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"Any new press regulation MUST SATISFY THE MCCANNS" - Financial Times

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"Any new press regulation MUST SATISFY THE MCCANNS" - Financial Times

Post by Tony Bennett on 25.06.12 8:43

Today's 'Financial Times'.

See the paragraph below highlighted in blue:

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++


LEVESON EYES TURNING WORDS INTO ACTION

by Ben Fenton


The Leveson inquiry will finish its principal evidence-gathering phase this week and begin looking for consensus on how 90 days of evidence can be moulded into a system of press regulation which satisfies the victims of libel or intrusion, MPs and newspaper owners.

The tribunal, set up almost exactly a year ago, has heard from hundreds of witnesses, ranging from prime ministers, films stars and media moguls to junior civil servants, rank-and-file reporters and people who would have remained anonymous but for Fleet Street’s excesses.

The formal end of “Module 3”, which looked at the relationship between the press and politicians, is due on Wednesday. After that, Module 4 will feature witnesses who have been thinking, and writing, about regulatory solutions to the issues of press misconduct, abnegations of privacy and lawbreaking that the previous three modules have highlighted.

There have been 18 submissions on the future of regulation that the inquiry has thought worthy of publication on its website. None of them offers solutions, or even opinions, on some of the most damning testimony Lord Justice Leveson has heard, which showed the embarrassing extent to which politicians and police officers became intimates of newspaper owners and editors.

Instead, the submissions centre on how best to police the press without impinging on its own policing role as protector of ordinary individuals against organs of state or local administration. To use Lord Leveson’s phrase from his inaugural speech as inquiry chairman, they seek to answer the question: “Who guards the guardians?”

Much of the most powerful evidence of the past 86 days of hearings has come from ordinary people whose misfortunes brought them under the interrogatory lamp of press attention. The parents of missing Madeleine McCann or Milly Dowler, the murdered teenager, are the most quoted examples: in both cases they have, after enduring gross suffering at the hands of reckless journalism, received huge sums of money in recompense.

Lord Leveson found an ally 10 days ago in David Cameron, the prime minister, for his view that any new system of regulation for the press would have to satisfy the McCanns and the Dowlers.

But perhaps more difficult for the inquiry, or Mr Cameron, to satisfy was the case of Margaret Watson.

In one of the earliest sessions of the inquiry, she described how articles about the murder of her teenage daughter by one of her classmates in a Glasgow school were so distorted by the agendas of their authors, and so misrepresented the facts of the case, that they contributed to the later suicide of her 15-year-old son, found dead with a magazine piece about his sister’s case clutched in his hand.

Lord Leveson has said a plea by Tony Blair, the former prime minister, for regulation to separate fact from comment, to prevent agenda-driven journalism from playing fast and loose with accuracy, was a far more difficult task than just punishing phone hackers, intrusive paparazzi or purveyors of cynical defamation.

The judge has steered clear of favouring or opposing any particular form of regulation. But he has made it clear that he is opposed to constraining the freedom of the press and also that “tinkering at the edges” of the current system of the Press Complaints Commission will not be good enough.

Over the final three weeks of evidence, he will try to thrash out the issues presented by the newspaper industry, which wants to retain control of a self-regulatory body through funding, and by strong opponents of the press, who would be happy to see parliament set the rules of behaviour for newspapers. Neither is likely to find favour in the Leveson report expected some time in October.

But that report will have to resolve problems such as how to force owners like Richard Desmond,proprietor of the Express and Daily Star papers, from opting out of regulation altogether, or how to regulate the press if the internet remains a jungle of privacy invasion, distortion and defamation.

To the relief of many, and the trepidation of some, the inquiry is now in its last days, where actions will take the place of millions of words.

____________________

 Daily Mail journalist Daniel Bates wrote: “Kate and Gerry McCann have released a new picture of their daughter Madeleine as they prepare to commemorate tomorrow’s third anniversary of her disappearance. The photo shows her when she was three after a raid on the dressing-up box. She has a pink bow in her hair and a gold bead necklace and is wearing blue eyeshadow. It was taken weeks before the fateful family holiday to the Portuguese resort of Praia da Luz when Madeleine vanished”

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Re: "Any new press regulation MUST SATISFY THE MCCANNS" - Financial Times

Post by tigger on 25.06.12 8:45

I don't often swear but: wft wft wft

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Re: "Any new press regulation MUST SATISFY THE MCCANNS" - Financial Times

Post by Guest on 25.06.12 9:13

I'm glad I'd finished my cup of tea when I read this or it would by now be all over the keyboard.

