Duarte Levy..

Freelance journalist

McCann: The operation charms

115559508

“New year, New Life.”

In Portugal, as the start of each new calendar year is marked, the Portuguese, the eternal sardine munchers – as they were described by a few xenophobic British commentators – have the habit of using, along with best wishes, a typical expression: “New year, new life,” which in French can be translated as “nouvelle anneé, nouvelle vie (*)” An expression the McCann’s probably learned from their Portuguese lawyers, not forgetting their Social Democrat friends.

Meanwhile, the recent visit to Portugal by Madeleine McCann’s father is the epitome of a new kind of charm offensive which has allowed the couple to open “hostilities”: after being in agreement with their seven British friends not to participate in the reconstruction of the events and actions of the night of May 3rd, the couple have allegedly found the willingness to cooperate with the Portuguese authorities, stating that they are convinced that there are still things that could be done in the investigation into their daughter’s disappearance.

Reassuring the Portuguese media that there would be no legal action against them, while in London he was succeeding, once again, in making a British daily back down – forcing another “contribution,” to the Madeleine fund – Gerry McCann announced, in preparation for Kate’s next visit, that it was the first of many visits.

Arriving at Faro airport on January 13th, Gerry McCann stayed on Portuguese territory for twenty-two hours in order to meet, according to his spokesman, the couple’s lawyer and the British Ambassador to Lisbon.

A “surprise” visit, announced in advance by several British and Portuguese media, who say that the year 2009, in terms of communication and image, would bring a few surprises.

Action – Reaction.

Amongst the new resolutions adopted by the McCann’s, always very aware of what is being said on the internet (blogs and forums) and in the media, we find the motto “action – reaction”, evidenced in the recent “disclosure” of accounts for the fund created after the disappearance of Madeleine’s body.

After the use of money from the Madeleine fund to pay Kate and Gerry McCann’s expenses, without any direct connection to the hunt for Maddie, was touched upon by a Portuguese television channel (TVI), number one in the ratings, the couple’s advisers reacted immediately, producing a summary of the accounts which explain nothing about the real use of the money. Some might even say that this reaction was designed to “pull the rug from under” foreign journalists, because, in the United Kingdom few still have the opportunity to doubt or to question the couple’s good intentions, as can be deduced from the few articles published about the accounts.

In the United Kingdom, in spite of the restrictions imposed by the editors-in-chief and the huge sums paid without any kind of legal proceedings, some still happen to be writing about the McCann’s.

425782694According to a British tabloid, after 21 months “of agony” Kate McCann is allegedly “obsessed with the search for her daughter,” spending three hours a day reading documents in the hope that they could answer the question: “where has our Madeleine gone?”

The very title of the article sets the tone: “Inside the mind of Kate McCann”. The journalist doesn’t explain how he managed such a feat (getting into such a “tortured” mind), but it is certain that the PJ would be interested to learn the technique which might lead them to find out the answers to the questions that Kate McCann refused to answer, notably this one: what did Kate McCann do on the afternoon and evening of May 3rd 2007.

According to this article – an integral part of the McCann’s’ new marketing campaign in the British press – Kate spends a significant amount of her time reading the thousands of pages of the 17 volumes of the investigation into her daughter’s disappearance, the same documents which a few days ago, her husband and the couple’s spokesman, said were still in the process of being translated, but “where there was no evidence.”

Again, according to this tabloid, after Madeleine’s disappearance, Kate McCann left her job as a general practitioner and while “the twins Sean and Amelia enjoy playing with their friends at nursery,” she devotes her time to “digging up clues that would lead her to her daughter.”

The article recounts a few more details of that surprising “visit”, without, however, providing answers to the investigators’ questions….we wonder what that journalist has been doing “inside the mind of Kate McCann.” It is probably for lack of response that the tabloid changed the title of the article.

Three months away from the second anniversary of Madeleine McCann’s disappearance, the McCann’s’ new public charm campaign has well and truly started and other similar articles are to be expected from the British press.

Duarte Levy

Read the original article in French

Filed under: Madeleine McCann, , , , , , , , , ,

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