McCanns call for media obsession to end - Telegraph
Sunday, August 26, 2007
Link: McCanns call for media obsession to end - Telegraph.
Gerry McCann says it all.
'In the last six weeks there really has been nothing to report'
He and his wife did everything they could to engineer the media frenzy of which he now complains. They did so contrary to the advice - so it was said at the outset - of the Portuguese police. Given full scope, the tabloid journalists have really gone to town. They have trashed the life of a suspect falsely accused by one of them. No doubt she impressed her ediitor with the resulting coverage, the unscrupulous minx.
They have insulted the Portuguese police, who have been made out to be country bumpkins by an arrogant British press corps (and some attention-seeking British police officers, current and retired). They have damaged Britain's relations with her oldest ally and made a circus out of a tragedy. In the end, as they always do in looking for a new angle on a stale story, they turned on the protagonists themselves - reporting (quite possibly made-up) "allegations" that the McCanns were suspects.
They have sold a lot of newspapers (and Sky subscriptions) by pandering to the low Diana-ish sentimentality of the British working classes, but they have not helped to find the missing girl - for all their sanctimonious professions of concern.
As a libertarian, I defend the McCanns' choice as to how to deal with their awful situation. I would also defend the right of the Press to cover stories exactly as they please. Freedom includes the right to be wrong; to make mistakes, or it is nothing. The McCanns and the British Press have made full use of that right.
I only hope that it does not now emerge that the media hoo-hah panicked Madeleine's abductors into killing her. The McCanns have enough to deal with without that.
It is a terrible thought that the media coverage might have done that. The McCanns were desperate people in an unimaginably horrific situation, and who among us knows what we would do? I thought at the beginning that the criticism of the Portuguese police was hardly helpful [and this was initiated, if I remember rightly, by family members in Britain] and the trashing of someone who has not been charged was unbelieveable. But as a certain Princess learned before them, the McCanns are finding that you cannot just "use" the media when it suits you.
Posted by: Welshcakes Limoncello | Monday, August 27, 2007 at 08:35 PM