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PCC Complaint Question Mm11

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PCC Complaint Question

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Post by aliberte2 on 28.12.09 4:49

This Might Best be Suited for Tony, but Didn't Want to Break My Own Rule!

Was there no PCC Complaint Made Against Mike Gunnill the Photographer? If Not, How Come? And Then Why Did Stevo Do What He did? (Speculation on That Last Point Welcome).
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PCC Complaint Question Empty The Madeleine Foundation complaint to the PCC

Post by Tony Bennett on 28.12.09 9:51

@aliberte2 wrote:This Might Best be Suited for Tony, but Didn't Want to Break My Own Rule!

Was there no PCC Complaint Made Against Mike Gunnill the Photographer? If Not, How Come? And Then Why Did Stevo Do What He did? (Speculation on That Last Point Welcome).
Here is my complaint to the P.C.C. about the Sunday Express article. The PCC rejected the complaint, saying that the newspaper had an 'absolute right' to its opinions and had not made significant errors of fact.

Steve Marsden who was then the webmaster for The Madeleine Foundation was personally outraged by Mike Gunnill's conduct. He set up a dummy Mike Gunnill website which contained some strong language. That was his own decision and nothing to do with his job as Madeleine Foundation webmaster.

However, he also posted a hostile article about Mike Gunnill on our website, which he had no authority to do. As soon as I found out about it, I ordered him to take it down. That incident led directly to our deciding that it was now time for us to seek a new webmaster.

Here's the original complaint to the P.C.C.:

To: Press Complaints Commission

Wednesday 19 August 2009

Dear Sir,

I act for Miss Debbie Butler in the matter of her formal complaint to you about the contents of Sunday's front-page article: "The McCanns' Stalker". This is a complaint under the Press Complaints Commission code and a copy is being sent to Scott Langham at the Press Complaints Commission for immediate action.

A summary of Miss Butler's complaints is as follows:

The 'Sunday Express', like all other newspapers, has a duty under the Press Complaints Code to be fair and accurate.Against those benchmarks, here are the complaints about the Sunday Express article that Miss Butler now makes. For the record, her address is [withheld]:

1. Describing Debbie Butler as a 'stalker' in respect of one leaflet drop in Rothley and nothing else was neither fair nor accurate. Making it a front-page leaflet with a picture clearly exposes her to risk of unfair attack. What she has done is distribute a factual leaflet. There is absolutely no course of conduct by her in relation to the McCanns that could remotely be described as 'stalking'.

2. Describing '10 Reasons' as a 'hate leaflet' (one villager was quoted as saying the leaflet was 'drumming up hate' and the 'Sunday Express' described it as 'highly inflammatory') was grossly unfair and grossly inaccurate, especially as the 'Sunday Express' did not explain the contents of the leaflet

3. The 'Sunday Express' deliberately chose the worst photograph they could take of her to portray her as 'a hard cow', which she was not. That was manifestly unfair

4. Neither Debbie Butler nor anyone else in the Madeleine Foundation sent a leaflet to Brian and Janet Kennedy. We do not know where she lives. This was therefore inaccurate.

5. It was not a 'late-night' leaflet drop. It took place between 3pm and 6pm. That was also therefore inaccurate.

6. The leaflet drop did not involve 10 people, it involved 3. That was also inaccurate.

7. Dr Gerald McCann was allowed to get away with describing the leaflet as 'despicable lies'. The 'Sunday Express' made no attempt to inform its readers that the content of the leaflet was the truth and that the McCanns had never rebutted any of the claims made in either '60 Reasons' or '10 Reasons'. This was grossly unfair and inaccurate. The leaflet was not 'lies' nor 'despicable lies'. It was the truth.

8. Debbie Butler was described in the 'Sunday Express' article as 'a single parent family with two children'. A more accurate description would have been 'a successful Kent businesswoman' - a fact which the reporter was made well aware of. The mere description of her as 'single parent' was unfair.
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Post by mikegunnill on 01.02.10 19:37

Could you please answer the question Mr Bennett and not just paste and copy?

