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)

07 / 08 / 13 - Portraits d'un docteur Folimage





Que de malheureux parents "orphelins" de leur fille aient besoin d'un docteur Folimage et d'une batterie d'avocats semble absurde, mais que personne ne semble s'en étonner pourrait l'être davantage.
Le chargé de communication a occupé une place centrale, dès le départ, dans l'affaire MC. Cette place est devenue cruciale lorsque les MC, à peine faits "arguidos", sont rentrés chez eux avec sur les épaules le poids de ce statut mal compris et de la presse britannique à affronter.
Justine McGuinness, contactée début juin 2007 comme directrice de campagne et payée par Madeleine's Fund, fut exemplaire dans l'évitement des questions embarrassantes des médias, mais n'avait pas l'expertise et l'entregens requis pour des victimes devenues témoins assistés. Aussi fut-elle remplacée par CM, qui abandonna son poste de directeur de l'observatoire gouvernemental des médias pour voler au secours du couple MC et les protéger des regards obliques d'une presse impitoyable. Le milliardaire Brian Kennedy lui offrit un salaire royal. CM annonça à la presse son désistement du Foreign Office pour se consacrer totalement aux MC, car il croyait en leur innocence. Qui allait encore douter que du fait-divers on était passé à l'affaire d'État ? Le job de CM, qui s'inscrivait dans une stratégie générale de défense, consistait à distiller dans la presse les informations fournies par les MC et leurs avocats afin de restreindre le risque d'une action judiciaire au Portugal. À défaut de pouvoir démontrer une innocence à laquelle il ne pouvait faire plus que "y croire", il s'employa à semer le doute dans les esprits quant à la compétence de la police portugaise. Personne n'étant parfait, la tâche n'était pas des plus difficiles.
Par ailleurs, le secret de l'instruction étant une règle au Portugal, la mauvaise foi avait carte blanche, si l'on peut dire, pour dire le dit comme non-dit et inversement.

Profile : Clarence Mitchell, spokesman for the MC family
par Hannah Marriott - 28.11.2007
Once word got around that the spokesman for the McCann family was in attendance, the great and the good of the PR ind­ustry were almost queuing up to talk to him, all eager to find out a little more about the mystery of Madeleine’s disappearance. Mitchell is a seasoned hard news reporter, who worked for the BBC for nearly 20 years, and then for the Government’s Media Monitoring Unit (MMU) for two years, before being seconded out to handle the media in Portugal for the McCanns tow­ards the end of May. As a reporter, Mitchell says he was ‘always seen as a fireman’, and would be flown in ‘when there was trouble kicking off in Northern Ireland’, or in other dangerous locations such as Iran and Iraq. He also covered the death of Princess Diana, the murder of Milly Dowler and the Fred and Rosemary West mass-murders. Like any reporter, Mitchell became used to being dispassionate. He describes one of his ‘lucky breaks’ as being on the motorway behind the Kegworth air crash on the M1 in 1989: ‘It sounds dreadful, but that’s journalism – you need to be in the right place at the right time.’ 
On peut appeler cela "dépassionné" si on veut, mais ce n'est pas très cohérent avec ce qui suit où le propos de CM ne laisse aucun doute : CM n'a pas d'immunité contre la croyance, une qualité peut-être quand on se veut justicier, mais un  assez grave défaut quand on est journaliste et que l'honnêteté exige de s'en tenir aux faits.
In his current role, of course, Mitchell is far from neutral – indeed, he is vehemently convinced of the McCanns’ innocence, a fact that has not been lost on the press covering the story. One national newspaper journalist describes Mitchell’s work with the McCanns as a ‘crusade to right what he perceives as a real injustice’. Mitchell wears his commitment to the family almost literally on his sleeve, sporting a pair of bright yellow and green campaign wristbands. He also has a yellow and green ribbon pinned to his lapel, signifying the search for a missing person and strength. Mitchell was first sent to meet Gerry McCann at East Midlands airport two weeks after Madeleine’s disappearance. The pair flew back together to Portugal. Mitchell then spent an intense month of 15-hour days with the family. He had to return to his government role, and others handled the McCanns’ PR. But even then, he says, the family still called him for advice in his own time. ‘We had bec­ome friends,’ he says. ‘But I couldn’t help them beyond the odd phone call, bec­ause officially the Government couldn’t be seen to be involved.’ In September, he quit his government role in order to work for the family, at a time when much of the media seemed to be turning against the McCanns.

