Paulo Sargento : Maddie case: cleaning with dirty water or “the circus is back to the village”?
by Paulo Sargeanto
Those who have been following the ‘Maddie’ phenomenon with some attention, verified that the month of January, particularly its second week, was fecund in events that I have already focused on, in a previous post. But the month of March, with the preambles and eclosion of Spring, has brought us some very interesting data. On the first day of this month of spring, British newspaper ‘The Independent’ published an article about Clarence Mitchell that bore the title: “I am a decent human being. If I can help them, I will”. This article announced a conference by Mitchell at the Oxford Union “following in the footsteps of Desmond Tutu, Mother Teresa and [picture this] Kermit the Frog”. Don’t laugh, because I’m not making irony here. This sentence is from ‘The Independent’ on the 1st of March. Concerning the Muppet Show, I’ve always preferred the madness of ‘Animal’, the drummer, or the luxurious seduction of Miss Piggy (now, you can have a laugh!).
What was the purpose of these ‘news’?
a) To prepare the announcement of the extinction of the biggest source of income for the McCanns, for Mitchell and for Método 3 – Brian Kennedy;
b) To initiate a campaign to clear the image of Clarence Mitchell, preparing the ground for ‘other waters’;
c) To clear the path for Gerry McCann’s appearance in Parliament;
d) To prepare public opinion for the “circus to come to town”, or more exactly, to the village of Luz;
e) Because there were approximately two months to go for the – unfortunate – second anniversary of Maddie’s death.
f) And as such, a few surprises are expected!
Why and with what legitimacy do I state ‘Maddie’s death’? For the same reasons that Gerry McCann and Clarence Mitchell (yes, because Kate McCann has been strange and ‘firmly’ silent and has not been seen much, as I have been stressing lately) state ‘Maddie’s abduction’. But there’s an abyssal difference between both statements: one represents a theory that has authority in its arguments, while the other represents a theory that has its arguments in authority.
But, while we’re at it, and despite my personal opinion that the British newspaper has a lot less informative value than the popular Portuguese almanac ‘O Borda d’Água’, I must mention that I was absolutely stupefied about the manner in which this information was handled. I vividly recommend reading the abovementioned article in order to understand what MEDIA MANIPULATION is truly about, in a Society where I thought an ancient tradition of Civil Rights, Liberties and Freedom ruled. I confess that this last sentence is (almost) a plagiarism of a cretinous, ignorant, foolish and barbarously snob statement that was made by the Aide to an illustrious English Member of European Parliament, when referring to the Portuguese Judiciary Police’s incompetence. That sentence can be read in weekly ‘Sol’ dated November 13, 2007. I assume the ironical use of the (almost) plagiarism of Piers Merchant’s sentence and the consequences that may arise thereof, and I also vividly recommend reading that article.
Because the matter that I have just mentioned was picked up again by Gerry McCann this month. After travelling to the English Parliament ‘for the Englishman to see’ [Portuguese popular saying that describes something that is done merely for the purpose of visually impressing others, without any substance] – notice that this Chamber let pass ‘Gerry’s Lie’, which Duarte Levy has subtlyand intelligently denounced –, the medic (I stress medic instead of doctor, in order to avoid confusion with another type of doctor, for example of the law) criticised the Portuguese Judicial Secrecy, disserting about its obsolete character, a result of laws that “date back to them being a Fascist government and subsequently a Communist one” which explains “why they do not function”. Despite the fact that everyone is entitled to an opinion, allow me to say this:
a) Does medical training, specialised in Cardiology, in British Universities, include optional classes in History of Portuguese Law in its curriculum?
b) In case it does, the teachers should be sued without delay over the manifest incompetence that they display in their teachings; if it doesn’t (as I would expect, even because cardiologists have better things to do than studying History of Portuguese Law), I’m a bit more reassured and I interpret that it was the sad result of some misunderstanding due to difficulties in understanding the Portuguese language, within the British couple’s assistants, because I’m absolutely certain that the Most Illustrious Lawyers who represent the McCanns in Portugal would never utter such an enormous STUPIDITY!
c) Even because Portuguese laws don’t keep innocent citizens in prison, or with supposed and light-headed ‘evidence’, and after realising their mistake, don’t repeat trials over the same crime, after its nullity was assumed by the Judicial administration, thus respecting Human Rights, contrary to certain European Nations (confront the case of Nicolas Bento, for example, which I’ll return to).
But as if this bizarreness weren’t enough, at the same time the most famous of all ‘spin doctors’ tries to recreate a theory in order to sustain the criticism over the spectacular media exposure, which at a certain time, he admits, he ‘tried to control’ under order (“hired in September 2007 to ‘salvage their reputations’”, those of Kate and Gerry; in ‘The Independent’, March 1, 2009): the British journalists were systematically drunk as they spent their whole afternoons drinking alcohol at the Ocean Club, begging him for news about the case, allegedly in order not to lose their jobs. As they got no news, they translated the news from Portuguese newspapers, thus justifying, from their point of view, the alleged defamation campaign against the McCanns.
This theory is particularly fascinating. Nevertheless, like all very fascinating theories, it’s too exaggerated, it lacks logics, and the facts can be explained in a more parsimonious fashion. Let’s see, Mister Mitchell:
a) Concerning the alcohol consumption, there would be much to say, but I’ll go no further than the frequent and witnessed abuses by the ‘Tapas Nine Group’ (these were proved by employees and by documents – dinner invoices) and consider that you are making baseless and defamatory accusations against a class to which you belong yourself and whose members cannot be generalised;
b) Concerning the fact that the journalists were “desperate” for news, I have to state, with factual knowledge, that you manipulated many of them, from the same group of English newspapers, and obviously in some cases there were threats of firing, at some point in time, but rather if supposed “defamatory facts against the couple” were published;
c) Some Portuguese journalists were threatened with lawsuits by famous Carter Ruck, which until today never became more than it was: threats!