Thank you
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Post by vaguely1 on 01.02.10 19:39

I always thought it was quite a nice photo
PCC Complaint Question 566835

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Post by Ruby on 01.02.10 19:48

Think you're being a wee bit naughty vaguely *wags finger*.
Like everyone else Debbie looks better when she smiles.
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Post by mikegunnill on 01.02.10 19:57

It is not a photographer's job to choose THE photograph or photographs that go into a newspaper. It is a photographers job to provide a choice to the newspaper.

I would be grateful if Mr Bennett could answer the question. And also is he still selling copies of 60 Reasons within the United Kingdom?
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Post by vaguely1 on 01.02.10 20:00

Ruby, you sussed me. Yes.

..... but the headlines together with a great big grin might have looked a little......out of place.

She just looked normal I think. She definitely hadn't been photo-shopped. PCC Complaint Question 992298

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Post by vaguely1 on 01.02.10 20:02

@mikegunnill wrote:It is not a photographer's job to choose THE photograph or photographs that go into a newspaper. It is a photographers job to provide a choice to the newspaper.

I would be grateful if Mr Bennett could answer the question. And also is he still selling copies of 60 Reasons within the United Kingdom?


I hope you've bought your sleeping bag. I asked Mr Bennett a question back in 2008 and I'm still waiting for an answer. PCC Complaint Question 759815

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Post by mikegunnill on 01.02.10 20:12

I will keep asking the same question. Please don't hide behind paste & copy, answer the question, please!
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Post by Jill Havern on 01.02.10 20:13

I've emailed Tony to tell him you are asking questions, so hopefully he'll be along soon.
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PCC Complaint Question Empty A patient reply to an impatient Mike Gunnill

Post by Tony Bennett on 01.02.10 21:59

Dear Mr Gunnill

In response to your three messages tonight, one by one:

1. Could you please answer the question Mr Bennett and not just paste and copy?

Thank you.

REPLY: I replied to aliberte 2 within 4 hours and he was perectly happy with my reply, which did answer his question. You have come along 35 days later, demanding instant answers. To what, to aliberte2’s 35-day-old question .

2. It is not a photographer's job to choose THE photograph or photographs that go into a newspaper. It is a photographers job to provide a choice to the newspaper.

I would be grateful if Mr Bennett could answer the question.

REPLY: You say ‘the question’. I think aliberte2 asked three questions. If you state precisely what you mean by ‘the question’, you stand a better chance of getting an answer.

And also is he still selling copies of 60 Reasons within the United Kingdom?

REPLY: No.

4. I will keep asking the same question. Please don't hide behind paste & copy, answer the question, please!

REPLY: You posted this 3rd message just 35 minutes after your first question. It appears at first sight that you were not blessed with huge reserves of patience. I am happy if you subsequently prove my initial impression to have been correct.

Let’s just review the history of this matter, without repeating matters that have already been adjudicated on by the Press Complaints Commission.

On 14 August, four members of The Madeleine Foundation delivered leaflets in various parts of Leicestershire, part of a national campaign in which tens of thousands of them had been distributed. One person in Rothley complained. Then the McCanns’ relatives Mr and Mrs Kennedy complained. One or two others were interviewed by the BBC and also criticised the leaflet drop in Rothley. We know from calls that we have had that there are others in Rothley who do not believe the McCanns’ version of events. They will not however speak out publicly.

On Saturday 17 August I received a call from a ‘Sunday Express’ reporter. He purported to be interested in our campaign and eagerly received details about the case which suggested that Madeleine McCann had not been abducted, which he said he did not know. In the event, the ‘Express’ used none of this information in their story and still have not used it.

Following the account of your visit to Ms Debbie Butler, which she gave me, I filed a written complaint on her behalf which is on the record and I don’t need to repeat.

