1.Everyone shall possess the right to freely express and publicise his thoughts in words, images or by any other means, as well as the right to inform others, inform himself and be informed without hindrance or discrimination 2.Exercise of the said rights shall not be hindered or limited by any type or form of censorship Constitution of the Portuguese Republic, Article 37.º

Freindly Fire: McCanns Are Guilty Either Way

By: Chris Freind, The Bulletin

It's time to stop pretending. It's time to pronounce guilt in the Madeleine McCann case.
A little girl's life may have been snuffed out, so let's dispense with political correctness and call it like it is. By doing so, maybe we can prevent a similar tragedy from happening again.
Maddy's fate lies squarely with her parents, Gerry and Kate McCann. They are either directly responsible for her death (accident or otherwise), as Portuguese authorities believe, or they are complicit in her disappearance by their unconscionable irresponsibility in leaving her alone, night after night, in their apartment (along with her two-year-old twin siblings).
Either way, they are guilty and should be held accountable.
McCann supporters have asked me if I sympathize with the parents of a missing child. Of course I do. My heart always goes out to any parent who suffers the loss of a child.
But that doesn't absolve Gerry and Kate from their crimes.
How is it that they haven't, at the very least, been charged with child endangerment? Are they too famous and powerful for that kind of treatment? Perhaps. After all, these globe-trotting celebrities were able to arrange an audience with the Pope and a trip to the White House, tops among a long list of marketing coups.
I'm sorry, but it offends me that the Pope - my Pope - all but canonized these people for such a horrendous act. How much of a "devout" Catholic, as the British media continually labels her, could Kate actually be to leave her babies alone on a continuing basis?
I'm equally offended that top American officials in the White House - my White House - met with Gerry, effectively condoning his behavior and elevating him to bona fide international star status.
To be sure, there was, and still is, the need to publicize the case to help find Maddy, but to welcome the McCanns with open arms, while refusing to publicly admonish them, borders on criminal.
Does anyone really believe that if the same situation occurred to a black family, the same preferential treatment would be given to the parents? What if it happened to another white family, but instead of the parents being attractive, well-off doctors, they were merely "average joes"?
There are no bounds to the hypocrisy in this case.
If the situation wasn't so tragic, it would be comical to watch the British media implode. It is beside itself right now, not knowing whether to excoriate the McCanns, as it started to do after they became suspects, or to continue to blindly defend them and blame the Portuguese for everything.
Since, for the most part, the British media has chosen to ignore its journalistic mission of objectivity and aggressive investigation of all facts, it will continue to waffle on the McCanns -day by day and even hour by hour - as more developments come to light.
That's integrity for you.
Perhaps the biggest inconsistency of the McCanns, and there are many, is the weak admission that they take responsibility for leaving Madeleine alone. While it took them quite some time to put forth this sentiment, they then turned around and, in the same breath, exonerate themselves by saying they would never have left her had they thought anything bad could happen.
Remind me never to get sick in the McCanns' hometown of Leicestershire. If they can't see the flaws in that thought process, I don't want them treating me. I might go in for a heart examination and come out missing a kidney.
Sure, once again I will be accused of callousness, insensitivity, slander and, of course, being "unhelpful." After all, it was a "simple mistake," and woe to those who cast the first stone.
I have never accused the McCanns of killing their daughter, and they are entitled to the presumption of innocence in that regard. But not so with the negligence they have shown.
Those who criticize the McCanns certainly aren't perfect. But they do have a brain, a sense of decency and common sense.
Are these all traits that the McCanns lack? Guilty as charged.

McCanns, and British Media, Are 'Suspect'
By: Chris Freind, The Bulletin

According to CNN, the recent naming of Kate and Gerry McCann as suspects in their daughter's disappearance was a "surprising twist".

This should have been a surprise only to those whose heads were buried in the sand or who were blindly, and foolishly, loyal to the McCanns.

"Equally suspect" has been the performance of the media.

