Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Nobody can have anything but great sympathy for the parents of Madeleine McCann, what has happened to them is truly dreadful - but the blanket coverage, and the dissecting of the life of the British man being regarded as a suspect is starting to grate just a little.

It's a classic case of what the US media calls MWWS - Missing White Woman Syndrome. If the missing child were a boy, or black, or Asian, or anything other than white, female, young and cute - the coverage would have dropped off ages ago and the TV stations and newspapers would have found something else to pore over. As it is, every single news station in the UK seems to have sent dozens of people over there to interview locals and local officials alike.

As for Robert Murat, he may, or may not, be involved in her disappearance but the whole media circus seems to have decided that, guilty or innocent, every detail of his life must be dragged up. Yesterday morning, there was a camera crew outside the house in Norfolk where his ex-wife lives, complete with obligatory interview with 'concerned' (for which read 'delighted to be on telly') neighbour saying how 'shocked' they were at the news. The point being that there wasn't any news. At the time, Robert Murat hadn't even been arrested, let alone charged or convicted. But the old adage of 'innocent until proven guilty' doesn't apply any more in this age of 24 hour news.

All of this doesn't take away from the fact that her parents must be torturing themselves silly and one can only hope that Madeleine McCann is soon returned to them safe and well.

Last song on the iPod: Siouxsie and the Banshees - Dear Prudence

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