Mitchell is clear about the reasons for this change of feeling: ‘I have to be careful what I say, but somebody who has good connections with the police decided early on, it appears, that they were somehow involved, and decided to plant stories.’ 
Que risque-t-il à raconter ça, puisqu'il ne donne pas de noms ? Très prudent, certes, mais très embobineur aussi !
The Portuguese press ran these stories – ‘they have a very lurid end to the tabloid market, just as we do,’ he says – and then the British press picked them up.
Une grande partie du travail de CM, et quel travail !, a consisté à accuser la PJ de fuiter au bénéfice de la presse portugaise. La presse caniveau britannique n'a fait que suivre.
Mitchell is obviously angry with the press, many of whom he believes were simply ‘recycling rubbish’: ‘As a former journalist myself, some of the behaviour of the British press has been shameful.’ Mitchell played a great part in quashing the most negative of these stories. He exp­lains that he had a very simple strategy: ‘When I came aboard Gerry and Kate were being accused left, right and centre. What people don’t always understand is that the papers aren’t running these stories necessarily because they believe them – they are good angles. They will also run an equally good angle from the other side.’

Mitchell also gets fired up at accusations from some sections of the press that the McCanns have been too concerned with PR. He says that the majority of the time he is turning down requests for interviews. And at the beginning of the campaign, when then McCanns were raising awareness, the strategy was different. As someone with three young children, Mitchell says: ‘I would say that any family in this situation – myself included – would hit the phones and do what they could.’ Mitchell admits that he does get angry. But one journalist covering the case says that the fact that Mitchell ‘is not afraid to say what he thinks’ can only be a good thing for the McCanns. When Mitchell left the BBC in 2005 it was because he had reached a plateau, having being passed over for the role of royal correspondent and realising he would never present the Ten O’Clock News. He describes his post at the Government’s MMU as an ‘inward-facing, administration role’, adding: ‘Sometimes when there was a big story I’d be thinking, I know where I’d be today.’

Now, he’s back at the heart of the story. Indeed, Steve Anderson, the Mentorn Media creative director, who was the exec­utive producer on this month’s Panorama Special: The Mystery of Madeleine McCann, goes as far as to stay that this was the job Mitchell was ‘meant to do’. Mitchell seems completely driven by personal conviction and adrenaline, and it is understandably difficult for him to predict what he will be doing next. Officially, he says, he is now communications director for multi-millionaire Brian Kennedy – the McCanns’ main benefactor – so he will still be employed when the situation is res­olved. After that he will look into opportunities, either with Kennedy or elsewhere. At the end of the interview, Mitchell cannot help but bring the message home: ‘Don’t forget that in the middle of all this there is a little girl out there, alive, and she needs to be found and brought home.’


Interview de CM
Maria Barbosa (Expresso) - 20.09.2007
Traduit par Maya
 
It is in the experience of Clarence Mitchell that the McCanns put their trust to regain public opinion.
Clarence Mitchell goes through the streets of London at the same speed at which he speaks in his mobile - which actually never stops ringing. The McCann's spokesperson receives about 60 calls a day (Gerry call's him about 5 to 6 times). Mitchell spoke to Expresso whilst he had breakfast, one day before the publishing of the picture taken in Morroco by a Spanish tourist.

MB : You exchanged your position as a servant of the British Government for spokesperson of the McCanns. Did you make this decision for sentimental reasons or professional ambition? 

