When Madeleine Mccann disappeared, in 2007, I had been watching Sky News for a couple of years, in cable TV. I remember to see Mr. Martin Brunt reporting about crime – the Soham murders, for example – and I had the best impression of him, as a professional.
I also was amazed with the fact that British journalists, one week after landing in
, had already
so good source inside the Portuguese police. It took me 10/15 years of work to
get reasonable sources in police. Mr. Brunt was quite sincere, about this, in
the beginning: Algarve
“Sky sources' are a bit thin on the ground here in the Algarve. There's no sidling up to a friendly cop for a quick natter away from the cameras. No slipping off for a cappuccino and an off-the-record chat...or 'guidance' as we call it. So I really don't know if the police have any real idea what happened to Madeleine McCann. I suspect they don't."
But I was quite surprised with the performance of Mr. Martin Brunt, reporting about Madeleine McCann disappearance in
. Why? I will just quote
him in two separate moments: Portugal
Martin Brunt, version nº 1 (June 17, 2007)
"One paper seems to have good contacts. The rest of the stuff (news published by Portuguese Press) is best described as 'culhoes (‘balls”, in Portuguese)”
Martin Brunt, version nº 2: (Seprember 15, 2007)
"W've learned to look at what's in the local papers with a little bit more of respect... Remember, for many weeks, we ignored it, we thought it was wild speculation, but as time went on, particularly the events of last weekend, we began to realize that what the local Media were doing was pretty accurately reflecting the tone and the speed and the direction of the investigation and suddenly we had the McCann’s named as suspects, so a lot of what the papers have been writing, as I said, was a pretty clear and accurate reflection of what police was thinking..." So, as the Americans use to say, when they are campaigning for election: 'Would you buy a car from this man?”
First thing I thought was that Mr. Brunt, a British man used to the misty, cold and always clouded sky, in UK, had exposed himself to the Portuguese strong sun for too long. Second thing, I admitted that may be he had not too much sun in his head, but too much beer in his brain.
But neither of these problems could last for months, or years. Now, I believe that Mr. Brunt, like many other British journalists, suffers from a trauma: the Maddie’s Trauma. Whenever they heard her name, they jump into some kind of 5th dimension, completely detached from the real world.
(*) This is one the most obscene words in Portuguese language, used to mention "testicles". The right spelling is "colhões"...