Asking Questions of the McCann Media Machine

06/08/2007

What did we in the media feel when we heard that Madeleine McCann had gone missing? If we’re parents and if we’re totally honest, we could admit to certain not very admirable emotions: What kind of parents were they to let that happen? Why weren’t those children being properly looked after?  And finally, with just a touch of relief, thank God it wasn’t my child.

When she disappeared in Portugal, parents everywhere suddenly improved their child security. In the immediate resort, children were being clung onto with an enthusiasm not seen since the day and hour of each birth. Throughout the world, shocked mothers and fathers were shaken into a sudden guilty assessment of how lax their procedures had become.

Madeline was on the lips and in the minds of every mother and toddler group attendee; every church and community centre; every branch of John Lewis and Tesco. The massive publicity campaign machine and its growing staff handling media and public relations seemed to run like a well oiled machine. Agonising cutaways of the distraught parents vied with sterile-suited Portuguese forensic experts.

The appeal for ‘legal expenses’ was launched and rapidly raised vast but undisclosed amounts though quite what legal expenses would be involved in searching for a child and eventually, possibly finding both her and her kidnapper, has yet to be made clear. People gave generously, wanting to play some kind of active role in helping to search for the little blond, blue-eyed girl with whose face we all became so familiar. The official website just tells us that ‘any extra’ will be devoted to finding other lost children.

Parents in Scotland were relieved they hadn’t been victims as the McCanns were but they wanted to help as best they could. Just as many handed out flyers, mounted photographs, more than five million people visited the website (www.findmadeleine.com) in its first 24 hours, forwarded emails, others put up generous amounts of cash. Others – not very many, but some – were less honourable. There was the Staffordshire woman who was found guilty on two charges of theft as a result of her falsely claiming she was collecting for Madeleine and there were stories of web hijackers trying to siphon off financial gifts.

While we in the media on every platform related the latest events in the investigation, at times highlighting perceived failures of officialdom, the McCanns continued their well orchestrated campaign, visiting everyone from the Vatican to Capitol Hill, although not always being met by heads of state.

At no point to date has the media anywhere managed to get answers to some of the more difficult questions like: Where is the money going? Was the door actually locked in the bedroom? If so, surely this would have been a fire risk? If not, then you must have known the children were not completely secure? Why didn’t you get a baby sitter to stay with the three children? Could you see into the room from where you were sitting? Exactly how long had you been away from the room when you returned to find Maddy gone?

Out of sympathy for the anguished parents, the media has held back but where some have tried to ask these kinds of questions, they have been very rapidly and firmly faced down. They clearly are not going to be answered.

The result is that seeds of suspicion have been inadvertently sown. Every politician knows that the refusal to answer a questions or to respond with a ‘no comment’ is almost always taken as some sort of admission of guilt. Media machine McCann needs to be aware of this and to return some credibility to its cause by setting out clear, accountable answers to some of these painful but valid questions.

If media interest is to be sustained, if the world is not to forget Madeleine McCann along with thousands of other missing children, then the campaigners need to accept that the difficult questions won’t go away and need to be answered. As any PR will tell you, a media campaign is a two-way process. If you refuse to get the media on board, their interest very rapidly lags. The McCanns need the media buy-in. Yes, they have had it for a couple of months on their own terms but if they are to continue with their search, they will need to recognise that this is a reciprocal relationship.

Maggie Stanfield, Visit www.writtenwords.co.uk

Comments

“Paolo Reis, a journalist, has posted clear photos showing the restaurant in relation to Madeleine’s room at the hotel -see gazetadigitalmadeleinecase.blogspot.com/2007/05/some-pictures-from-praia-da-luz-crime.html and make your own assessment of the McCann’s situation”
fifi-m 05/09/2007

“A shrt addendum. It says everything that even now, the parents do not admit they did wrong.”
Samuel1 17/08/2007

“Finally, a sensible article. I feel for the poor child but her parents are doing a good job of trying to insulate themselves from blame. Why have their other children not been taken into care? I suspect it is simply because they are the ‘right’ sort. You and I may not have it so good.”
Samuel1 17/08/2007

“The article says “they will need to recognise that this is a reciprocal relationship” Well actually no one is forcing you to take up the McCann story. If you think its overdone then dont add copy. I cant think why you writing a moaning article pointing the finger of doubt and rehearsing criticism of the McCanns is the right response. They may not be able to unveil all the nitty gritty of the crime scene – get over it. Thinking you are are in some kind of contract with the family – with them owing you stuff is a bit ‘stalky’ and bizarre. Write about the weather or cricket if you think the family’s media-handling has been too effective.”
Brassa 11/08/2007

“By suggesting ‘undisclosed’ amounts are being raised the article smears the McCanns. Nice. Their campaign web site has the amount in big letters on its front page. If its not right – then Maggie Stanfiled should explain why. Why is important to media people to turn nasty like this?”
Brassa 11/08/2007

“I have another comment, the media constantly tell us that the vast majority of people sympathise with the parents and attempt to back this up with the comments that are published – if both ‘camps’ were allowed equal status to put across their view then I suspect this may not be the case, it seems most sites allow the odd ‘token’ criticism of the McCanns to provide the illusion but how many posts are rejected ?”
Gem 09/08/2007

