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Rebuttal of "Fact" 35

Page history last edited by Administrator 9 years, 2 months ago

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35. The McCanns ignored police advice not to publicise Madeleine’s distinctive mark in her right eye, a ‘Coloboma’. They said that if she was with an abductor, it could place her life in danger. On 15 July 2009, Gerry McCann said: “We thought it was possible that publicising her coloboma could harm Madeleine. Her abductor might do something to her eye. But in marketing terms it was a good ploy”. 

 

Verdict - Unsubstantiated claim as well as inaccurate quote and wrong date.

Source - Media article.

 


 

Summary of Verifiable Facts

  1. The quote originates from an interview with Vanity Fair Magazine dated 10th January 2008, NOT an unnamed source dated 15th July 2009.
  2. The quote is inaccurate and incomplete and gives a different impression from the actual interview.
  3. The Portuguese Judiciary themselves released the details of Madeleine's distinctive mark on her eye in a press release dated 5th May, 2007.
  4. Withholding information about such a distinctive feature is completely at odds with the advice given by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

 

Discussion

As with many of the MMRG's "facts", there are several independent statements in this one.

  1. The McCanns ignored police advice not to publicise Madeleine’s distinctive mark in her right eye, a ‘Coloboma’.
  2. They said that if she was with an abductor, it could place her life in danger.
  3. On 15 July 2009, Gerry McCann said: “We thought it was possible that publicising her coloboma could harm Madeleine. Her abductor might do something to her eye. But in marketing terms it was a good ploy”. 

 

1. The McCanns ignored police advice not to publicise Madeleine’s distinctive mark in her right eye, a ‘Coloboma’.

Where is the proof that police advised the McCanns against publicising Madeleine's unique mark in her eye?  The police themselves included the detail in their press release on 5th May 2007:-

 

Quote:

de olho esquerdo azul e verde e o direto verde com uma marca castanha na pupila 

 

 

 

 

 

Withholding such uniquely identifying information also goes against the advice given by the US's National Center for Missing and Exploited Children:-

Quote:

Compile descriptive information about your child and have the information available to provide to the first-responding, law-enforcement investigator. Descriptive information should include items and information such as a recent, clear, head-and-shoulders photograph of your child; videotapes of your child; a description of the clothing worn at the time of the disappearance; cellular and other telephone numbers; date of birth; hair and eye color; height; weight; complexion; identifiers such as eyeglasses or contact lenses, braces on the teeth, piercings; and specific physical attributes such as scars, marks, and tattoos. 

 

Conclusion

Unsubstantiated Claim - the PJ used the information in their own press release dated 5th may, 2007. 

 

 

2. They said that if she was with an abductor, it could place her life in danger.

 

Incorrect - See Below.

 

3. On 15 July 2009, Gerry McCann said: “We thought it was possible that publicising her coloboma could harm Madeleine. Her abductor might do something to her eye. But in marketing terms it was a good ploy”. 

 

Misquotation and wrong date.

 

The source for this is an interview which Gerry McCann gave to Vanity Fair Magazine in late 2007.  It was published by Vanity Fair on 10th January 2008.  The precise quote is given below:-

 

Original Source - Vanity Fair Magazine 10th January, 2008

Quote:

Although initially reluctant, the McCanns finally informed the media of Madeleine’s unique right eye—a risky revelation. Whoever had taken the child now held a universally recognizable little girl.

 

Gerry understood that. But, he says, the iris “is Madeleine’s only true distinctive feature. Certainly we thought it was possible that this could potentially hurt her or”—he grimaces—“her abductor might do something to her eye.… But in terms of marketing, it was a good ploy.” 

 

TV Interview with McCanns where they talk about the difficult decisions they had to make regarding publicity:-

Quote:

 

You know a few people have said to us you know too much publicity might not be good because somebody, whoever's got her might keep her hidden and obviously everything that we're doing at the minute has a slight risk to it which is a horrible situation to be in when you're dealing with your daughter but overall, we felt rather than sit back and not do anything that this was the way to go.

G. We've done a lot of things on our own and clearly there's mixed signals from what could be done in terms of the North American experience

K. Certainly what Gerry learned from NcMA in Washington was that by having her image out there was definitely the right thing to do.  In one in six children that are recovered, it's because somebody's recognised and the laws in the States are very different from here and again they're well ahead of the game.  They've got their Amber Alert so you know within two hours of the child getting taken, a police report has to be filed and obviously,  the response time in Europe has to be quicker.  It has to be quicker.
G. But the problem is that, and this applies to the child pornography laws as well, is that if you make regulation tight in one country, the perpetrators don't know any boundaries and they'll move to the country where the legislation is least tight, so you might be exporting your problem and that's why it has to have an international dimension and that's why the laws need tightened up, not just in the UK or United States or anywhere else, it's where children can be abused or be likely to be abused

 

 

 

 

Marketing

From the US Department of Justice - "When Your Child is MIssing - A Family Survival Guide"

Quote:

The more people who know that your child is in danger and what your child looks like, the better the chances are that someone will recognize your child and report his or her whereabouts. —Claudine Ryce.

 

Consider using publicity gimmicks to etch your child’s face in the public’s memory. Have your child’s picture printed on buttons, T-shirts, bumper stickers, stamps, and baseball-type cards. 

 

 

Conclusions

The article stresses how hard the decision was for the McCanns to release information about Madeleine's unique mark in her eye.  The journalist even sees fit to mention Gerry McCann's facial expression as he describes the risky decision they had to take.  However, through selective (mis) quotation,, the MMRG has omitted these crucial points.

 

Conclusion

Once again, an inaccurate quotation has been used by the MMRG.  The real quotation in combination with accompanying facts gives a quite different perspective.

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