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The Downfall of British Journalism

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The Downfall of British Journalism

Post by Get'emGonçalo on 06.09.17 9:49



Journalism in Britain, impartial investigative journalism, ended on May 3rd 2007, the day our media began saturation coverage of an event that occurred in Portugal. A little girl named Madeleine McCann, aged three, had disappeared from her holiday apartment…

So what do I recall of that event? Non-stop coverage on TV with a maddening lack of any real information. A woman with chiselled features making a televised appeal. “Please give our little girl back.” Funny, no tears, not even the watering of an eye, and your little ‘princess’ stolen from under your nose!
They’d left the children every night whilst dining with friends. “It was like dining in your back garden.” But it’s OK, they were doing ‘regular checks.’ As if!
Stories of shutters smashed, doors broken, the little girl taken out of a window. These being reports given by the parents to close friends and broadcast within the first 24 hours.
Hearing the Portuguese police say there was NO break-in, that the window sill was unmarked and the girl couldn’t have been taken out of it!
Then an appeal. Hundreds of thousands of pounds donated to ‘find Maddie.’ Maybe millions. Support of the rich and famous. Appeals by famous footballers. David Beckham. “If you’ve seen this little girl…” holding up a picture.
The father talking about his little girl being ‘abducted.’ Strange, why not use the word ‘kidnapped’? Maybe because that involves a ransom and he knew one wouldn’t be forthcoming?

Four months later, shock, horror! – the parents declared arguidos, suspects! Cadaver dogs hitting upon the scent of human remains in their apartment, the garden below, on their clothes and in their car!
Top Portuguese detective on Panorama saying the statements of the parents and their friends ‘didn’t add up.’ The father, asked about sightings of his daughter, trying to hide a smirk.
Then, very strangely, our journalists made a volte-face. Articles appeared slagging off the Portuguese police. ‘Bunglers, fat sardine-munchers.’ On and on.

Ten years later, regular newspaper articles still tell of the ‘brave, anguished parents’ and their ‘fury’ over a book written by the lead detective. Panorama and Crimewatch on the telly, now portraying the parents, never cleared, as saints. The mother an ambassador for Missing People charity!
Funny, what about the cadaver dogs? Never happened! History rewritten.
So who or what is orchestrating this? Well, their spokesman ‘left’ his highly paid job as head of the government’s Media Monitoring department to work for them. So affected by their plight was he. Allegedly.
What did that department do? It ‘controls what comes out in the media’ according to the man himself.
But why would the government want to plant regular pro-McCann stories in our newspapers and bias towards them in TV programs?
Why set up a huge police investigation, Operation Grange, to find Madeleine, still running six years later, where the ‘cop’ in charge stated that ‘neither the McCanns nor their friends are suspects nor persons of interest’?
That’s the $64,000 question…

https://simonjwood.wordpress.com/2017/02/28/the-downfall-of-british-journalism/
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Re: The Downfall of British Journalism

Post by Phoebe on 06.09.17 11:15

This article brings back the reaction I recall at the time the news broke in May 2007. The over-riding response of the group I with (Irish, German and British, in Bulgaria) was that the Portuguese were trying to downplay the possibility of abduction for fear of the consequences to tourism in the Algarve and were therefore not investigating properly. Some of the Irish contingent with me cited, as an example, the death of Daniel O'Callaghan in Gran Canaria in 2002. For those unfamiliar with this case Daniel was found with severe head injuries in Playa del Ingles. Spanish police concluded he had died as a result of a tragic fall and did not investigate the possibility of foul play. His mother, Dr. Maeve Pomeroy, a prominent oncologist, campaigned vigorously to have the case re investigated and was highly critical of the Spanish police for not cordoning off the scene, interviewing all holidaymakers etc. According to a report in the Irish Examiner in Nov.2006 -


"Mr O’Callaghan’s family always believed he had been the victim of a vicious assault.

They were deeply unhappy at the way Spanish police had conducted their initial investigation. 

However, following pressure from Daniel O’Callaghan’s family, the Department of Justice and the Oireachtas Committee on European Affairs, the Spanish government announced last May that it was reopening their investigation into case. 

The undertaking was eventually given to Mr O’Callaghan’s family by a senior official of the Spanish government, following a meeting with a delegation of Irish MEPs. 

The 30-year-old man who was arrested yesterday was named by Spanish authorities only as Mohammed S. 

It is believed he is originally from Algeria, but he had been living in the Canary Islands for several years. 

Police said he will be brought before a judge within 72 hours to be questioned, and that his full name will not be revealed in advance of any trial for murder."

I think the McCanns played on "precedents" like this superbly and initially convinced many of the public that they were being "set up" by the P.J. As I remember it, I thought the "fund" was initially intended to help them with legal costs should any charges be brought against them. 
On another note, the above case is one of the reasons why I have never really been surprised that the McCanns received government assistance. Dr. Pomeroy wasn't part of any secret group that held some sort of blackmail potential over the Irish government. She was an articulate woman who used any and all connections to lean on the government for help. Her son was twenty-four and didn't have the abducted-toddler appeal that Madeleine's story did, nor the wall to wall media coverage and semi- hysteria that was whipped up. True, the government response was unprecedented, but so too was the media response to Madeleine's case. I think the McCanns played the game very, very cunningly.
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