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Re: "Any new press regulation MUST SATISFY THE MCCANNS" - Financial Times

Post by ShuBob on 25.06.12 9:58

Here's how the Guardian's Dan Sabbagh put it in January this year:

Leveson must use the McCann test if he is to curb Richard Desmond's papers

Except:
Leveson's problem is the McCann test. Gerry and Kate McCann were
repeatedly libelled by the Desmond titles, and made the point before the
judge (who showed he valued them by inviting them to give evidence)
that nobody lost their job when the publisher agreed to pay out £550,000
and issue four front page apologies, as it admitted it was wrong to
speculate, with no supporting evidence, that the couple had killed their
daughter.
Leveson cannot credibly propose a reformed PCC that
won't cover Desmond – because the McCanns won't be impressed
by a system
that leaves the possibility of something similar happening again.


http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2012/jan/15/leveson-mccann-richard-desmond

Personally, I think this article is far worse than the FT one.

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Re: "Any new press regulation MUST SATISFY THE MCCANNS" - Financial Times

Post by Woofer on 25.06.12 10:25

Wow - unbelievable.

Not even royalty are treated with such deference.

Just shows how establishment figures make judgements without knowing the facts.
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Re: "Any new press regulation MUST SATISFY THE MCCANNS" - Financial Times

Post by puzzled on 25.06.12 10:41

I see. So the McCanns are to decide what sort of press freedom we have now.

I suppose I shouldn't be surprised.








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Re: "Any new press regulation MUST SATISFY THE MCCANNS" - Financial Times

Post by tiny on 25.06.12 10:55

This a joke surley,how the f*** can 2 PROVEN child neglectors have a say in anything.
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Re: "Any new press regulation MUST SATISFY THE MCCANNS" - Financial Times

Post by bobbin on 25.06.12 11:07

One solution/incentive to join a new regulatory publishing committee, that I can see is this:-

A law that states that advertisers may not place advertisements with a newspaper that is not part of the new form of the 'voluntary membership of the publications complaints committee'.

No statutory laws or status needed, only voluntary membership, as currently practised.

Newspapers not adhering to membership will be obliged to find their revenues coming from sales of their newspapers only.

Of course, this could lead to an increase in 'absolutely outrageous' claims and stories to boost income, for non-adhering papers, to re-coup the losses on advertising income with increased sales of their papers.

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Re: "Any new press regulation MUST SATISFY THE MCCANNS" - Financial Times

Post by Guest on 25.06.12 13:45

It's not actually a quote from Leveson.

Just keep thinking the bigger they are the harder they fall peeps :fingerscrossed

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Re: "Any new press regulation MUST SATISFY THE MCCANNS" - Financial Times

Post by Guest on 25.06.12 14:08

There must a queue of journalists and writers in the UK just waiting to see what happens with Mr Amaral's book.

The McCanns slagged off so many people in their book - press, police (including UK police), UK government, their Portuguese lawyer, everyone except their 7 friends in fact - without once thanking all the ordinary people who donated pots of money to them.

It can only be a matter of time before their arrogance trips them up, I'm sure of it smilie
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Re: "Any new press regulation MUST SATISFY THE MCCANNS" - Financial Times

Post by anil39200 on 25.06.12 17:09

Tony Blair to call for separation of 'fact from comment' Mmmm...interesting that one. Satisfy...now I guess this means that all parties involved as 'core participants' in the process, having now had their say, need those words of evidence taken into consideration in the outcomes of the LI. Did not our favourite couple push to be included in this status? I recall there.being some questions as to their relevance as originally one of the main remorse was phone hacking. Did they have their phones hacked? Then a remit came about which was 'wider' in its reach, thus justifying their status? Just who, what, when, where, how and to what extent do these people have as a protector? It almost seems that the goalposts are changed regularly to suit their 'wider agenda'.

