THERE is no little skill in making something look easy. We speak, of course, of the Express’s editor who leads with the quotidian headline “MADELEINE”.
Easy enough to do, you say. But the Sun often can only manage “Maddy”, the Mirror “Maddie”.
And the editor still has to think of a reason for the headline being there at the expense of other news stories, like “Ziggy’s secret sex pics” (Star), “heroin addict Amy in rehab” (Mirror) and “True hero” (Sun), the story of father-of-three Garry Newlove, beaten to death on his doorstep by a gang of yobs.
As the Express’s TV advert says, the paper’s readers stand for good manners, traditional values and do not stand in the way of progress.
Madeleine on the cover smacks of tradition. Good manners, indeed, in allowing lawyer James Gorrod to defend himself. This is progress.
Gorrod rented a blue Opel Corsa in Portugal five says before Madeleine McCann went missing. He returned the car on May 6. Staff at the rental centre were shocked to see that the car was fitted with a child seat. They believed Gorrod was travelling alone.
They called the police.
Says Gorrod: “A British police officer directly liaising with the Portuguese investigation team recently contacted me to eliminate the vehicle I hired with my wife and two-year-son in Praia da Luz at the same time Madeleine McCann disappeared. The vehicle has been identified and I have been told by the British police officer that he has no plans to interview me or my family, and he does not expect me or my family to have any further involvement in the investigation. We are, of course, deeply saddened by Madeleine’s disappearance and hope for her safe return.”
That’s that, then. But the Express wants us to know that it has been “discovered” that Mr Gorrod has “close links” with friends who were on holiday with Kate and Gerry McCann.
“British lawyer quizzed by Madeleine police on the ‘Exeter connection’,” says the Express.
The Gorrods live in Exeter, Devon, close to Dr Russell O’Brien and Jane Tanner, witnesses in the investigation who have pointed the finger at Robert Murat. The Gorrods are believed to have been staying in the same resort as their friends and the McCanns.
The Express reminds us that Robert Murat was in Exeter 10 days before Madeleine vanished.
And… And nothing. That’s it. The paper invites readers to draw their own conclusions.
And start again tomorrow…