I accept entirely that the editor has the right to choose his photos. There’s no use at present publishing a smiling John Terry which is why the papers are currently printing pictures of him looking angry or tense.

I regard it as unacceptable, however, to deliberately seek to portray someone in the worst possible light - and equally reprehensible to ask a photographer, as may have happened in this case, to proactively seek a photograph portraying someone in a negative light.

These adverse stories in various newspapers resulted, paradoxically, in a huge upsurge of interest in our work. Hundreds of thousands of extra hits were received on our website. Hundreds of extra booklets were bought. Over a dozen new people joined. We received many offers of help. This is because there is a huge swathe of British people who do not buy the McCanns’ version of events in Praia da Luz. They are hungry for information which their mainstream newspapers were not giving them.

Our former webmaster did things in respect of you of which I heartily disapproved as I think you know. It was unacceptable of him to publish an article on our website about you without telling me what he was going to do. As soon as I became aware of it I ordered him to remove it. We immediately began a search for another webmaster. He also set up a ‘Mike Gunnill info’ site. That was off his own bat, nothing to do with the Madeleine Foundation. It was another reason for seeking a new webmaster.

In October after receiving hostile messages from Ms Butler I decided that it was entirely inappropriate that I continue to represent her in her dispute with Express Newspapers and accordingly informed her and the PCC that I was no longer doing so.

Finally, I had a jolly good laugh at ‘vaguely1’ claiming I didn’t answer questions! I have a formidable reputation on here and elsewhere for answering them promptly and fairly, to the extent that my colleagues in The Madeleine Foundation say I spend too much time answering them. Not all questions asked of me are polite and very few say ‘thank you’ for the answers.

By contrast, questions asked of ‘pro-McCanns’ are invariably dodged by them, remain unanswered or result in abuse. As for ‘vaguely1’, it was but two days ago that he refused to answer a simple question simply saying he ‘couldn’t be bothered right now’.

I’m happy to answer reasonable and polite questions. I wish you no ill-will whatsoever but I find very distasteful many of the antics of tabloids like the ‘Express’.

Papers like the ‘Express’ have shifted a very long way from telling people the truth. If sensation and outright lies help to sell papers, the ‘Express’ will do it. And their photographers do as they’re told.
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Post by vaguely1 on 02.02.10 8:26

I regard it as unacceptable, however, to deliberately seek to portray someone in the worst possible light


And yet you altered the interviewers question to Mr McCann about where he found strength from to how did he feel when he found out Madeleine was missing in your leaflets to show him in the worst possible light. And people still quote the question and answer on here and elsewhere, because you stated it as fact.

I wonder if you may consider putting that right too, on behalf of the foundation that made the 'error'.


eta: You asked me what the two charities linked to the McCann fundraising 'actually did' and then made a comment how one of them was related to Steven Gateley (sp) then made a comment about him dying after a night out with 'this bloke and that bloke' a somewhat dismissive and insulting remark considering his tragic death at such a young age, but I presumed that's because he was homosexual......

The answer, to what the two charities actually do is on their websites, they do GOOD and POSITIVE things for people. They can explain it to you much better than I can....let me know if you want the links, which I previously provided for you back in the thread where you queried their worth, and if they were even charities.

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Post by vaguely1 on 02.02.10 8:59

I wish you well Mr Gunnill, and am stunned at the level of cyberstalking and hate you've received for, as is quite apparent, taking a series of photographs of a Foundation member with their permission.

The internet is fully of crazy, crazy people who have no idea of the boundaries they cross or the damage they do to people's lives.

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Post by ufercoffy on 02.02.10 9:17

So the foundation member gave her permission for the photograph to be taken, but I doubt she gave her permission for the 'hard cow' or 'McCanns stalker' headline to go with it. That was downright devious.

But I don't condone the problems that Mr Gunnill received afterwards because, as he said, he takes the photographs and the journalists write the story.

A nasty business brought about by the McCanns lying and the Foundation trying to put across a different version even if people disagreed with their methods. But surely that also comes down to the media for refusing to publish the facts nd trying to brainwash people into believing the McCanns.

