Tuesday, 12 June 2007

A Sickening Stunt?

Just another short post about the German journalist who dared to ask the McCanns a question which I'm sure has passed most of our lips at least once. I know I've frequently questioned the authenticity of the whole scenario, and in particular the fact that just one of their three children was snatched while the other two were left to lie sleeping, completely unaware of what had happened.

I'll be the first to put my hands up and say that I don't know the exact ins and outs of this specific story - partly because I have an 24 hour news appetite for new stories, not the same recycled articles that newspapers have been churning out for 6 weeks in a (perfectly well-intentioned) attempt to keep the issue current. But my gut instinct is to challenge why it's so sickening that the journalist should ask if the McCanns had anything to do with their daughter's disappearance. Another example of the mass media's willingness to pander to emotion.

Incidentally, there is (again in the G2) an interesting take on the suitability of the Madeleine appeal for being featured on Crimewatch - you'll find it here. The BBC's Editors blog, too, has an interesting take on the issue and finally at least acknowledges that the tide of public opinion is turning against Gerry and Kate McCann.


Chairman Mo said...

The mass media have no need and should have no right to interfere with or enquire about the affairs of private individuals. It benefits no one. We don't need to know. Do you really think the McCanns don't feel bad enough already? All we need to know about this story is that a girl was kidnapped and who she was so that anyone who has information can come forward. The media is not a qualified vehicle for commenting on individual social responsibility, particularly when it consistently fails to demonstrate any regard for its own social responsibility.

Chris said...

I think the point is that the McCanns are happy enough to use the media to their benefit (and it *is* media manipulation, without wishing to extract any negative connotations from that at all) and should, as I've said before, be prepared to take the rough with the smooth. The McCanns' possible involvement in their daughter's disappearance in something very much on the minds of ordinary people on the street, and it's only right that the media should reflect that.

Chairman Mo said...

The McCanns are indeed using the media to their advantage, but it is so they can FIND THEIR MISSING CHILD. Not so they can poke their noses into your private affairs. And frankly, if all the public can concentrate on is the parenting skills of two individuals whom they will never meet and who have no real impact on their lives then that is the greatest argument in favour of abolishing democracy that there could be.