CM : I am not a sentimental person and neither am I making any plans for the future. I accepted the invitation by the McCanns because I know that they are innocent. MB : Have you ever asked them if they are involved in their daughter's disappearance? 
CM : I have never felt the need to ask them that question because we have spoken contantly about this subject, and both tell me that they are innocent. Since I have spent a month with them, I believe in what they tell me. It is enough to see how they deal with the twins, Sean and Amelie. You can see that they are dedicated to their children and that they would never do anything to hurt them. This argument may not prove anything, but for me it is important that I work with honest people. MB : In order to defend the McCann's innocence with such surety it is necessary that you know more than what you say... 
CM : I know the facts that can explain all the police suspicions regarding what was found in the car or in the apartment rented by them. I can not reveal any more details. Some of the accusations that appear in the PT press - the British papers only translate what is written there - supposedly happened whilst I was with them. Therefore I know the truth. MB : How do you explain the cadaver scent detected in the vehicle rented 25 days later? 
CM : It is not up to me to reply. There has never been anything that has happened that has led me to suspect the McCanns. And I was only not with them at night time, for obvious reasons. But the story about the car is not the only one that makes no sense: it was suggested in the press that Kate and Gerry went to Fátima to bury Maddie's body. I went with them in this trip and I guarantee that we did not bury any body. MB : You spent a month in the Algarve with the couple. Who sent you and what is it about the McCanns that makes them so special? 
CM : They are not Mourinho (laughs). This is one of the points that Gerry stressed over the phone that he wished me to tell you: they are a normal family, the same as so many other middle class families. They are people with a higher academic education, but that above all love their children. They are not influential people. They have not had any special treatment. MB : You were sent by the Foreign Office. Are all British people that find themselves in trouble awarded the same treatment? 
CM : Every time that a British subject has problems abroad Consular assistance is offered. As it was regarding a missing child and not the theft of documents, the help provided by the Consul of Portimão was greater. Since the case dominated the media, The Foreign Office, in London, thought of me because I had experience as a reporter and I knew key English people. It wasn't Tony Blair nor the present Prime minister, Gordon Brown, that sent me. I am not their spokesperson nor do I call them asking for advice. MB : But you were responsible for the projection of the McCanns in the media at a world scale. The fact that you worked for the British Government facilitated this... 
CM : In Portugal there has been a wrong image created about me. I was the Director of the Government's Media Monitoring Unit. Their work, about 40 people, and their function is to control what gets printed in the press. Every morning I had a meeting with the Prime Minister's spokesperson at 10 Downing Street and we discussed any developments. I didn't get to speak to Gordon Brown directly. Everything that I have been able to do for the McCanns has been through my computer and my mobile. MB : It was enough that you called certain people so that Kate and Gerry were granted an audience with the Pope. 
CM : And I am a Protestant! When I was in the Algarve on behalf of the Foreign Office I kept in touch with the British Embassies, the Vatican's inclusive. Through Cormac Murphy O’Connor, Archbishop of Westminster, I knew that Maddie's disappearance had not gone un-noticed by the Vatican. He suggested that we asked for an audience with the Pope. It was I that wrote that email, since Gerry and Kate did not want any special treatment. 
Le fait est qu'on voit la main de CM toucher le pape sur la vidéo...MB : Was it your decision to use the media so that the case may not be forgotten? Some specialists argue that this exposure might be fatal... 
CM : The parents trusted my instincts. They only told me that they wanted to do everything to find her. It was them that decided on a tour around Europe, that started in Amsterdam. After they had been to Germany, Kate was inclined to go to the North of Africa. Actually it is in that area that Kate suspects that Maddie might be. MB : With the change of direction of the investigation, Kate's attitude (the fact that she does not/has not cried in public) has been the subject of criticism. In private what has been her reaction? 
CM : Kate is very strong. She seems like a reseved and contained woman in her emotions but she is suffering a lot. I have seen her crying in private. I can also tell you that the parents were advised by specialists not to reveal their emotions in public. The kidnapper may enjoy watching their suffering. MB : There is a lot of speculation about the events of the 3rd May. What did kate say when she did not find her daughter in the bedroom?  
CM : The witness statements say that Kate shouted "they've taken her". They are incorrect, I will say no more. MB : Whilst you were a journalist following the case of Jessica and Holly in Soham. The children were found dead 2 weeks later. Did you predict the same ending to this case? 
CM : I thought that by this time she would have been found dead or alive, but an ending similar to the case of Jessica and Holly is possible, I don't want to and can't speak about Robert Murat but some of the journalists that worked with me in Soham, and that were recently in Portugal, saw similarities between the case and Robert Murat, more than this I will not say. MB : Before accepting Kate and Gerry's proposal you admited that you needed some guarantees. Were you refering to Brian Kennedy, the businessman that pays your wages? 
CM : I could not resign from my job with the Government before this issue was resolved. It was unacceptable that Maddie's Fund would pay my wages. The solution found was the best: I work for the McCanns but who pays my wages is Brian Kennedy, who made himself available to help them financially. My objective is to help them overcome this phase but I also want to be paid for it, which has not happened yet. MB : Some celebrities generosity, such as Richard Branson, allowed the McCann's to hire the best lawyers that money can buy. Did you advise them in their choice? 
CM : Absolutely not. But I do recognise the need for them to be surrounded by the best Portuguese and British professionals. They are suspected of having killed their daughter and having got rid of the body. That is a very serious accusation. People want them charged and tried. Or at least that Maddie appears next week, and that is not going to happen. this investigation might take a year. MB : Do they still trust the Portuguese Police? Or do they want to follow other clues using private detectives? 
CM : I have to be careful with what I say. This is a sensitive subject. The McCanns want to continue to co-operate with the police, and they have to do so. Even if Maddie is no longer in Portugal, the PJ continue to be a main say. However, any parent in the same situation has the right to use any means to find their child. I am not confirming the hiring of private detectives. MB : You started the interview by saying that you were not sentimental but during the trip through Europe with the McCanns you were photographed crying. In that day the ex-journalist became the news... 
CM : It wasn't intentional. But when I found out that my wife had lost the baby, I felt lost and angry for being there and not beside her. It is at least ironic that during this search for Maddie, I had also lost a son. Very young yes, but it was my son. I believe that that united us."

