspapers.

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Re: Christina Patterson: Kate McCann is in media purgatory

Post by Miraflores on 27.06.11 16:03

There can't be a human being on this planet who thinks
Kate and Gerry McCann haven't tried hard enough to get their daughter
back.

Well, I have read the book and am at loss to know exactly what they have done to get their daughter back. I get the impression that they have spent less time looking for their daughter than I have spent looking when my cats have got lost.

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Re: Christina Patterson: Kate McCann is in media purgatory

Post by ufercoffy on 27.06.11 16:03


____________________
Whose cadaver scent and bodily fluid was found in the McCann's apartment and hire car if not Madeleine's?  Shocked

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Re: Christina Patterson: Kate McCann is in media purgatory

Post by Zelina on 28.06.11 10:25

For Kate McCann, being abused by people she'd never met, and being bullied by policemen who could barely be bothered to leave their desks, and being portrayed by great swathes of the world's media as a bad mother, and by big chunks of it as a killer, must have been like being skinned alive.
Poor little Katey was bullied by policemen who could barely be bothered to leave their desks, my heart bleeds for her. Rolling Eyes

Every journalist who writes about the McCanns should be required to attend a course on personality disorders, focusing on psychopaths and narcissists. I bet they would look at certain facts and behaviours a little differently afterwards.

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Bleeding heart journalism

Post by Marian on 28.06.11 11:27

Good point Zelina but I wonder if attending such a course should be necessary at all with supposed respectable journalists who will know from experience of other cases (where people who claimed they were innocent were actually guilty and had no friends in high places to protect them) that things are definitely not always as they appear.

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Re: Christina Patterson: Kate McCann is in media purgatory

Post by pauline on 28.06.11 15:05

the issue of recent feature articles by journalists is serious. I can understand why someone has suggested journalists need to attend training courses on psychology.

but surely even for someone of average intelligence - certain facts stick out

they regularly left 3 children under 4 in an unlocked ground floor apartment in a foreign country when there were English babysitters available who knew the children (but for whose services they would have had to pay extra )

the lack of evidence of an abduction apart from the child not being there

the evidence of the dogs and their 100% track record

The incredible speed in setting up an ordinary limited company (not a charity) whose board was controlled by family and friends.

Now journalists surely should be a little streetwise and not take things at face value. You don't have to do much research to come up with the facts above. Until we get journalists in major papers DOING THEIR JOB I suspect the current SY review will be a whitewash as there is no pressure for it to be anything otherwise.

To get journalists to do their job we have to understand why they are not doing it, and quite frankly I don't know. It can't just be the fear of Carter Ruck because all papers have their own libel lawyers who could thoroughly check their copy before it is printed.


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Re: Christina Patterson: Kate McCann is in media purgatory

Post by lj on 28.06.11 16:15

@Zelina wrote:
For Kate McCann, being abused by people she'd never met, and being bullied by policemen who could barely be bothered to leave their desks, and being portrayed by great swathes of the world's media as a bad mother, and by big chunks of it as a killer, must have been like being skinned alive.
Poor little Katey was bullied by policemen who could barely be bothered to leave their desks, my heart bleeds for her. Rolling Eyes

Every journalist who writes about the McCanns should be required to attend a course on personality disorders, focusing on psychopaths and narcissists. I bet they would look at certain facts and behaviours a little differently afterwards.

Zelina, I don't know if you follow the Casey Anthony trial: the mother accused of killing her 2 yr old daughter. The similarities with the Madeleine case are overwhelming, esp where it goes for characters. The whole family is very disfunctional, and absolutely incapable of speaking the truth. Their lives prior to this murder existed of making eachother miserable, in a never ending war, finding more and more new ways to hurt eachother.
Cindy, Casey's mother and grandmother of the victim has given a series of bad performances, but her last one really took the cake. The prosecutor showed evidence that, before Calee's disappearance, Casey did internet searches for: how to make chlorAform, making weapons out of household items, neckbreaking, and some others i just don't remember at the moment. Notice also the misspelling of chloroform. Mom Cindy, a registered nurse, testified for the defense, that she searched for chlorophyll and "how to make chloroform" came up 84 times!! The neckbreaking was a pop video from youtube, showing a skateboarder. She had to admit though that the search for "shovel" and the instructable "making weapons out of household items" were not hers. If you ever think Gerry is a bad liar with all his ear and nose pulling you should see this woman lie. Plus most of these searches were done when she was supposed to be at work. The whole thing is a pathetic attempt to exonarated Casey (btw, it is my opinion not out of love but to get ultimate power over Casey), and I believe there is no fool that really fell for it.

Except for the legal talking heads on headline news, if you were to believe them. If you believe them this was powerful testimony that dealt a huge blow to the prosecution.

They said the same from the testimony of Dr. Werner Spitz, a fornesic pathologist for 56 year, who shows his age. Not only that, his short term memory was even on the stand failing him, he would repeat things in the same sentence. It was rather painful, but a good illustration of Alzheimer in the making. Anyone with half a mind would recognize this problems, but here too the legal eagles were talking about huge blows for the prosecution and "powerful testimony". I do not have a high opinion of all these legal experts on tv, but this was so far of the scale that I can only assume they do it for ratings, since controversy brings in more viewers that straigt forward cases.

I suspect that quite e few of these reporters are like that: they know better, but that does not bring in readers.

But there of course is this group that is really dumb, extremely xenophobic,and member of the bleeding heart brigade. There is nothing that can help them, no psychology course or mandatory reading of the police files. They would not understand and would not want to understand.

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"And if Madeleine had hurt herself inside the apartment, why would that be our fault?"  Gerry

http://pjga.blogspot.co.uk/?m=0

http://whatreallyhappenedtomadeleinemccann.blogspot.co.uk/

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Re: Christina Patterson: Kate McCann is in media purgatory

Post by Zelina on 30.06.11 20:06

I wasn't following the Casey Anthony case until I read about it on Pat Brown's twitter. What a mess!
The people involved seem to have such twisted relationships. It makes me wonder about the relationship Kate and Gerry have behind closed doors and also their relationship with the tapas friends.

It's shameful that there are so few balanced articles about Madeleine's disppearance in the British press. There is still a huge interest in this case, any article about the McCanns will sell papers. Journalists took risks to write about controversial issues such as the non-existent WMDs in Iraq, surely they can write about the McCanns? I would think that a young upcoming journalist would want to make a name for himself/herself by writing a good investigative piece about them.

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