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Re: "Any new press regulation MUST SATISFY THE MCCANNS" - Financial Times

Post by Guest on 25.06.12 20:01

@puzzled wrote:I see. So the McCanns are to decide what sort of press freedom we have now.

I suppose I shouldn't be surprised.
***
It's at times like this that I suddenly remember a 4-5 year-old idea that it may all be a scam just to be in control of the internet. That they've been players, who occasionally [often?] forgot their text, but always got away with it, because no one in power would contest them. And that the combination of free minds, different sexes, ages, cultures, educations, professions, etc. represents a real danger, which cannot be controlled in classic ways, not like injunctions on the existing media. Internet is up the air, flowing freely and quasi untouchable. Scary for the ones, who want to hold the reins.
Just IMO and only that and only now for a moment ...
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Re: "Any new press regulation MUST SATISFY THE MCCANNS" - Financial Times

Post by Angelique on 26.06.12 0:29

Châtelaine wrote:
@puzzled wrote:I see. So the McCanns are to decide what sort of press freedom we have now.

I suppose I shouldn't be surprised.
***
It's at times like this that I suddenly remember a 4-5 year-old idea that it may all be a scam just to be in control of the internet. That they've been players, who occasionally [often?] forgot their text, but always got away with it, because no one in power would contest them. And that the combination of free minds, different sexes, ages, cultures, educations, professions, etc. represents a real danger, which cannot be controlled in classic ways, not like injunctions on the existing media. Internet is up the air, flowing freely and quasi untouchable. Scary for the ones, who want to hold the reins.
Just IMO and only that and only now for a moment ...

I am not so sure they won't be able to control parts of the net. Facebook got "fixed" for their own purposes.

Tis the Freemasons IMO they are in every sphere unfortunately.

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Re: "Any new press regulation MUST SATISFY THE MCCANNS" - Financial Times

Post by mira2 on 26.06.12 1:09

Tony Bennett Yesterday at 8:43 am



Today's 'Financial Times'.

See the paragraph below highlighted in blue:

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++


LEVESON EYES TURNING WORDS INTO ACTION

by Ben Fenton


The Leveson inquiry will finish its principal evidence-gathering phase this week and begin looking for consensus on how 90 days of evidence can be moulded into a system of press regulation which satisfies the victims of libel or intrusion, MPs and newspaper owners.

The tribunal, set up almost exactly a year ago, has heard from hundreds of witnesses, ranging from prime ministers, films stars and media moguls to junior civil servants, rank-and-file reporters and people who would have remained anonymous but for Fleet Street’s excesses.

The formal end of “Module 3”, which looked at the relationship between the press and politicians, is due on Wednesday. After that, Module 4 will feature witnesses who have been thinking, and writing, about regulatory solutions to the issues of press misconduct, abnegations of privacy and lawbreaking that the previous three modules have highlighted.

There have been 18 submissions on the future of regulation that the inquiry has thought worthy of publication on its website. None of them offers solutions, or even opinions, on some of the most damning testimony Lord Justice Leveson has heard, which showed the embarrassing extent to which politicians and police officers became intimates of newspaper owners and editors.

Instead, the submissions centre on how best to police the press without impinging on its own policing role as protector of ordinary individuals against organs of state or local administration. To use Lord Leveson’s phrase from his inaugural speech as inquiry chairman, they seek to answer the question: “Who guards the guardians?”

Much of the most powerful evidence of the past 86 days of hearings has come from ordinary people whose misfortunes brought them under the interrogatory lamp of press attention. The parents of missing Madeleine McCann or Milly Dowler, the murdered teenager, are the most quoted examples: in both cases they have, after enduring gross suffering at the hands of reckless journalism, received huge sums of money in recompense.

Lord Leveson found an ally 10 days ago in David Cameron, the prime minister, for his view that any new system of regulation for the press would have to satisfy the McCanns and the Dowlers.

But perhaps more difficult for the inquiry, or Mr Cameron, to satisfy was the case of Margaret Watson.

In one of the earliest sessions of the inquiry, she described how articles about the murder of her teenage daughter by one of her classmates in a Glasgow school were so distorted by the agendas of their authors, and so misrepresented the facts of the case, that they contributed to the later suicide of her 15-year-old son, found dead with a magazine piece about his sister’s case clutched in his hand.

