Madeleine McCann – is there something we should know?

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I’m getting increasingly suspicious about the media management of the Madeleine McCann story. Something tells me that there is something quite significant that we aren’t being told and that the family has had professional help in ensuring that only a carefully crafted and sympathetic narrative is recounted by the mass media.

Firstly, there is the fact that on the morning after the abduction, the suggestion that the family were in any way neglectful (remember: the abduction happened at a time when the child was in a hotel room and the parents were eating at a restaurant) had already been carefully pre-butted. That in itself is fair enough: I doubt any parents haven’t, from time to time, taken a calculated risk like that.

Recently though, we’ve had an increasing number of articles that reinforce the Daily Mail-esque prejudice that the police force of any country other than our own are clunking incompetents and living proof of the superiority of the British species. These are the Portuguese for Pete’s sake – they used to own the bits of the world we didn’t. This isn’t exactly a backward nation, yet it has been presented as such. The worst incident I can recall was John Humphries lambasting the Portuguese Ambassador on the Today programme when he was patiently attempting to explain that in a country that is part of the Schengen Agreement can’t exactly set up strict border controls within minutes every time a child is reported as going missing.

Now we’re being told that a businessman, Stephen Winyard, is putting up a £1m reward. Why? Does he do this every time a child gets abducted? Is it just because she is blonde, white and pretty with ‘decent’ middle class parents, or is there some other reason?

Finally, there are those photos. Loads of them. A new one in a different newspaper every day. Usually in cases such as these, you get a single photo which quickly becomes iconic as the media reproduces it ad infinitum. This time, the family have generously given up all their photo albums. For a couple that are said to be distraught, they are being remarkably co-operative with the media.

I’m not saying they’ve done anything wrong, or that this isn’t a tragedy. But these things happen. Stories like this usually go off on all sorts of tangents until the media settle on a narrative; not this time. I know I risk pariah status for pointing this out, but we are being spun, and I would like to know why.

57 thoughts on “Madeleine McCann – is there something we should know?

  1. Graham,
    You wanna keep your opinions to yourself you heartless bastard, spare a thought for the girl who doesnt come home every night while your sad little existence is writing bollocks on internet sites. The womon in S Africa why make it your problem piss off and do something other than moan, i bet your fat.
    Craig Dixon

  2. And has for leaving the kids they will regret that for ever, but the real blame is the sad bastard who sneaked in and took their child. Millions of people sit in their gardens while children are in bed why should we live in a society where we have to blame innocent for a bad mistake and say you cant even feel sorry for them. get a life

  3. Good response graham.
    My response to Sophie is …. If you know the family then of course you are entitled to feel involved and to care and to print off how ever many posters you like.
    But I don’t know the family, I hope the kid gets found and is safe and well, but I don’t know the family and I’m not going to pretend to feel their pain because of course I can’t.
    I have my opinions about what they did and you are entitled to come back at me with your opinions.
    I’M NOT INVOLVED, I’M NOT FAMILY OR FRIENDS so don’t label me a b**tard because I’m not shedding tears and I get annoyed that millions of other people who want to hijack the grief of others want to wear a ribbon. I think you responded to the person who suggested something about the dad. That wasn’t me – I don’t know the family therefore I’m not shedding tears, not printing out posters and not wearing a ribbon. Like I’ve said before, bad things happen everyday around the world to kids – those who are directly involved should have something to say ….. And by the way Sophie – to respond to your criticism about those of us who “have oh so busy lives” …. like I told Laney, I’ve given up a £52k a year job to go to work with street kids in Central / South America … Now, I don’t want any praise for that just to ask … That ribbon you wearing for Madelaine …. why aren’t you wearing a different one every day for every kid that gets abducted around the world ? If your answer is – “I know the family” well that’s just fine, but don’t have a go at us who don’t know them eh ?

  4. ooh ! And just to wind you up even more Sophie …. and to make the previous post from Patty proud …. If you know the family so well – you’d get her name right ! Madeleine !!

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