For the most part, the American media gets a pass. It wasn't on their turf, and they didn't grasp the significance of the story. Their sole focus was that the May disappearance of a four year old British girl was a kidnapping. Since she wasn't quickly found, the story faded into obscurity.

The behavior of the British media, however, is another matter. This was their story, their citizen who went "missing" in a foreign country (Portugal). It's one thing to give the parents the benefit of the doubt, at least with respect to criminal conduct. But where was the thirst for the facts, the investigative instinct that is the hallmark of any good reporter? To put it succinctly, besides all but canonizing the parents, the British media did nothing.

Here's an example. No effort was made by anyone to verify the true distance between the restaurant where the McCanns dined and the room where their three children were left alone---three children, by the way, with a combined age of seven. There have been wildly different claims of the distance, including contradictory statements by Gerry and Kate. And what about the claim that they could see the room from their table? Why didn't the BBC run video that clearly showed that a large hedge and wall actually blocked the McCann's line-of-sight?

The list goes on, but the overarching sin of the media is that it unequivocally shut down any talk of the McCanns as suspects, or, at the very least, incredibly negligent parents. As any detective will tell you, in the case of a missing child, everyone is a suspect. You begin with those closest to the child and work your way out. No one is left off the hook.

The vast majority of Brits were appalled at young children left alone while their parents---doctors mind you--- dined. But such criticism was consistently squashed by the biased UK media establishment: letters to the editor were filtered to only reflect "victim status" towards Gerry and Kate, blog posts and forums containing criticisms were shut down, and common sense questions went unasked. Why? As an August Freindly Fire column pointed out, both the mainstream media and the red top tabloids, which pride themselves on their "print and be damned" attitude, wore rose-colored glasses and disregarded the true victim---Madeleine--- by not doing their job.

Here's the $64,000 question: What will they do now? Will they blindly defend the McCanns as they've done for the last four months, or do a courageous about-face and diligently investigate the facts---all the facts--- in the case? Of course, there is another path they can take. Will the media, now that the forensic evidence appears damning and charges against Gerry and Kate are imminent, hang Team McCann from the yardarm to rot, jettisoning their cause without the slightest hesitation, oblivious of its hypocrisy?

We shall see, but don't hold your breath waiting for them to do the right thing.

In the meantime, since Freindly Fire has been on the case from Day One exposing the child-negligent, globe-trotting, celebrity-wannabes known as Kate and Gerry, perhaps it is time to take a trip across the pond to do what the British media has not---and will not--- do. Report the facts.

I might even visit with one of my admirers, who just last week threatened me with slander and libel:

"Chris Freind,

I have forwarded your slanderous dribble onto the McCanns and I hope they take you to court for every penny you have. You have a responsibility towards the public and should support your so-called facts with documentary evidence. All your reports are hearsay and extremely slanderous and your futile attempt at journalism beggars belief."

Colin, UK"

Thanks, Colin. But aside from that, how do you like me?

He then sends a message to the McCanns:


I have forwarded this on to you as you seem to be taking some action now against these idiots' attempts at journalism, although I understand if you don't want anything to do with this idiot because you are compassionate people. It's good to know that these so-called journalists are only a minority...and to try to build a reputation with sensationalism with no documentary evidence on the back of someone else's misery is disgusting. You can do with this what you want."

Colin's right about one thing. While the journalists who have reported the truth and asked the tough questions are in the minority, they enjoy overwhelming support from the public at large. British responses agreeing with Freindly Fire's sentiments are running about 150-1.

Colin, I have only two questions for you:

1) Why don't you ask little Madeleine about her parent's "compassion"?

2) Since I relish a chance to talk with Kate and Gerry about my "slander", and since you seem so close to them, how about arranging a meeting? They may have a lot of time to kill.