Lord Leveson has said a plea by Tony Blair, the former prime minister, for regulation to separate fact from comment, to prevent agenda-driven journalism from playing fast and loose with accuracy, was a far more difficult task than just punishing phone hackers, intrusive paparazzi or purveyors of cynical defamation.

The judge has steered clear of favouring or opposing any particular form of regulation. But he has made it clear that he is opposed to constraining the freedom of the press and also that “tinkering at the edges” of the current system of the Press Complaints Commission will not be good enough.

Over the final three weeks of evidence, he will try to thrash out the issues presented by the newspaper industry, which wants to retain control of a self-regulatory body through funding, and by strong opponents of the press, who would be happy to see parliament set the rules of behaviour for newspapers. Neither is likely to find favour in the Leveson report expected some time in October.

But that report will have to resolve problems such as how to force owners like Richard Desmond,proprietor of the Express and Daily Star papers, from opting out of regulation altogether, or how to regulate the press if the internet remains a jungle of privacy invasion, distortion and defamation.

To the relief of many, and the trepidation of some, the inquiry is now in its last days, where actions will take the place of millions of words.

Last edited by Tony Bennett on Mon Jun 25, 2012 9:04 am; edited 5 times in total

______________________________
Tony, thank you

Something there tells me that Cameron is even a bigger imposter than Blair, and his days are numbered.
You know I really did think that Cameron was an honest broker (bit nieve but above board) I am having a problem digesting the above statement Lord Leveson found an ally 10 days ago in David Cameron, the prime minister, for his view that any new system of regulation for the press would have to satisfy the McCanns and the Dowlers.

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Re: "Any new press regulation MUST SATISFY THE MCCANNS" - Financial Times

Post by Guest on 26.06.12 1:36

That's just a statement from the journalist, not Cameron or Leveson. It's just spin winkwink

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The evidence of David Pilditch

Post by Tony Bennett on 26.06.12 14:35

At this point, it might be useful to give another viewing of the evidence given on oath to Lord Justice Leverson by David Pilditch, the Express journalist who filed most of the Express stories to which the McCanns objected (he didn't write the sensational headlines, of course):

+++++++++++++++++++++++++

Extracts from David Pilditch’s written evidence to the enquiry


Enquiry Question 1: What was the evidential basis for each of the stories you wrote in relation to the McCanns, identifying (in each case) precisely the information on which you based each of them?

PILDITCH: In their evidence, the McCanns, referring to the press in general terms, said that many stories had been ‘made up’ and that they did not believe ‘police sources’ were genuine. In the case of every story I wrote, the police sources I quoted were genuine. I had three sources in Portugal who provided me with information. Two were Portuguese journalists who were in daily contact with the most senior officers investigating Madeleine McCann’s disappearance. The third was a translator who worked for the Portuguese Police and translating and interpreting in the Portuguese legal system.

The stories that have been selected in this file must be looked at in the context of how events were unfolding on the ground during this time when the Portuguese police investigation had reached a particular stage. Despite the barriers thrown up by the Portuguese criminal justice system, I was able to obtain an accurate and truthful insight into on-going developments within the police investigation at that time. Indeed, by this point fn time, one of my contacts was informing me of day-to-day developments as they were taking place and before they were being written about in Portuguese newspapers. This enabled me to verify the accuracy of the information I was being given. For example, I was told of a series of operations and searches that would be taking place at particular times and on particular days- and was able to personally witness these events taking place. Although I was confident of the veracity of the reports I was writing, due to the secrecy of justice laws they were impossible to prove, to any satisfactory legal standard, at that time.

The fact is that every newspaper, TV network or media organisation that reported on details of the investigation into Madeleine McCann’s disappearance were in the same boat. Due to the restrictions of the Portuguese law; anyone who was unhappy about something that had been written or said about them and wished to take legal action would almost certainly have been successful. As a journalist this is a wholly unsatisfactory position which, in my view, leaves news organisations at the mercy of potential litigants. They simply are unable to defend themselves.