Qui est l'embobiné ?


More like the police than the police

Martyn McLaughlin (Scotsman) - 21.01.2008



New tactics in hunt for Madeleine McCanns employ rhetoric and methodology of authorities as they unveil drawing of suspect.



It had all the features of an official police press conference: a solemn appeal for sightings, delivered with detective-speak phrases such as "eliminating suspects in the investigation". However, the man standing behind the lectern was not a senior policeman but a PR consultant hired by a family determined to find answers even if it means going it alone. Eight months on from the disappearance of Madeleine McCann, the private-investigation team sanctioned by her parents is increasingly employing the rhetoric and methodology of the police.



Yesterday, in what Kate and Gerry McCann hope will spark a breakthrough, the couple's official spokesman released, for the first time, an image of a suspect to the media and public. The distribution of the artist's impression, created by Melissa Little, an FBI-accredited police artist hired by the McCann team, spoke volumes not only about the family's resolve, but their frustration with the official investigation.

The language of Clarence Mitchell, the McCanns' public face, was unequivocal as he addressed the media from a lectern in a London hotel. "Who is he? Where is he? What, if any, is his connection to Madeleine's disappearance?" he said. "If he is innocent, we want him to come forward for his own sake so he can be ruled out. We believe this man could be linked to Madeleine's disappearance."



One former senior officer with Strathclyde Police suggested the family's approach was designed to keep public interest in the case buoyant, but said they may still have to rely on the resources of the police. He said: "The language and the presentation that are being used imitate the police thanks to their PR people. They know that's a good way to catch the public's eye. It's an authoritative approach and it captures people's attention. I don't think there's any real policing expertise, though.

"I'd say it's highly unlikely they have anywhere near the resources of an active policing force. The parents don't know how to conduct an investigation and they're dependent on people they are hiring, who, in some cases, may not be best suited for the job. I think, as time goes on, it's unlikely they will find any new information on their own, outside of the chance someone will respond to this kind of public appeal."



In any case, it appears Mr Mitchell's tactics yesterday were borne largely out of dissatisfaction at the apparent impotency and silence of the Portuguese police, though he was careful not to cast aspersions: "We're not going to criticise the police in any form – they have got a difficult enough job. It seems drawings of this sort are not done as a matter of course in Portugal."

Nonetheless, the private investigation now appears to be regarded by the McCanns as their best hope of tracing their daughter. Having secured the image of the suspect, their team has now drawn up an action plan for how they want the investigation to proceed.

Firstly, they want a worldwide search, co-ordinated by a central phone number manned by their private-detective agency to identify and locate the man in the sketches. All information would be passed on to the Portuguese police.

Secondly, they want a full review of all police records and witness statements, including one taken from a 12-year-old girl who reported sightings of a strange man in the Portuguese resort in May last year.

