madeleine mccann.jpg

Madeleine: British media publicises new book as “revelation”

In an extraordinary example of modern-day journalism, the might of the British media has come out with all guns blazing to publicise a new book delving into the seven-year mystery of what really happened to Madeleine McCann.
The book, by husband-and-wife team Anthony Summers and Robbyn Swan, has been mentioned in all the major newspapers this week (Daily Telegraph, Daily Mail, Daily Mirror, Daily Express et al) as well as being splashed across the Sky News website for two consecutive days.
The reason, according to all the stories, is the “revelation” that British police forces “hampered the Madeleine inquiry”.
Summers and Swan “reveal” a secret report, researched in 2009 and delivered in 2010, in which the founder of CEOP (the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre) considers that there were too many cooks racing into the kitchen when Madeleine went missing, and that this has irreparably harmed the investigation from the start – leaving Portuguese police resentful of their British counterparts who they felt were working to a hidden agenda.
That Jim Gamble came to this conclusion is perfectly understandable. Many would argue there was little need for a report. But what is raising questions is why the British media saw the need to rush in and give the news such prominence.
As criminal profiler Pat Brown mentions in a blog on the subject, there is the feeling that the Summers and Swan revelations are “propaganda”.
Indeed, the American who travelled over to Portugal in 2012 to research the Madeleine mystery suggests the couple’s new book Looking for Madeleine is “not a well-researched and even-handed book on the case” at all.
“Sadly, I think this book is going to get a lot of positive media attention,” she wrote at the beginning of the summer. “The man and his wife can write and their skill is going to convince people who read the book that the McCanns are innocent and an abduction actually happened.
“He is touting the party line and the McCanns will surely back the book as, finally, they have ‘award-winning authors Anthony Summers and Robbyn Swan’ producing ‘the first independent, objective account of the case’… My foot.”
Concluding that the book being given so much media attention this week is “yet another sign of the end days for this sad case”, Brown predicts Scotland Yard will not be “far behind with their own final whitewash”.
As the Resident reported last week, Scotland Yard detectives are due back in Portugal this month for what the British media has described as a “make-or-break moment”.