Sunday, October 5, 2014

Summers and Swan and The Demise of Journalism

Although I am no longer writing ongoing commentary about the Madeleine McCann case (not because I have been "silenced" but because I feel a whitewash is a foregone conclusion), I still find myself unable to keep quiet when I see the media act in egregious and unethical fashion. And since I have been part of the media more than a decade and also have insight on the how the publishing world and police agencies operate, I can shed some light on exactly what is happening with this sudden attack on McCann skeptics that has proliferated in the British and US media in the last few days. For those not up to speed, it has been reported by more than a dozen media outlets that the Metropolitan Police have received an 80 page dossier from a "concerned citizens group" which recorded the actions of vile trolls and their attacks on the McCanns.

This is my profile of exactly how this went down:

Summers and Swan put out a book (that I believe may have been commissioned) and expected - since they consider themselves to be investigative journalists of such a high caliber - to have little negative response to their book. They were surprised by the numbers of one-star reviews that certainly have curtailed sales (btw, the sales are not as bad as some believe - the site they are accessing for book sales is not accurate. While the book is not a bestseller, it is selling at a modest pace).

Summers and Swan are correct that some one-star book reviews were made without reading the book. However, some of the five-star reviews were also made without reading the book. There is no "organized" attack by any particular group - just general encouragement to post reviews of a book many feel is a sham and inaccurate. The only group I know of that has coordinated an "organized" attack is the online group that turned in the dossier against the McCann skeptics. This is pretty much a group spearheaded by one particularly aggressive pro-McCanner. This same group encouraged people to not only attack my book on the case, Profile of the Disappearance of Madeleine McCann (btw, this was an earlier independent review of the case, Mr. Summers and Ms. Swan) and put up negative reviews on Amazon and Barnes and Noble, but to go after my other books as well as punishment. This same group is the one from whom Summers and Swan got their information on me (rather than reading my book and blogs or interviewing me) and has kept a running log on McCann skeptics; I have a page devoted to me on their site (or, more accurately, pages) which I am sure was included in the dossier sent to the police.

So, Summers and Swan gather information from a particularly vicious Internet site that essentially stalks, harasses, and slanders people who believe the McCanns might be guilty of a crime; then this same group warned them that they might get negative reviews on their book when it came out. After this comes true, Summers and Swan get all pissy and decide to fight back. I am sure if this "dossier" was given to the police by the group without the publicity generated, absolutely generated by Summers and Swan who are tightly connected to the media industry, the police would have shelved it without comment. I know this because I have been stalked and harassed on the Internet and there is little the police can do unless there is a direct threat made that the authorities will take seriously. Saying nasty things about someone on Twitter or Facebook is not a crime. I have had many nasty things said about me by the pro-McCanns (I don't see Summers and Swan getting all bent out of shape on my, they are instead teaming up with my abusers) but most are not criminal threats (the closest was a photo that was supposed to be of my house that was posted either to identify my home so I could be assaulted or to show that my house was not a mansion - it was actually a photo of my neighbor's house). I have been slandered unmercifully, but that is a civil, not a criminal, matter.

Summers and Swan now also claim that they are being personally attacked. I guess if you call questioning their journalistic ability being personally attacked, they are correct. The group Summers and Swan are having a "promance" with have slandered me over and over but that is totally okay with this ethically challenged duo.

The police are not going to do a damn thing with this dossier. Although another ethically challenged journalist, Carole Malone, claims Brenda Leyland (who was stalked and harrassed by Martin Brunt), sent 50 texts a day to the McCanns. I don't see any evidence she texted the McCanns threats. She posted on Twitter which is not a personal contact as would be texting and emailing or mailing. It is a public space where people chat and gossip. If you don't go hang out there, you won't get your feelings hurt as Summers and Swan and their daughter have or so they claim. Also, you can block anyone from Twitter and not see what they write. I have blocked all my haters and I see nothing of what they spew. I also block them from my Facebook page and, therefore, do not have to be bombarded by their nastiness. So, the police are not going to waste their time trying to slap the hands of Tweeters; they only commented to the press because Summers and Swan sent the press their way.