Thirdly, Mr Mitchell called for complete cooperation between the Portuguese police, Interpol and the authorities in Spain, Morocco and Britain. With tension between the McCanns and the Portuguese police still evident, the latter demand may not be straightforward. Worse still, they appear to be getting little return on the 50,000 a month being paid out to Metodo 3, the Barcelona-based private-detective agency.


Master of media circus for Madeleine McCann  
Telegraph - 24.04.2008

Clarence Mitchell is not backward about coming forward for Gerry and Kate McCann.
The first anniversary of the disappearance of Madeleine McCann will be marked next week with a two-hour television documentary which is the highlight of a carefully stage-managed publicity offensive. The fly-on-the wall documentary on ITV1 of Gerry and Kate McCann has been organised by Clarence Mitchell, their official spokesman. The Portuguese press first referred to him as the "man in the shadows" when he took the job full-time in Praia da Luz in September.The newspapers were reporting the (as usual) private views of the Portuguese police that Mitchell, 47, had been sent in by Gordon Brown, no less – when he was Chancellor – to spy on the investigation, which had been portrayed in Britain as amateur and cack-handed.
But the Portuguese media were wrong on both counts. Mitchell would have had at best only a nodding acquaintance with junior ministers, let alone Mr Brown. As director of media monitoring at the Central Office of Information, he was a back room boy but has never been in the shadows of the police operation.The former BBC television reporter has loved being centre stage before the cameras in an investigation that has transfixed the world's media. "He is on the TV much more than he ever was when he worked for the BBC," said one former colleague. So much so that photographers regularly have to shout at Mitchell to get out of the way when they are taking pictures of the McCanns. He remains at his fixed point by their shoulder even during photo-shoots, bucking the trend of media minders who avoid being photographed at all costs.

Mitchell has become such a familiar figure in his open-necked pink shirts that he is recognised in the street and is stopped so often on the forecourts of petrol stations that he now jokes it is because he has forgotten to pay his bill. After almost 30 years as a journalist, he knows what makes a story and has been extraordinarily successful in maintaining a strong interest in Madeleine. When interest has faltered he has invariably constructed a story or recruited a big name – even the American First Lady, Laura Bush, is on-side – to a campaign driven by parents who accepted early on that the media was a necessary partner.
Nevertheless, the documentary next Wednesday has provoked controversy because ITV1 has scheduled it against the BBC's The Apprentice as part of its ratings war. The move has led to the accusation that Mitchell has allowed the parents to be exploited by a commercial broadcaster. The fact that Mentorn, the production company making the programme, has given £10,000 to the Find Madeleine fund has not diminished the fuss: the money will be more than recouped from syndication.

ITV1, with the help of Mitchell, has kept other media organisations from the McCanns during the five weeks of the access deal with Mentorn. The company has secured unseen footage of Mrs McCann, 40, her husband, 39, and their three-year-old twins behind the door of their home in Rothley, Leics. It includes Mrs McCann breaking down in tears as she recalls the night Madeleine went missing. But Mitchell will be undeterred by the barbs, believing the two-hour documentary the best way to ensure that the search for Madeleine goes global again. This is what he is paid to do.

He always wanted to be a journalist and after O-levels at Friern Barnet School, Finchley, where he was head boy, he joined the Barnet & Potters Bar Times and then a BBC training scheme. In a varied career he covered the Soham murders and, for two years from 2003, the Iraq war. He was also on the royal beat when he was known – not very imaginatively – as "Clarence House". But it was as a presenter on various BBC news programmes that he hoped to make his career after years on the road. His spell doing hourly bulletins on News 24 is best remembered for him sleeping through a 3am slot, which had to be filled by a somewhat dishevelled producer.
He became close to the McCanns after being sent twice by the Foreign Office to look after them when there were 40 camera crews outside their Portuguese apartment. As a father of three children, aged two to 11, he has gone through the same agonies as many other parents who feared it could have happened to them. His £70,000 salary, equivalent to what he earned in the Civil Service, is being paid by the double-glazing magnate Brian Kennedy, who has bankrolled much of the McCann campaign. Surrendering his Civil Service pension will be compensated by the future benefits of his role in helping to make Madeleine's the most heavily reported missing-person case in modern history. Offers are coming in for book, broadcast, and lecture circuit opportunities when he returns to "ordinary life" – and even Mohamed Fayed is rumoured to be interested in hiring him.

