Grâce à la liberté dans les communications, des groupes d’hommes de même nature pourront se réunir et fonder des communautés. Les nations seront dépassées.
Friedrich Nietzsche (Fragments posthumes XIII-883)

14 - OCT 02 - Gerald MC (Guardian)

Leveson has changed nothing– the media still put ‘stories’ before the truth
by Gerald McCann - The Guardian - 02.10.2014

Nearly three years ago my wife, Kate, and I appeared before the Leveson inquiry to talk about the campaign of lies that was waged against us after our daughter Madeleine went missing. We described how our lives had been turned into a soap opera so that newspapers could make money, with no regard for truth, for the distress they were inflicting, or for the damage caused to the search for Madeleine. We asked Lord Justice Leveson to ensure that in future things would be different and that nobody would ever again have to endure the dishonest reporting we experienced, or at least that there would be some quick, effective way of correcting false reports in newspapers.
Voeu pieux, car c'est sans compter avec la rumeur, un phénomène d'une persistance invraisemblable, comme ont pu le constater les MC lorsque, à la suite de leurs récits téléphoniques sur le volet et la fenêtre forcés, leurs proches ont désinformé, sans le vouloir, les médias.

Nothing has changed since then. Big newspaper companies continue to put sales and profit before truth. The protection for ordinary people is as feeble as it always was.

A year ago, when Kate and I were experiencing a time of renewed hope as the Metropolitan police stepped up its new investigation into Madeleine’s disappearance, we received an email late on a Thursday night from the Sunday Times. Its reporter asked us to comment on information he planned to publish. This turned out to be a claim that for five years Kate, I and the directors of Madeleine’s Fund withheld crucial evidence about Madeleine’s disappearance. We rushed to meet his deadline for a response. In the vain hope that the Sunday Times would not publish such a clearly damaging and untrue story, we sent a statement to the newspaper. We denied the main tenet of the story and emphasised that since Madeleine’s disappearance we had fully cooperated with the police and that the directors of Madeleine’s Fund had always acted in her best interest.
C'est oublier les 48 questions et la reconstitution avortée.

However, the Sunday Times went ahead and published the report on its front page, largely ignoring our statement. We tried to settle this matter quickly and without legal action. I wrote to the editor asking for a correction, but all we got in response was an offer to publish a “clarification” and tweak a few lines of the article – but still to continue to publish it on the newspaper’s website. Indeed, further correspondence from the paper only aggravated the distress the original article had caused, created a huge volume of work and forced us to issue a formal complaint to get redress through our lawyers.

Eventually, two months after the article was published, a correction was printed, retracting all the allegations and apologising. But even then – and despite the grotesque nature of what it had falsely alleged on its front page – the apology was on an inside page and the word “apology” was absent from the headline. Since then, it has taken 11 months and the filing of a legal claim to get the Sunday Times to agree to damages, all of which we are donating to charity, and to get our right to tell the public that we had won the case. But the cost to the paper is peanuts – the fee for a single advertisement will probably cover it. And there will be no consequences for anyone working there. Nothing will be done to ensure that in future reporters and editors try harder to get things right. And so the same people will do something similar, soon, to some other unfortunate family – who will probably not have our hard-earned experience of dealing with these things and who will probably never succeed in getting a correction or an apology. Sûr que Carter-Ruck n'est pas à la portée de toutes les bourses.

So what has changed in the newspaper industry since the Leveson report two years ago? Absolutely nothing. Newspapers continue to put “stories” before the truth, and without much care for the victims. They treat the people they write about as if they don’t exist. Wild animals are given more respect. They hide behind talk about the rights of the press while they routinely trash the rights of ordinary people. They constantly claim to stand up to the powerful, but they are the ones with the power, and they use it ruthlessly.

Legal action should be a last resort. A final route when all else has failed. I don’t blame Leveson. He recommended changes that would make a big difference. He wanted a press self-regulator that was not controlled by the big newspaper companies and that had real clout. If a paper told lies about you, you could go to this body and count on fast and fair treatment: it would not just let papers off the hook. More than that, Leveson wanted a cheap, quick arbitration service so that ordinary people did not need to resort to the law. Our experience shows this is a vital reform. Parliament backed Leveson’s plan. The public backs it. So do we, and almost all the other victims who gave evidence to Leveson. Only one group of people is opposing this change – the perpetrators themselves, the same editors and newspaper owners who were responsible for all that cruelty. Instead of accepting the Leveson plan, these people, including the owner of the Sunday Times, have set up another sham regulator called Ipso, which is designed to do their bidding just like the old, disgraced Press Complaints Commission.

If in another year’s time the press still rejects the royal charter – itself already a compromise – then it will be time for parliament to deliver on the promises the party leaders made, and ensure that what Leveson recommended is actually delivered. Otherwise elements of the press will go on treating people with total contempt. This time, once again, it was Kate and I who were the targets. Next time it could be you.
Gerry la menace n'est jamais loin.

Quid du superintendant en chef de Wrexham, Gordon Anglesea, par exemple ?

Le 21 octobre 2016, un superintendant en chef, Gordon Anglesea est condamné pour pédophilie. Les actes remontent aux années 80 et il a été démontré qu'il utilisait ses galons pour faire plier ses victimes. Mais ce qui est extraordinaire est que M. Anglesea a gagné, il y a 22 ans, une action en diffamation contre The Observer, the Independent on Sunday, Private Eye and HTV, le détenteur de la franchise ITV du Pays de Galles, pour avoir allégué qu'il avait abusé d'enfants lors de visites dans un pensionnat. M. Anglesea obtint 375,000 livres de dommages.. Une des victimes se suicida après le procès, car il ne supportait pas de ne pas avoir été cru.

Ce ne serait pas mal si le monde médiatique revenait au journalisme d'investigation, fort de la liberté d'expression et du sens de ses responsabilités. Parfois les rédactions ont de difficiles décisions à prendre sur des contenus controversés, mais il y aura toujours des gens en colèreMieux vaut vivre comme cela plutôt qu'avoir des journaux qui craignent d'imprimer. Gerald MC devrait être honnête et admettre qu'ils ont "proactivement" instrumentalisé les médias pendant des années afin de promouvoir la cause qu'ils ont dénommée "recherche de Madeleine". Ils ont à cet effet maintenu l'histoire à la une des journaux. Selon eux,  cela, comme l'emploi de chargés de communication et d'avocats haut de gamme, se justifie dans les circonstances qu'ils insistent, en dépit des réserves du rapport du procureur portugais, à qualifier de "enlèvement", et ils ont les fonds pour ce faire.

Mais tout cela ne peut faire taire les critiques sur des actes, les leurs, qui pourraient avoir mis leur enfant en danger. La célébrité est à double tranchant et qui n'y est pas préparé doit parfois se sentir mal à l'aise. Que penser du stockage des portraits-robots au fond d'un tiroir pendant tant d'années ? Ils auraient pu expliquer sur leur site, le site officiel, pourquoi ils ne les avait pas publiés, histoire de rassurer le public.  Ou bien ont-ils pensé que toute publicité, même la mauvaise, est bonne à prendre ?