By the way, I am not defending really nasty stuff I see posted concerning the McCanns. As to Sweepyface (Brenda Leyland), I have only seen a small number of her tweets of; some are fine, some are a bit stronger in emotion than I am comfortable with. Whether or not I approve of all her tweets is not at issue; what is concerning is that she is being singled out as representative of all those who question the McCanns' involvement in the disappearance of their daughter. This is a wide and unethical brush. There is quite a variety in the content of what people post and some of it (though not the majority of it) has caused me to prefer, as a professional, not to be linked to any particular Facebook page or website other than my own. I do not approve of photoshopped pictures of the McCanns, sick comments, and such. I have had enough of that done to me by the pros and I do not think it is a civil way to conduct a conversation. Most of the people on the Facebook pages and Twitter are discussing things in a decent manner but there are those who cross the line and act crudely. Unfortunately, any major issue is tainted with nastiness these days on the Internet; you can see that by going to any comment section on any subject. If Summers and Swan think they or the McCanns should be not experience what every other public figure and author experiences, well, then they think somehow they are better than everyone. In reality, they have the fortune (and the lawyers) to have the media on their side  for many years, so they suffer far less at present than the rest of us.

Which brings me to my final comment on this; the media have become the most vicious of all trolls on the planet because they spit out gossip, lies, and slander without even bothering to check facts, which is exactly the opposite of what they are supposed to do as journalists. They run with any moneymaking story no matter who generated it and how true it actually is. Summers and Swan clearly orchestrated this junk story in the media knowing full well that none of their media cohorts were going to bother to do any real reporting on the matter. My name is in that dossier, I am damned sure, and not one journo has called me to validate the accuracy of the dossier or to find out more about this "secret" "concerned" citizens group.

Although I believe the Summers and Swan book is likely to have been "encouraged" to coincide with the end of the civil and criminal cases (although this seems to have been a miscalculation), this attack on McCann skeptics is simply Summers and Swan's outrage at having their book dissed. They are buddy buddy with the media so it is no surprise they were able to retaliate through them and, again, no media outlet is likely to question anything that is pro-McCann. I have been out here for seven years, written over seventy blogs on the case and published a book that was Carter-Rucked by the McCanns, and not one journalist (including Summers and Swan) has contacted me, a high profile independent professional criminal profiler, to understand the other side of the story. Balanced reporting, investigative reporting, ethical reporting - in the UK and the US - is pretty much as dead as Madeleine.

Criminal Profiler Pat Brown

October 5, 2014

Cover for 'Profile of the Disappearance of Madeleine McCann'

By Pat Brown
Rating: 1 star1 star1 star1 star1 star
Published: July 27, 2011

What really happened to Madeleine Beth McCann in Praia da Luz, Portugal in 2007? Was she abducted as the Gerry and Kate have claimed or did something happen to Madeleine on May 3 in the vacation apartment and the incident covered up? Criminal Profiler Pat Brown analyzes the evidence and takes the readers through the steps of profiling, developing a theory that is intriguing and controversial.


Christine L. said...

What a Phenomenal Article Pat Brown, and keep voicing all! People need to Know the Truth and You are the Best!

Bill Foster said...

Sadly, Pat, I fear you may be totally correct.
The whitewash seems to be coming to a totally predictable climax.
When Scotland Yard, once the most respected investigative unit in the world, started this 'investigation' with the words 'neither the parents nor their friends are suspects', the writing was on the wall.

Despite no evidence to support an abduction, apart from Madeleine not being present, and plenty of evidence to at least suggest that something other than an abduction took place, all the efforts of Redwood and his team have been directed to finding a scapegoat, dead or alive, realistic or plain silly.

There are many people who believe that the parents know what happened to their daughter, and it wasn't 'abduction'.

I am, and always will be, one of those people.

Bless you. Pat.

Chris said...

Spot on as usual Pat! It would appear that we no longer live in a country where freedom of speech and the ability to look at both sides of a viewpoint is seen as being important. It's very depressing!

Anonymous said...

Very early to be definite, but there are rumours that Brenda Leyland (Sweepyface) has passed away. This will bring up serious questions about how the MSM have also harassed this woman, if what I think may have happened, has happened.

Anonymous said...

The saddest possible news has come to light on Facebook and Twitter. It would seem that Sweepyface has taken her own life. Her son has messaged that he will love her and miss her always.

PeterMac said...