Mitchell divides his time between his home in Bath, London, and Rothley and speaks to the McCanns every day. They are grateful to him for raising the profile of the search across Europe and North Africa, through visits to Morocco, Italy, Spain and Germany. But the revelation that they were flying in a private jet was a bear trap that Mitchell should have spotted, and the couple flew home from a trip to Portugal on easyJet. Mitchell was, as usual, only a few feet away from the couple when they met the Pope in St Peter's Square. He was so overcome he reached out to grasp the papal hand and was rewarded with a blessing and a set of rosary beads from one of the priests in the Pontiff's retinue.
While calm in public, he has often blown up behind the scenes at reporters and is occasionally guilty of overdoing briefings. In the last few weeks his public approach has changed, bluntly blaming the Portugese police for leaking statements from Mr and Mrs McCann that revealed Madeleine was left crying the night before she vanished. Mitchell moved from the shadows to being branded a "manipulative liar" by the police and the row ensured once more that the McCanns returned to front pages across Europe. It was a job well done by the man at the centre of the story in his own right. 

Spudgun - 24.04.2013




par Spudgun ) 24.04.2013


Clarence Mitchell, (not to mention his famous Clients), is surely fuming.

He has spent the past couple of weeks, regaling every Newspaper, journal, broadcaster and Media outlet with his press releases, ensuring that they are all singing from the same song sheet regarding Kate McCanns’ “heroic feats” in running the London Marathon.

The pivotal angle of the whole story being that the mother of missing Madeleine McCann competed in this year’s London Marathon whilst running in the shadow of death threats, issued on a Social Networking site and specifically centred on her Marathon appearance.

Ever since the parents of Madeleine, Kate and Gerry, received a huge payout and front page apology from Express Newspapers in 2008 for their coverage of the case of the missing girl, (despite their being no Court case or litigation), the UK media has been united in its sycophantic, servile and slavish devotion to the McCann’s each and every whim, as dictated by their ubiquitous “Spokesperson” Clarence Mitchell. As concocted by ‘Team McCann’ or their agents, (including highly paid ‘Private Detectives’, most of whom have subsequently been embroiled in serious, criminal activities), over the past few years the UK Press have intermittently and variously informed us that...

Madeleine was abducted by Middle Eastern perverts, Moroccan Gangsters, Saudi Arabian paedophile rings, Bosnian mobsters, Robert Murat look-alikes, African ‘steal-to-order’ child-nappers, now-deceased Sex offenders and nefarious Gypsies, not to mention the innumerable “absolute certain” sightings in Belgium, Malta, Spain, France, Britain, Brazil, the Netherlands, New Zealand and India.

All of these stories were linked by a single, inarguable factor : not one of them had a single iota of credibility or evidence to substantiate them.



As I have blogged previously, the infamous India sighting, (at least), was demonstrably fabricated.

2013, however, had hitherto seen something of a lean period for Mr. Mitchell regarding opportunities to get his clients involved in any extensive Media coverage.

Consequently, ‘Team McCann’, (the ‘affectionate’ term used for their vast entourage of wealthy backers, business moguls, Legal Eagles and ‘Z’ List celebrities), must have been utterly ecstatic at the rather crass post made by a lady on her Facebook account.

Commenting on a discussion about Mrs. McCann’s widely publicised intention to run in the London Marathon, she wrote:-

“Well I am going. Anyone got a gun? Bang?”

Quite.
Not that it is of any consequence, it should be noted the comment was intended to be a humorous play on the ‘starting pistol’ scenario, but its connotation and ambiguity is both obvious and was intended.

Inarguably, it was a childish, puerile and insensitive comment, worthy only of disdain.

To properly afford it the contempt it deserved would be to have completely ignored it, along with the other, multitudinous, potentially offensive posts made on Social Networking sites about not just the McCann’s, but anyone and everyone who has ever featured prominently in the public eye

To Clarence Mitchell and the McCann’s, however, (along with their ever expanding army of watchers, monitors, trolls and Internet spies), this lady's faux pas was pure Manna from Heaven!



The machine quickly went into overdrive......

“Marathon gun nut’s threat to kill Kate!”

