The McCann family’s spokesman Clarence Mitchell makes the claim in his only personal interview since he was appointed. Mitchell told PRWeek that when the McCanns first became ‘arguidos’ in September, many British reporters were simply translating stories from the ‘lurid’ Portuguese tabloids.
He said: ‘They would add a quote from me and then call it balanced journalism. In certain instances they have failed to establish the accuracy of things before running and re-running wholesale rubbish, giving it spurious credibility in the process.’
The media’s treatment of the story was illustrated last week, when the Mirror ran a front-page story about Madeleine headlined ‘She’s Dead’ – expressing the opinion of the Portuguese attorney general as if it were a fact. Mitchell temporarily withdrew co-operation with the paper, while relations were improved.
‘No one knows that to be true,’ he commented. ‘Kate and Gerry have made their view known to the paper’s senior management, who have been very apologetic.’