Do we now live in a world where failing to believe everything the McCanns say - even when they say totally different things - curtains wide open AND tight closed, front door using key, or open patio door - where thinking that a story about 9 medically qualified parents leaving 8 children for 6 nights in their own vomit and diarrhoea in cold dark apartments, with locked or unlocked doors . . is not entirely credible - is punishable with imprisonment and legal costs amounting to a third of your Pension , for the rest of your life, and now that expressing your views on the McCanns, however crudely, is punishable with Death ?

Pat Brown said...

Yes, Peter, we do.

Anonymous said...

I don't think that anything Brenda Leyland did deserved for her to be hounded to the point of suicide though. Not everyone is as tough and street-wise as you Pat. You have the authority of being a Criminal Profiler to be able to stand up and be counted. Others of us, who believe just as you that the McCanns know exactly what happened to Madeleine, do not have your professionalism to cover us.

guerra said...

I'm not so sure that these two opportunists launched a campaign against the "trolls" because they felt disrespected. They must have known beforehand that in writing a book which has a clear agenda that they would be severely criticized by the people who are familiar with the details of the case. We must not forget that there is a trial going on in which the plaintiffs claim that their standing in the community has suffered, that their quality of life has turned for the worse because people believe what the original lead coordinator of the case wrote about the disappearance of their child. It could be that this is simply a way of demonstrating that the McCanns have indeed suffered.

At the moment Portugal is restructuring their judicial system and they are having difficulties implementing these changes because of some glitches in a computer program, so perhaps this may result in more delays in the commencement of the trial against Mr. Amaral.

Anonymous said...

And look at the way the Daily Mail uses the word "wrongly" when stating the trolls believed the McCanns were involved in the disappearance.

Anonymous said...

It's just been reported that Brenda Leyland killed herself yesterday. I hope to god that those who hounded her are held responsible!

Anonymous said...

oops here is the link

Anonymous said...

Yes, she was found dead in a hotel room not so far from Rothly Manor.

RIP Brenda. Your death is likely to have far reaching consequences.

Anonymous said...

I believe the McCann's may-be about to become very quiet! Regardless of what this lady said it didn't say, this pair of vile, manipulative, lying scum bags, and the offending news organisations, have her blood on their hands!

Pat Brown said...

Guerra, for once, I disagree with you! ::laughs::

I DO think Summers and Swan miscalculated the negative reviews and their impact. They exhibit a similar trait to the McCanns, that of being extremely arrogant and narcissistic. WE are right; WE profiled this crime correctly; everyone else is wrong. How DARE they! I think they really didn't think they were going to get much guff and they were incensed when it happened and struck back. I don't think this part was orchestrated by the McCann team. I also think the unholy alliance of Summers and Swan and the pro-McCann group which shall not be named were fuel for each other.

Anonymous said...

Hello Pat - yes, you make total sense about the dossier and S&S and write it down so well.

Now we have Brenda`s suicide as a consequence of Martin Brunt doorstepping her home and printing lies and ghastly pics of her on the front pages - anyone would do themselves in after that - poor, poor woman.

Just what is behind this coverup - what shameful things are the McCanns and their protectors needing to hide so desperately.

Anonymous said...

@ How can anyone call pat a troll?
The case isnt resolved, and its upon this truth they want to silence them searching for that truth, i also need to point out nobody has said anything nasty about their children either, the only comments been made was about information that was put out about this missing child by her parents, and the more weird duo about sex offenders without any evidence?
What i find grossly disgusting is being labeld a hater because i dont beleive their perverted lies about this child, in all this time, there isnt no evidence of a sexaul attack in that apartment, the maccanns have never had evidence to back that claim, apart from kates own sick dream which is more offensive than any troll that was fed this garbage about a sex offender ever existing?
The maccanns stated they had no enemies that would harm their daughter, now all of a sudden there are hundreds, paranoid about skeptics who dont need a lawyer over anything they search for.

Anonymous said...

Very well written Pat. So glad to have you back.

Anonymous said...

What this case has demonstrated to the Establishment and which they have known for some time the power of the internet, it allows for a collective strength to form and that is something that scares the living daylights out of them.

Don't anyone fool themselves ...The result of the fight for truth in this case, will render new laws passed very soon to stifle free speech - the government have learnt much through this case and they will do whatever they can to prevent been questioned in future.


Big changes are required and the people need to unite, if we don't get more involved in the politics that effect our lives.. then soon it will be much harder to make authorities accountable.

Without doubt we are heading into a Orwellian world.
It will be a groundhog day life.

United we stand - divided we fall.

Take note.