“Cops Probe Vile Web Death Threat to Mum of missing Madeleine”

“Sick Internet Troll threatens to gun down Kate McCann as she runs the London Marathon"

“Chilling message by sick internet troll threatening to shoot Madeleine McCann's mother”

The Tabloids were banging out splashes as quick as Clarence could type them! Each and every report was accompanied with the assurance that the Police, New Scotland Yard or the MET were “actively investigating”....”looking into”.......”conducting inquiries”..... The most solemn and powerful words, however, were reserved for Mr. Mitchell and Mrs. McCann themselves:

“This material has been brought to the attention of the police. One of the posts is actually a death threat and is being dealt with appropriately”, declared Mitchell.

According to the Daily Star, “The mother of Madeleine McCann is terrified for her other two children after receiving sick online death threats”.

Of course, one cannot directly expect either the McCann’s or Mitchell to account for the ramblings of the Media, (even if Clarence does dictate them). However, they can be taken to task for their own musings and comments. Especially when they are not only wildly inaccurate, but are clearly contrived and fabricated in order to gain wider publicity and benefit from a situation they are arguing is injurious.



For the record, (and for what you won't be reading in the press, any day soon):-

The police “investigation” (described by Mitchell as being "dealt with appropriately"), was entirely limited to, and consisted of, a single cordial telephone call made to the lady in question at her home by a police officer.

Having quickly availed himself of the facts surrounding the posting, and having satisfied himself that she was clearly not a “gun nut” or anyone who posed any kind of threat to anyone, the matter was closed. Also, contrary to what is being widely reported in some tabloids, (and especially elaborated on in a number of blogs and websites created by and subscribed to by ardent supporters of the McCann’s), the lady concerned was not cautioned, nor was she “warned”, regarding her behaviour. It was obviously put to her that her actions were tactless, childish and unacceptable, points which she fully agreed with, and she was happy to reassure the officer that there wouldn’t be any repetition of the posting or any others made of a similar nature. Mitchell knows that, not by any stretch of the imagination could the comments be construed as a threat to kill or even cause harm to Kate McCann. Not in any legal context, as defined by any Statute, the Offences against the Person’s Act, 1861, and not by any real inference.



Furthermore he, (along with the McCann’s themselves), was most unequivocally and without prevarication informed by the police, subsequent to their conversation with the poster, that there was absolutely no danger posed by her, or anyone else, to Kate McCann.

Which rather disparages Kate’s statement that she is “terrified for her other two children after receiving sick online death threats”. I am not seeking to excuse, exonerate or trivialise this ladies behaviour in any way, but this whole affair does, succinctly, illustrate the degree to which Clarence Mitchell will conceive and propagate false information and fabricated stories for the McCann’s benefit.

Of course, that is both his vocation and his speciality, skills honed in his role as the Government’s Media Monitoring Unit, for both the Labour and Conservative administrations, (anyone who bats so willingly for both sides of the political spectrum has to be viewed with some trepidation in my opinion, but I digress!).



And, of course, were it the fact that his most famous clients were celebrities or socialites, one could forgive him his propensity for inventing and concocting, indeed, even expect it of him.

But.. despite their obvious fame and recognition, the McCann’s are not celebrities.

They are, ostensibly, the distraught parents of a little girl who was abducted in 2007 and for whom, (according to them), they are actively and incessantly searching.

And whilst Kate McCann’s proposal to run the London Marathon for the Charity for which she is an Ambassador was admirable enough, (as were the efforts of the 36,000 other participants), her venture did not warrant the unprecedented and extensive level of media coverage, attention and adulation that she was due to be afforded, courtesy of Mitchell’s press releases, all based on a fable. Coverage and adulation she would, unquestionably, have received with photo spreads and tales of stoicism and heroic bravery galore in every newspaper, were it not for one, unforeseen factor :

Almost 3,300 miles away, true bravery was being exhibited by many at a Marathon where a true threat to kill......... was only all too real.

Consequently, preoccupying the entire world’s media with tales of barbaric atrocity and evil.

And, consequently, relegating Mrs. McCanns’ heroics to a mere few column inches.

Proving that, whilst 'Team McCann' exert a huge influence and control over the media and even on the Internet; they haven't yet managed to manipulate global events.