Thoughts on politics and life from a liberal perspective

Saturday, 27 April 2013

Max Clifford's platform

Yesterday the publicist Max Clifford was charged with a number of indecent assaults against girls and young women dating back to the 1960s.

Normally when people are charged with serious crimes we may hear the charges have been made and the identity of who has been charged. That is then usually that until the court case and the verdict when we then find out whether the due process has found them guilty or not guilty.

But in this case straight after the charges Max Clifford held an impromptu press-conference outside his house which was well attended and widely reported in which he strongly protested his innocence.

Why on Earth is the media giving this man a platform like this? He has been charged and a court will decide his innocence or guilt. The fact that he is claiming to be innocent at the moment is barely even news. Most people accused of crimes of this severity claim they are innocent. The media hardly ever reports this fact so un-newsworthy is it.

I am reminded here of what happened with former Sun editor Rebekah Brooks when she was charged with conspiracy to pervert the course of justice last year. She too held an impromptu press conference protesting her innocence which was also widely covered.

Just because these people are famous should not mean their cries of "I'm innocent" should be given more weight than for other mere mortals. They should keep their heads down and allow the judicial process to take its course. And the media should not indulge them.

I have no idea whether Clifford or Brooks are innocent or guilty. But one thing is for sure. Them claiming that they are innocent is pretty much meaningless.

After all they would say that wouldn't they?


fearthenextpage said...

I think it is doubtful that he would be getting charged with very old allegations of this nature of he was not a celebrity. The investigation he is part of is of famous people and comes off the back of the a jimmy Saville allegations and they all seem to be of celebrities, some of whom he is a publicist for.
The recent naming of Lord McAlpine in false accusations demonstrates the damage that can be done to people who end up being found entirely innocent. Clifford's statement is therefore of public interest.

Anonymous said...

How can Clifford's statement possibly be in the public interest, other than to perhaps to those who like to see him squirm.

Today's news that Stuart Hall (also uncovered through the Yewtree investigation), who also recently declared his innocence to the media, has now admitted he is guilty as charged...

If Clifford is found guilty then his fall from grace would be all the greater after his vigorous denials in the media.

In my opinion the publicity & 'trial by media' of 'celebrity' folk can appear unfair to us mere mortals, however these individuals often use and exploit the media to their own ends, so obviously there is media interest in them when they are suspected of a serious crime. It isn't in the public interest other than the media telling things as they are. If a 'celebrity' lies to the media, and is then caught out (Stuart Hall) the media feeding frenzy will be all the more visible.