It was only months later, in July 2008, that Portugal’s Attorney General formally closed the investigation into Madeleine McCann’s disappearance. Under the Portuguese system, the authorities released the official police file - more than 10,000 documents including photographs, official reports and witness statements including those of the McCanns. Through the release of those documents and subsequent legal actions in Portugal it is now a matter of public record that the reports I was writing between September 2007 and January 2008 were truthful and accurate.

Enquiry Question 2: What checks if any did you undertake or cause to undertake to verify the accuracy of each of these stories?

PILDITCH: All my stories were checked with more than one source prior to publication. Once Clarence Mitchell was appointed as Drs McCanns’ spokesman, it was agreed that all stories would be bounced off him rather than the Drs McCann directly. This was strictly adhered to…

Enquiry Question 3: Why did you not seek comment from the McCanns before these stories were published?

PILDITCH: On each occasion, I sought comment from Drs McCanns’ representatives…

Enquiry Question 4: What legal advice, if any was taken in relation to these issues?

PILDITCH: Upon filing each story it would have been viewed by the News Editor of the day and a lawyer: it would then have been passed to a sub editor who would cut it to fit the required space on the page and add a headline. As a news reporter I have no involvement in the wording of headlines that accompany my stories, though. My involvement usually ends with the filing of my story. The news desk, lawyer and sub editor are obviously free to contact me if they have any additional queries or require me to make further checks.

Enquiry Question 5: Please explain the nature of sub-editorial and editorial involvement in each of the stories you wrote explaining in particular the steps they took to satisfy themselves that the said stories were accurate and that there was a public interest in their publication. In each case,you are required to name the sub-editors and editors involved.

PILDITCH: When I file a story I have no say over where it will appear in the paper, what prominence it will be given or even if it will appear in the paper at all. I play no part in that decision-making process. However, there is always frequent dialogue throughout the day between the reporters on the ground, and the editors in the newsroom, particularly with regard to the checking of stories and sources.

My Conclusion

The disappearance of Madeleine McCann was an extraordinary and unique event. As a news reporter with 26 years experience, I approached my coverage of Madeleine’s disappearance exactly the same way as I did all the other major running news stories I have covered during that time. My aim was - and always is - to interview witnesses, check out information from sources, and speak to individuals, investigators and officials involved in an attempt to discover the truth. The aspect that made the case truly unusual was the wall of silence and lack of guidance to journalists from police both in Portugal and the UK. In the absence of these critical sources or official comment that could be attributed to a named police source or authority, I took steps to obtain the relevant information by the best available route. I approached news/TV reporters who had solid contacts within the Portuguese police for information on the investigation and relied on the services of Mr Mitchell as a third party spokesman for Drs McCann.

____________________

 Daily Mail journalist Daniel Bates wrote: “Kate and Gerry McCann have released a new picture of their daughter Madeleine as they prepare to commemorate tomorrow’s third anniversary of her disappearance. The photo shows her when she was three after a raid on the dressing-up box. She has a pink bow in her hair and a gold bead necklace and is wearing blue eyeshadow. It was taken weeks before the fateful family holiday to the Portuguese resort of Praia da Luz when Madeleine vanished”

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Re: "Any new press regulation MUST SATISFY THE MCCANNS" - Financial Times

Post by Guest on 26.06.12 16:28

"and relied on the services of Mr Mitchell as a third party spokesman for Drs McCann."

spit coffee

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Re: "Any new press regulation MUST SATISFY THE MCCANNS" - Financial Times

Post by ShuBob on 27.06.12 11:27

tcat wrote:That's just a statement from the journalist, not Cameron or Leveson. It's just spin


I'm afraid it looks more than that:

Earlier this month, David Cameron told the inquiry if plans for a
future body did not satisfy Lord Justice Leveson, that they would not
work for him either.
He added: “But the point is it doesn’t work for the Dowlers, or the McCanns. That’s the test.”


http://hackinginquiry.org/news/bob-dowler-and-gerry-mccann-among-core-participants-for-module-4-of-the-inquiry/

It's a direct quote from DC as far as I can see.

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Re: "Any new press regulation MUST SATISFY THE MCCANNS" - Financial Times

Post by Guest on 27.06.12 11:50

I've seen that page and it mentions a new ruling has been published, but there's no new ruling I can find on the Inquiry website. The article might be incorrect in that.