With this, you mean to say that the Portuguese journalists defamed the McCanns in their Newspapers, and that the British Journalists, drunk and under the threat of being fired, translated those news that you find defamatory, and in this way ended up being condemned to pay financial compensations to the McCann couple, that diluted them into the ‘Find Madeleine’ fund?
Fibs, Mister Mitchell, Fibs!
Do you know why? Because if it were so, the McCanns would have to thank for those supposedly defamatory news, that through the translations by drunk journalists, guaranteed approximately ¼ of the fund that was supposedly created to search for little Maddie. In this case, then, and under your perspective, 25% of the fund resulted from defamation, alcohol, incompetence and the fear of losing jobs? I’m sorry, but this makes no sense. The story is much too long!
Concerning this interpretation, Dr Gerry McCann is more parsimonious. He recognises that Maddie “became a product and profits had to be maintained”! I absolutely agree with Dr Gerry McCann in this matter and I have already spoken about this issue and the ‘Relational Marketing’ of the Maddie product, the fidelization of some media’s customers (I wrote about this, for the first time, in June 2007). As a matter of fact, a recent statement, during a party congress, by a Portuguese politician who is involved in a paedophilia scandal, illustrates what I mean when I mention Relational Marketing (in due time someone will pick this theme up). But, as we say in Portugal, you can’t have the ball and the stick! It was Dr Gerry McCann himself who created this product, when, due to motives that have yet to be decoded, he informed some media on the fateful night of the 3rd of May 2007, thus forcing, even against the authorities’ advice, his daughter’s maximum public exposure, even though he was repeatedly warned about the danger that might represent for Maddie’s life.
Paradoxically, Dr Gerry McCann mentions he can’t forgive the Portuguese press for publishing news about the hypothetical death of Maddie. The question that I think should be asked is not whether one should forgive the press over such news or not, but rather, to try to understand the value of such news. Despite everything else, these news, as we could confirm when the process was made public, after being clumsily archived, had bases and very strong fundaments and didn’t come out by chance. Of course a ‘mole’ in the Polícia Judiciária was mentioned. That matter, I believe, will one day emerge from the muddy waters that we navigate. But the most relevant aspect is that the abduction theory has not presented any indicia or fundaments and Dr Gerry McCann continues to claim it. May Dr Gerry McCann be aware of something that may constitute a strong indicium, which he has yet to reveal to the Polícia Judiciária? I think that this is a very pertinent question.
But as the second anniversary of the unfortunate event draws closer, a new campaign has been developed: to place outdoors and posters with Maddie’s image, at the surroundings of the area where the little girl disappeared. THE CIRCUS HAS COME TO THE VILLAGE! I must say that I can see only one qualifier for this campaign: CLOWN SHOW!
The arguments for this action are hopelessly dishonest.
a) Because it’s not true that the populations in the area of Praia da Luz hasn’t been sufficiently informed and investigated; as a matter of fact, these populations have actively participated, as if it was their own child, in everything, Dr McCann, IN EVERYTHING, even beyond what they were asked to do. In this case, comparisons that were established with the cases of Natasha Kampush and Elizabeth Smart, among others, constitute an argument of dizzying frailty, apart from unworthily opportunistic, because they try to ride the impact, on public opinion, of the condemnation for life of Mister Fritzl, that unbelievable case of Amstetten! It is unacceptable, to say the least, to try to manipulate public opinion in this way, two years after the events of Praia da Luz!
b) Just like with those unfortunate and famous posters that joined the faces of Maddie and MariLuz, it would be convenient for the person who ‘designed’ the campaign to understand, once and for all, that there are rules for this type of initiative, beyond the decisions of the McCann couple and of Mister Mitchell and Associates;
c) It’s not true that there is strong indicia that Maddie may be alive and in good health. Even if faith could give us hope that Maddie is alive, simple common sense would make it impossible to think that a little girl that has been away from her family for so long, with the ignoble comparisons with cases like those described in the previous item, could be well and in good health. It’s counter-intuitive, to say the least. Once again, that issue is different if Dr Gerry McCann possesses any type of information that he has yet to share with the competent authorities.
d) Because it’s not likely at all that, after time goes by, the memory of some people may have improved to the point that they remember the claimed ‘key clue’ to find Maddie. Memory doesn’t improve with time, Dr McCann, except under very special circumstances that you, as a doctor, also know, which would lead us to consider only ‘certain persons’.
In truth, I understand the attitude of the population of Praia da Luz. To shred posters is simultaneously an action of legitimate indignation and of respect for Maddie’s memory, and not an act of vandalism like tabloid ‘The Evening Standard’ wanted us to believe. What name do these gentlemen give to the actions of so many of the English football fans that we usually call ‘hooligans’?
I am going to leave some questions searching for answers.
a) For what reasons does Método 3 continue to appear as the investigation team on the official Find Madeleine site?
b) For what reason does Dr Kate McCann appear to be less visible and less ‘active’?
c) For what motives, after having recognized that his family was “the focus of some of the most sensationalist, untruthful, irresponsible and damaging reporting in the history of the press”, does Dr McCann insist on a new media pressure, geographically located???
d) For what motive, stating that there should be “more control over journalists to the potential to ruin people’s lives”, did Dr Gerry McCann NOT pursue any legal process in Portugal, when he clearly could have done it according to Mr Mitchell’s statements, regarding the sources of the alleged news which were subject to translations?
I will finish for today, with two sentences by Dr Gerry McCann which, from my point of view, answer this and some other doubts present in this post:
“As Madeleine's parents we cannot and will not ever stop doing all we can to find her.”