The media should take responsibility about something as terrible as the disappearance, and possible death, of a young child.

What did little Madeleine ever do to deserve this betrayal by her own country? It's really quite sickening.
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Post by vaguely1 on 02.02.10 9:18

Hold up, it was Mr Bennett that said she looked like a hard cow, not the paper.....surely?


eta, Have you actually seen what has happened to Mr Gunnills web presence? If that's not stalking I don't know what is.

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Post by ufercoffy on 02.02.10 10:04

Who's done the stalking? Is it Stevo and Deborah?

And sorry if I got the 'hard cow' reference wrong.
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Post by mikegunnill on 02.02.10 10:20

Thank you Mr Bennett for your reply. As the photographer involved there was never a complaint against me, with the PCC or anyone else. You knew this at the time of course, when you were posting incorrect items on various forums.
I have yet to work out where the " hard cow " reference came from, it certainly didn't come from me while talking to Mr Butler.

As you may pile blame on Deborah Butler, it was you that made up comments surrounding the invitation to picture Ms Butler and the invitation to go and speak to Mr Butler. On this second matter it was a concern to get the " facts right" that lead to the visit.

Your comment "I wish you no ill-will whatsoever but I find very distasteful many of the antics of tabloids like the ‘Express’." You are of course able to express your views, as I am with regard " ambulance-chasers " and your very distasteful antics.

Finally I received my copy of 60 Reasons yesterday, which I requested in a recent email to you. I sent off my £5 and received the book. I didn't use my real name of course because thanks to you, is very well known. I did however prove that you are still selling copies of this publication, but more of this later.
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Post by vaguely1 on 02.02.10 10:24

@ Uffercoffy: The original tracking down? I think there was a bit of a joint effort going on there. I only read posts by Mr Bennett on the subject because of the forum I was reading at the time, but I don't believe that it was a single handed effort, or that he was completely aware of what it would lead to.

The damage on the web....Stevo.

Maybe someone could clarify whether the paper referred to Ms Butler as a hard cow? As far as I'm aware this was only said by Mr Bennett.

The whole thing is utter madness.

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Post by vaguely1 on 02.02.10 10:26

@mikegunnill wrote:

Finally I received my copy of 60 Reasons yesterday, which I requested in a recent email to you. I sent off my £5 and received the book. I didn't use my real name of course because thanks to you, is very well known. I did however prove that you are still selling copies of this publication, but more of this later.


PCC Complaint Question 890363

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Post by ufercoffy on 02.02.10 10:27

You beat me to it Vaguely, that's just what I was going to put.

wow
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Post by vaguely1 on 02.02.10 10:28

PCC Complaint Question 890363 PCC Complaint Question 890363

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Post by mikegunnill on 02.02.10 10:33

@vaguely1 wrote:@ Uffercoffy: The original tracking down? I think there was a bit of a joint effort going on there. I only read posts by Mr Bennett on the subject because of the forum I was reading at the time, but I don't believe that it was a single handed effort, or that he was completely aware of what it would lead to.

The damage on the web....Stevo.

Maybe someone could clarify whether the paper referred to Ms Butler as a hard cow? As far as I'm aware this was only said by Mr Bennett.

The whole thing is utter madness.

Neither the photographer or the newspaper mentioned " hard cow ".

I hope this helps.
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Post by ufercoffy on 02.02.10 10:41

There's a reference to 'Mad Cow' here

http://threearguidos.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=36

Stevo...
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Post by ufercoffy on 02.02.10 10:43

While you're here Mike are you allowed to give your opinion about what happened to Madeleine?

Do you believe the abduction theory?
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Post by mikegunnill on 02.02.10 10:46

@ufercoffy wrote:While you're here Mike are you allowed to give your opinion about what happened to Madeleine?

Do you believe the abduction theory?

No sorry, my opinion doesn't matter.
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