I know Cameron said those words but I think it's spin to connect that sentiment to module 4 of the Inquiry. No new ruling seems to have been published yet at least.

I think we have to wait for any new ruling to be published before we start believing a clever writer's view of what's happening smilie
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Re: "Any new press regulation MUST SATISFY THE MCCANNS" - Financial Times

Post by Guest on 27.06.12 11:53

Unless somebody else can find the ruling, but I can't.
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Re: "Any new press regulation MUST SATISFY THE MCCANNS" - Financial Times

Post by bobbin on 27.06.12 12:48


For me it's a completely blank document, save the title. Is this a scam to get people to open docs and catch a virus

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Re: "Any new press regulation MUST SATISFY THE MCCANNS" - Financial Times

Post by Tony Bennett on 27.06.12 12:58

@bobbin wrote:

For me it's a completely blank document, save the title. Is this a scam to get people to open docs and catch a virus

It's a 7-page document on pdf. and IMO very important.

You can copy from it; here is the actual exchange between Lord Leveson and Prime Minister of the United Kingsom of Britain and Northern Ireland.

Before reading it, it's worth recalling that Leveson heard evidence (as Robert Jay Q.C. explained) that Rebekah Brooks forced David Cameron into setting up a £3.5 million cold case review on the reported disappearance of Madeleine because she threatened to run a week of bad headlines about Home secretary, Theresa May, who up to then had consistently refused the McCanns' increasingly strident demands for a review:

“LORD JUSTICE LEVESON: … And I entirely agree that swift redress is extremely important. Of course, that redress must be capable of being enforced.

PRIME MINISTER: Yes. Yes. You can't opt out of it. You can't have a situation now where people don't go to the PCC because they feel they're going to have to relive the nightmare all over again and probably not get a reasonable outcome at the end of it. But I think this is the space we're in. How do we deliver that? Is it possible to do it without statutory backing, with statutory backing, with statutory backing with guarantees? …

… LORD JUSTICE LEVESON: I'm not ruling any possible solution out. I made it abundantly clear to the editors and to Lord Black and Lord Hunt that it is the problem of the press just as much as it's my problem, but their solution has to work for me.

PRIME MINISTER: Yes.

LORD JUSTICE LEVESON: And what you essentially have identified in slightly different words, but with exactly the same fervour, are the criteria that make it work for me, and if it doesn't satisfy the type of requirements that you've just spoken of, then it doesn't work for me, whatever.

PRIME MINISTER: It doesn't work for me either. But the point is it doesn't work for the Dowlers, or the McCanns. That's the test.”


+++++++++++++++++++++

At the risk of repetition, the Press Complaints Commission went out of their way to OFFER their help to the McCanns.

The McCanns REFUSED their offer.

____________________

 Daily Mail journalist Daniel Bates wrote: “Kate and Gerry McCann have released a new picture of their daughter Madeleine as they prepare to commemorate tomorrow’s third anniversary of her disappearance. The photo shows her when she was three after a raid on the dressing-up box. She has a pink bow in her hair and a gold bead necklace and is wearing blue eyeshadow. It was taken weeks before the fateful family holiday to the Portuguese resort of Praia da Luz when Madeleine vanished”

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Re: "Any new press regulation MUST SATISFY THE MCCANNS" - Financial Times

Post by Guest on 27.06.12 13:02

@bobbin wrote:
For me it's a completely blank document, save the title. Is this a scam to get people to open docs and catch a virus
It's Leveson's secret weapon to silence his critics laughat

He clearly doesn't want you to read it! (it's a pdf file, do you have a reader installed?)
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Re: "Any new press regulation MUST SATISFY THE MCCANNS" - Financial Times

Post by Guest on 27.06.12 13:09

@Tony Bennett wrote:At the risk of repetition, the Press Complaints Commission went out of their way to OFFER their help to the McCanns.

The McCanns REFUSED their offer.
When you put it like that things become a lot clearer I think. They're using Gerry and this case to destroy it, and perhaps have been since 2007?

The Express left the PCC years ago I believe, and they are perceived to have been the worst offenders against the McCanns and they certainly paid them the most money. You know what Kate says about coincidences.
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