Anonymous said...

Gerry McCann in 2009: "I think the most damning thing of all of this and the most damaging aspect of all the coverage which Kate and I cannot forgive is the presentation that there is a substantial body of evidence that suggests that Madeleine is dead when there is no evidence in fact to suggest she has been seriously harmed."

So he wasn't concerned about Madeleine being dead, only whether or not she was seriously harmed.

Anonymous said...

Sorry Pat, but you come across as resentful and bitter when you criticise other people who have published material about this case. You have nowhere near the intelligence, compassion, insight and most importantly- rigour of mind- that these authors have. That is why one of them has been nominated for a Pulitzer Prize and why you exist online with the McCann haters and nutters.
You do not respond to this case as a professional at all, and have lost any credibility as a profiler. You engage in nasty, bitchy comments about the McCanns that are all over the internet. Suck it up- You are a frustrated housewife, who has given herself a 'title' - Only in America could a person with no professional history call themselves a 'criminal profiler'. If that's 'freedom of expression', I'd rather live somewhere else where one must earn the professional use of a title before using it!

Anonymous said...

Lol! Pat- You exhibit all the qualities of a narcissist. These authors are not narcissists, as they have done rigorous university degrees and gained a solid reputation amongst academic peers. Narcissists don't have this kind of dedication and perserverence. They are more likely to be frustrated American housewives, who give themselves fancy, irrelevant titles after taking online degrees. You are not a 'criminal profiler'. The most a google search of you reveals is that you are a Media Whore. No one with any credibility takes you seriously. If you think narcissists are drawn to working long hours as doctors with Britain's National Health system, then you are more ignorant than anyone could imagine.

Anonymous said...

Last three posts.

what a clever one you are - I bet you are of the same circle of "academics" who you think are the bees knees eh ?

Most the official brains of today are lacking - i can see why you admire them so.

Well the fact is with all their degrees and super duper educations they got it Wrong big time. Unless you are saying that they are deliberately telling lies and using their academic brains, to help forge a huge lie stamped in history.

Its one or the other lol

The case is a cover up....everyone knows it - thats the truth !!!

Get over it

see ya


Anonymous said...

@ A very strange post by anon, ive read this attack before, so its not a original post, because pat has mentioned there is them that are out to obstruct what people know is wrong, if what the poster was saying had any credability, why then post anything at all?
Note there isnt anything criminal about pat at all, everything is as pat states, including the nasty attacks from pro maccann fans, also ive read the nhs propaganda excuse being used in poor defence?
What anon failed to mention the mccanns agreed to anyone having a theory, providing it is fiction?
So by that standard wouldnt brenda be in that area, since fiction shouldnt bother the press since it isnt based on any truth?
And why are the mccanns saying that fiction is damaging them?

Anonymous said...

@ Why would anyone say its ok to write fiction, yet not write anything that is true?
Would this apply to summers and swans book being fiction then, since it hasnt been carter rucked?
Yet oddly their attacking a alleged fiction writer named pat brown?
It seems pat has a case to sue the mccanns over that contradiction, and in effect the mccanns put out the lies themselves, to distort any truth.
This isnt the actions of honest people, and thats how they bring law suits against their own fiction they create in the media?
How can anyone defame them in any fiction then?
And how does anyone find the truth about them events that dont add up!
Utterly insane this becomes.

Anonymous said...

@ So what is the truth then anon since you havent resolved the case, and you have no credability to discredit any book pat has written before this case came to light, im neither racist about what pat states, or amaral.
So much for a education and calling people from diferent nationalalities nutters who dont beleive the bihest mccanns.
Maybe you should advise them to move to portugal, to reduce the cost in that so called education you spout so well in your ego, they can search all they want to find their own child, without blaming anyone else, and scamming money from lies they put out?
Any decent parent would have set up a fund in portugal, where the child went missing, and i do find it odd gerry has never been interested in finding this abductor in portugal, while swanning around doing nothing to find her, the money has given him a life style, i would have stayed in portugal to find this child if madeleine had been my daughter, i would have asked amaral for financial help to set up a charity, not push him away from what i felt about this child?
No matter what people said about me, being innocent would be the last thing from my mind in any search for a daughter i loved.

Pat Brown said...

Thanks, guys, for standing up for me. I didn't see this comment until today and it is my policy to delete personal and libelous attacks on me; the comment is now gone.