Parents Of Kidnapped McCann Child To Blame
By: Chris Freind, The Bulletin

A 3-year-old English girl, Madeleine McCann, was kidnapped from a resort in Portugal last week. The story has become an international one, with wealthy businessmen offering million-dollar rewards and soccer megastar David Beckham producing a television commercial to assist in the search.
There has been much criticism about this case, but not in the way you might think.
The British media is inflamed about the perceived lackadaisical search effort being conducted by the Portuguese authorities. To an extent, some of their criticism is valid, as illustrated by video footage of police sitting in their cars at a roadblock. They were waving cars through because it was raining, and apparently they felt it was more important to stay dry than to do their job. Hey -it's only a little girl's life at stake, not to mention a potentially horrendous PR blow to the travel industry in Portugal, something the former "poor man of Europe" certainly doesn't need.
The anger is so palpable that a London newspaper ran the headline "Clueless" regarding the investigation.
Right headline, wrong story.
Callous as it may seem at this time, the vast majority of criticism should be directed at Mr. and Mrs. McCann, because they are solely to blame for this tragedy. Blaming the police is not focusing on the problem at hand, in much the same way that New Jersey thinks it can prevent another "Fort Dix Six" situation by banning the type of guns the terrorists were using.

Fix The Problem!
This wasn't a situation where Madeleine was snatched at gunpoint out of their unsuspecting hands, or that they were carjacked. No, it's much simpler. The McCann's decided to go to dinner and leave their little girl back in the hotel room. But at least she wasn't alone - she had the company of her twin siblings.
They are 2 years old.
Perhaps the McCann's could be forgiven though because, after all, Madeleine turned a whopping four this week. Isn't that old enough to be a responsible caretaker?
What are these people thinking?
Their defense of such behavior is that they checked on the children every 30 minutes, a claim that is disputed by some of the resort staff. Even if true, does that make it OK to leave your children unattended, especially in a foreign country?
Beyond the threat of abduction, there are a million other reasons why parents should never leave their children alone. Since I vacationed with my young child in the same Algarve region as the McCanns, and most resorts are laid out in typical European fashion, let me give several examples.
First, floors are not carpeted. They are marble or tile. Since many children of that age are still adjusting to sleeping in a bed, there exists the distinct possibility of falling out of bed. A 3-foot drop to a stone floor is not a good feeling, and could be potentially life threatening to a child if not addressed immediately. Thirty minutes is a long time to wait if a child is writhing in pain, or worse, knocked unconscious.
Most resorts have rooms with a balcony, the doors of which are not exactly childproof. Since there are chairs and tables on the balcony, and children have a natural tendency to climb on things ... you get the picture.
The Algarve is an extremely popular destination, so many rooms have bunk beds, some ladders of which are not removable. If a 3-foot fall is bad, imagine the result if the height is doubled.
I wonder if it dawned on the parents that, since they were outside the room, the chain and bolt locks could not be engaged, leaving the regular door lock as the only form of protection between the children and the outside world. Newsflash: the "outside world" includes about ... oh, I don't know ... the entire resort staff, most with master keys that can enter the room at will.
If you want to go on vacation and enjoy a romantic dinner sans children, fine. Bring a baby sitter with you. (And for the record, I don't trust baby-sitting services in this or any country. Leaving your children with a total stranger is not only traumatic for the children and selfish on the part of the parents, it's an invitation to disaster.)
I don't care if such a custom is commonplace in Europe. I don't care if 99.9 percent of the time, everything works out fine. It's stupid, careless and criminal, and I hope after Madeleine is found, the parents are brought up on charges. They must be made an example of what happens when parents abdicate the responsibility of actually parenting. The McCann's are singlehandedly responsible for this situation, and they should not be let off the hook under the rationale that "they have already suffered enough."
Tell Madeleine about the odds. Tell her about "suffering".
Hope the paella was worth it, Mr. and Mrs. McCann.

Read all Chris Freind: Freindly Fire


  1. I think just reading the PANORAMA interview November 19, 2007 and limiting to just the comments of Jane Tanner wife of Dr. Russell O'Brien in the interview that the Tapas nine had the apartments well covered. (The Tapas nine table was one tennis court distance in linear length from the McCann patio).

  2. I have emailed you Joana about something important.


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