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Wednesday, October 24, 2007


Just plain mean

There are some people in this world who would be better off keeping their poison pens locked away and keeping their even more poisonous mouths firmly shut. I write about the media saga of the McCanns, who lost their child in Portugal this summer. Please note, I choose my words carefully.

In desperation, the parents courted the media in order that they might get their child back alive. In return, they have been arrested, subjected to a media circus feeding frenzy, and had some pretty nasty things written about them. For their loss, and for their treatment by certain commentators, they have my utmost sympathy.

One of the nastiest of the rumours currently circulating in the Mainstream Media is that they ‘sedated’ their little girl before going out to dinner on the evening of their daughter’s disappearance. Okay, WHERE IS THE HARD EVIDENCE THAT THEY DID THIS? Who comes up with this crap? DNA in the boot of their rental car? I would be more suspicious if there was no DNA sample. Little kids get everywhere, snot, hair, urine, skin flakes and flecks of blood from scratches and insect bites, all over furniture, clothes, walls and luggage, which of course gets into the boot (trunk) of a rental car. Like puppies children are messy by nature, every parent knows this by experience. No sample would have suggested a suspiciously too-thorough cleaning job.

There’s also the issue of a certain author who used the McCann’s ‘story’ as a metaphor. Perhaps that might have been a bad career move, perhaps not. It certainly got the author in question publicity in a rather ruthless roundabout way. I shall not dignify the 2000 word piece with any links from this site. It was a clever piece of prose, but to me ill-judged.

No matter what the truth in this case turns out to be. If, like I strongly suspect, the parents of Madeleine McCann turn out to be nothing more than two ordinary human beings distraught enough to try anything to get their child back, then whoever spreads this unfounded conjecture should be held to account. No one has any right to make up spurious stories in a situation like this.

In addition, such stories actually end up interfering with investigations, and end up being just plain mean and hurtful. The allegations say nothing about the parents, but they do tell you something about the sickness in some writers’ hearts and minds. Hell, I may take the mickey about certain things, but there are events that should be treated with a little dignified forbearance until all the evidence is in and properly collated.

As a caring stepfather, I too would be frantic if either or both of my two stepdaughters went missing. Any commentator even suggesting that I was in some way guilty of wrongdoing would invoke my full and undying displeasure. If the McCann’s took legal action that ended with sackings in the media for publishing such unfounded allegations, they would be justified.

I hope when they are found innocent Madeleine McCann’s parents engage the services of a good libel lawyer. Then it will be their turn for a feeding frenzy.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Like a lot of people, my heart goes out to the McCanns on their loss. As a parent, I can only imagine the torment they are going through. That said, it would be interesting to discover what would have happened if the parents had been 'chavs' from a council estate and had been sinking vodka and cokes in a bar 200 yards away from where they left their children instead of 2 doctors who were drinking wine 200 yards away from where they had left their children. There is a possibility that the mediaq and general public would be screaming something like "It's no more than can be expected of such people really." Take it one step further and suppose that Madelaine had been in the care of school teachers taking her away on a class visit. I would suggest that their would be a public outcry for the teachers and the head of the school to be charged with corporate manslaughter. The McCanns may not be guilty for the disappearance of their daughter but they must take a share of responsibility. They may not be criminals but they are stupid!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007 8:45:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have no opinion on any involvement the McCanns may or may not have in Maddys disappearance except to be disgusted by the tabloid press.
Having said that I thought that the car in question had only been hired after Maddy went missing - there may still be ways of getting her DNA there anyway but if it really is her DNA it surely out to be investigated. But not by the 'press'.

Thursday, October 25, 2007 2:27:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Every time the media scum invent the trash they call 'journalism' the lives of innocent victims are made worse. I think constantly of poor Sarah Clarke who was imprisoned after losing her children to cot deaths. People are just plain vicious - individually and collectively. Unfortunately we do not seem to have the systems to protect the vulnerable from stupid and ill founded witch hunting.

Monday, October 29, 2007 6:42:00 pm  

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Exasperated expatriate expostulations all the way from British Columbia, Canada. As if anyone really cared. Oh, I also watch Icelandic Volcanoes and seismic activity. Don't ask me why.

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