Sunday, September 16, 2007

The McCanns

I'm tired of reading about them.

I'm tired of watching programmes about them.

I'm tired of hearing that they must be guilty. I'm tired of hearing that they must be innocent. I'm tired of seven million different "reports" on the nature, texture and reliability of the blood/hair/bodily fluid that may or may not have been found in the hire car/ in the McCann's apartment/ in another apartment/ by a sniffer dog on that bloody cuddly toy. I'm tired of hearing what "sources close to" the McCanns, the Portuguese police, the British police, the British forensic services and the cat said. I don't care if the Portuguese police like long lunches and sometimes have a glass of wine. I'm not surprised that the Portuguese press are printing every third hand rumour they hear, nor am I surprised that our press doesn't hesitate to reprint them. Incidentally, I don't think that prefacing their gossip-mongering with self-righteous wittering about the degeneracy of the Portuguese press and police gives our media the moral high ground.

If you laid the column inches devoted to the McCanns over the last week end to end they'd reach to Pluto and back, and what does it come down to? That some DNA material has been found, the nature and/or location of which has led the police to think that the poor child is probably dead and that one or both of her parents may have had something to do with it. At the moment, no one knows whether they did or not. I think it's likely that no one ever will.

And I do seem to recall something about, you know, being innocent until proven guilty, and ill-informed and prejudicial press coverage being the sort of thing that can not only ruin the lives of innocent people, but derail the judicial process by making it impossible to give defendants a fair trial and thereby allowing potentially guilty people to avoid a trial on a technicality. My point is that whether the McCanns are guilty or innocent, this constant, unrestrained, stream-of-consciousness coverage is bound to be counterproductive in the long run one way or another.

You know what I'd really like? I'd like to open a newspaper that didn't contain a six-page spread about the McCanns. And if it could possibly not have anything about Diana in it either, that would be just peachy...

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

To sleep! perchance to dream:--ay, there's the rub;

Ex-Pat Alfie

leon said...

It's not like they played no part in the media interest. Live by the sword, die by the sword...

Sir HM said...

There's a lot more to it than that Katy.

But I wont trouble you with it.

I'll laugh like fuck when they get sent down though. And remember - Portuguese law and processes are what matter, not British. So what the Britscum publish means jack shit.

Katy Newton said...

Leon - that's a fair point. I'm not saying they haven't tried to keep the media interested, because they have; whether that's out of a desire to keep the Find Maddie campaign in the public eye or down to some more narcissistic impulse is obviously up for grabs. I just think that after seven days of repeating the same nebulous rumours the press ought to exercise some self control and move on, at least until some more concrete information comes into the public domain.

sir hm - as the judge who looked at the prosecution papers has told the police to go back and interview the McCanns again, I think we can all take it as read that as a matter of Portuguese law there isn't currently sufficient evidence to charge either of them. I'm not saying that there won't be any further evidence; there may be. But at the moment nothing very much is happening and yet the papers are full of it. Full of nothing. That's what's getting my goat.

Sir HM said...

I swear Katy, the Brit press get my goat too.

The evidence the PJ are looking for are for the more serious suspicions. The M€cCanns (and maybe the other six too) will still get a stuffing on the neglect issue. What they did carries a max. two years here - but in Portugal it's a MIN. two years, and possibly up to ten.

They got all this media hype going and they've kept it going. If it now turns around and bites their bums, well hard luck them.

I don't think it's either narcissism or searching for Madeleine - I think they think that if they can keep generating all this noise for long enough then people will forget about the neglect issue.

Anyhow, sorry to go on about it - but it gets my goat knowing that if Wayne or Waynetta from the local sink estate left three kids below the age of four alone for six nights in a row and one had gone missing, they would already have been up in front of the beak, and the SS would already have taken their other two kids away for safe keeping.

Whole bloody system stinks.

Dusanne said...

A very fair point Ms Newton.

Without wishing to trivialise the horrible case in point, it really has become a non-subject in the minds of many, not because they do not care, but because it has become a grotesque plaything of the tabloids. I no longer could honestly come up with an honest picture of the poor child in my mind so overloaded am I by the (and I apologise to some for the term) cult of Maddie. Like everyone else, I would love to be the person who found her alive and well, but I wonder (actually I don’t) if we have gone beyond the point where the media interest (at least in UK terms) in its current form helps or hinders.

Part of this is our own problem with our own media in the UK, but I do have to say that the Portuguese approach to the pursuit of serious criminal investigations leaves me speechless too. This is not an anti-European comment to fit the general theme of the Devil's own line, but to combine an approach in law so devoid of both ethics and effectiveness is truly astonishing.

Mark Wadsworth said...

I can't even be bothered commenting, I'm that bored. I did some posts about Kate McCann's small-but-perky tits a couple of weeks ago to get traffic up, which seems to have worked, but once you stop, it fades off again.

Like Leon says, live by the sword...

Steve said...

“You know what I'd really like?”

The early stages of this trend in the media were why I gave up on newspapers back in the '90s

Anonymous said...

Well said and you mirror my thoughts exactly!

Antipholus Papps said...

Madeleine McCann is innocent!

Mark Heenan said...

I'm also pretty tired of hearing about the McCanns, but now I can't even read this blog without reading about it...

Katy Newton said...

Don't think I didn't spot the irony when I posted it, my friend. All I can say is that I did try ignoring it for FIVE FUCKING MONTHS first...

Xear said...

Agree with the comment. I would like to be able to pick up a paper and read some actual news. Not some Fluff about Diana or a girl who has been missing for over 2 months.


Maybe the pareents should just shut up, and stop anoying people. There are people who need the attention more then a pair of possibly guilty parents who cant seem to keep thier own guilt / missery to themselfs.