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

McCanns: We all should be sorry

by Angharad Mair

OK! Hands up all of you, like me, who devoured every tantalising titbit and salacious rumour regarding Kate and Gerry McCanns’ ‘guilt’ in the Daily Express last summer.

At the time the stories were at their most sensational, I was on holiday in Spain, and every morning I would buy the Express – not my usual choice of paper – but hey, lounging by the pool on another sunny day the stories from the Portuguese Press, recounted in detail by the paper were just too good to miss. Day after day the headlines were incredible as the Express seemingly single-handedly had the low-down on what was actually happening in Praia da Luz – from sleeping pills and a hidden body to a great cover-up conspiracy.

Not much of it was based on truth, but I never actually remember the Express explicitly claiming so, from what I remember they always had some kind of disclaimer that these were rumours reported in the Portuguese Press.

But it’s cost the paper and its sister papers dearly – they had to print a large apology on the front page and pay the Maddie McCann fund more than half a million pounds.

One wonders why they felt under pressure to do this. After all, Gerry and Kate are still official ‘arguidos’, and the Portuguese police were obviously – at one time anyway – convinced that the little girl’s parents were somehow responsible for her disappearance.

Madeleine McCann’s grandmother spoke on the news this week about the need to take the papers to court, because their editors should be taught a lesson in respect.

Personally, I find newspapers can be far more distasteful than the untrue tittle-tattle reported day after day about the McCanns, although I do understand, and sympathise, that the agony that was piled on top of them must have made the loss of their little girl so much harder to bear.
But take the various headlines about Heather Mills this week – ‘Pornoccio’, ‘Lady Liar’, ‘Crazy Claims of Sleazy Model’, ‘Gold-digging, ex hardcore porn, one-legged, self-centred fantasist’.
For a long time now, the tabloids have taken great delight in publishing the cruelest descriptions possible of Heather Mills.

Even the Guardian had a headline ‘Macca-Mucca moolah ruling’, with the word Mucca for Heather Mills taken from The Sun who has described her in this derogatory way since they found photographs of her in a German sex handbook. The bullying of Heather Mills has become so accepted that even a respected paper such as the Guardian feels that it can resort to cheap tabloid headlines.

Even the Judge seemed to have been caught up in the assassination of Heather Mills.
Mr Justice Bennett allowed a 58-page dossier to become public knowledge with words describing Heather as ‘warped’, ‘distasteful’ and that she should be more ‘circumspect’ about her dealings with the media.

Excuse me? What’s it to him? All she was trying to do was to secure the best financial deal possible for herself and her child after she had been lucky enough to marry one of the richest men in Britain.

Her pay deal is not the biggest in the history of celebrity divorces, and even though she obviously appears to be something of a fantasist, there was no real need for a professional such as the Judge to be quite so personal and unkind in his ruling.

I find the vilification of Heather Mills to be distasteful in the extreme. It is nothing but misogynist bullying.

I certainly don’t understand the female columnists who delighted in printing offensive comments about Ms Mills and newspaper editors who use topless models to make profits are completely two-faced when they brand Heather Mills as a whore. But it’s open season on her, and whatever she has to suffer, you can bet there’ll be no front page apologies for ‘defamatory’ remarks made about her.

No-one actually believes the McCanns to be anything but innocent, but at least they have now had their name cleared, in bold print on the front pages.

If I remember rightly Robert Murat was subjected to the same treatment, but will probably never be able to afford the huge sums of money it takes to clear your name in the Press.
But then again, the McCanns have always been treated with a large degree of favouritism – and the Express apology, and the reporting of it by other papers has been nothing but blatant hypocrisy.

Source : Wales On Sunday


  1. I do not comment about Beatle ex-wife.

    But:......"No-one actually believes the McCanns to be anything but innocent, but at least they have now had their name cleared, in bold print on the front pages......."


    My opinion : their name (couple)are not at all, never cleared.
    We have a lot of bad,bad and very sad memories about.

    The most important is Maddie stay for ever in ours hearts.

  2. I had already copied this in order to leave a comment, I am not surprised Outono beat me to it, it jumps off the page when you read it.

    No-one actually believes the McCanns to be anything but innocent, but at least they have now had their name cleared, in bold print on the front pages.

    What a piece of trash, another one on the McCann payroll.


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