Tuesday, 20 December 2011

The Dangers of Celebrity

It's a John Blacksmith piece and I should send you directly to his article. Under any other circumstances I would do just that. But because of a truly inspired, if not brilliant use of clip a to further demonstrate the words in Blacksmith's article, I really do have to send you to Steel Magnolia. You will understand why when you get there.

The Dangers of Celebrity

Why won’t they just shut up? Or, to put it more delicately, why are they just as intent now on getting stories into the media as they were, say, in the far off days of November 2007? What’s going on?

A campaign?

Yes, absolutely. Not the diary nonsense—that wasn’t part of any plan, only Mitchell aiming a fire extinguisher at the flames ignited in the Leveson inquiry. For the rest, just look at the evidence.

The McCann stories over the last month have been invented and offered to the media, not sought out by them, and they are all linked. Equally they haven’t been provided transparently in the normal manner—by media conferences or press releases—but by a news management team using the usual tricks: anonymity, source material restrictions, contact with favoured journalists, “false dialogues” (in which one of the media team pretends to be responding to a story which they have in fact provided) and a definite “line”. All the kind of stuff which isn’t far from phone hacking in its conscious duplicity and which has helped to land the press in its present miserable state.

The material about Scotland Yard, about Metodo and about the latest “abduction” claim has all been provided using these tricks and the parents are clearly the source. Ah, the supporters of the parents might say, this is all part of the never-ending “search for Maddie”.

No. The first Scotland Yard story speculating about the Barcelona sighting does not appeal for further information but actively misleads; the second Scotland Yard-related piece about Metodo does not seek information about the child;the latest story about “police accept abduction theory” is concerned only with the veracity of the parents’ version of events and does not involve Madeleine McCann at all.

Who gains? More Steel Magnolia