“Well over a quarter of a million children (under 18) go missing every year but never before has one incident generated so much media hype, even in cash soaked US of A. Almost instantly, there was a fund, a PR machine and practically every member of the McCann family flying here, there and everywhere. British police are abroad (well out of their jurisdiction) and the family are getting unheard of access to a variety of Heads of State. Not to mention a media atmosphere which was created whereby any criticism of the parents was seen as blasphemy. Indeed, it is seen as insensitive to ask questions, which under any other circumstances would be deemed pertinent. I am convinced that Maddie will turn up, probably found a church; then we will have the book followed by the movie. Call me cynical but something just does not gel about this whole matter and I suspect the families of other missing kids would agree.”
Jossman 09/08/2007

“I have thought to myself on many occasions the same things mentioned here. Why have the parents not been charged with anything? And why are their other children still in their custody? As another poster said, this was not an “accident”. This happened because they abandoned their children. Not that the investigation doesn’t need to carry on, to find out where she is, but they need to be held accountable for their part in the crime. I would never leave my son alone in our house to go visit a neighbour 3 houses away, (which is basically what they did)but they did it in a foreign country, yet, with the door unlocked. It boggles the mind. I do not feel sorry for them, I feel sorry for the little girl. Being a parent is inconvenient at times, but it is a 24 hour responsibility, and they are selfish people who did this to their own daughter.”
mcdec3 09/08/2007

“Leaving aside the culpability or otherwise of the parents, I can’t understand why the father feels the need to address the up-coming Guardian TV conference in Edinburgh. How in earth will yjat help find his daughter?”
Alistair 08/08/2007

“Suppose Maddy is still alive, how can her abductors ever let her be seen, now that her distinctive eye has been posted all over the world? It’s very noticeable, and while it may be a great identifying feature, it does mean her abductors won’t ever want her seen in public. What will they do with a small child who cannot be ‘seen’?”
soozie 08/08/2007

“The U.S. Department of Justice reports: 797,500 children (younger than 18) were reported missing in a one-year period of time studied resulting in an average of 2,185 children being reported missing each day. 203,900 children were the victims of family abductions. 58,200 children were the victims of non-family abductions. 115 children were the victims of “stereotypical” kidnapping. (These crimes involve someone the child does not know or someone of slight acquaintance, who holds the child overnight, transports the child 50 miles or more, kills the child, demands ransom, or intends to keep the child permanently. All of these children have a single website www.missingkids.com not individual ones. No celebrities are pleading for thier return. No rich people are going to donate for a reward for information about their disappearances. They did not make international news for three months. Most of them barely made local news. Now stop gossiping about one lost little girl that already has plenty of help and see if you can help any other missing kids.”
fmr 07/08/2007

“Think back to the disappearance of Sheffield toddler Ben Needham on a Greek island over 10 years ago-Wolfman & Bored1 have hit the nail on the head re white middle class profs being subject to different value systems by media-Ben Needham’s family were castigated as feckless schemies & virtually accused of Ben’s murder. His grand parents were reduced to selling their goods at car boot sales to finance trips to Greece to look for him. Bne Needham has never been found.”
loislane 07/08/2007

“As a parent of 2 young children, I can honestly say that I have never left my children alone or with anyone outwith close family, so I do not agree with what they did, but at the same time I can totally sympathise with them. These parents obviously thought their children were safe and secure and not at any risk or they would not have left them.Everyone makes mistakes and they have made the biggest mistake of their lives. They must be devastated, and the press and peoples opinions just add on to their guilt. So give them a break.”
angelas 07/08/2007

“Regardless of the rights and wrongs of the McCanns’ behaviour, the media’s reaction is easily explained. The MacCanns are a white, middle class, succesful, attractive and articulate. They are a media dream. What if they had been working class chav-types rather than doctors? What if they had been at the local Irish bar in Benidorm rather than a nice restaurant in a nice Portuguese resort? What if they had been unable to stand in front of the cameras and express themselves intelligently? What if they had been ugly? I think we all know the answer to those questions.”
Bored1 07/08/2007

“Well said margaret, the Scottish press seem to have the b*lls that the English press do not, can’t wait until I can move North of the Border…”
Wolfman7421 07/08/2007

“Congratulations on being the first UK Media outlet to pose these, very relevant, questions. I have never before been aware of this kind of ‘media blackout’ … perhaps it has always existed but now, with the internet giving us access to far more news sources than ever before, it can no longer be sustained. Yet even now, with Portuguese Media full of news about the latest findings, our own Media are lagging behind – reluctant to report anything that may reflect badly on the McCanns and their party. Why? It is time for the UK press to acknowledge that they have been rumbled – whatever the ‘powers that be’ may think, the public are not stupid – we know when we are being duped. Whether or not the media here choose to follow up on your excellent example in asking questions, they will still be asked – over and over and over again, until someone, somewhere provides the answers.”
Margaret 07/08/2007

“I think that the parents are to blame, yes. And, I also think that if they want to get the public behind them to find their daughter who, they don’t seem to be doing their best for, then they should answer the questions put to them and tell the bloody truth about that night instead of having a pact of silence.”
hellen 07/08/2007

“TO ‘sympathetic’, “There but for the grace of God”, sorry, don’t think so, as I said in a previous post, my wife and I NEVER left our son, for dinner out or anything else, you just don’t do it. Yes, people make mistakes, and people are expected to pay for their mistakes, not let their child pay for them. To LISA from day1, not one of the parents on here is trying to say they haven’t made a mistake, but not of this magnitude, this was not a mistake, it was not an accident, it was willful neglect, the McCanns decided to leave their children alone whilst they had dinner with friends, and do I believe that this is unfair on them, no, I do not, it was however GROSSLY unfair on their daughter.”
Wolfman7421 07/08/2007

“Now that the mother has responded re these questions, anyone with any empathy at all will cease to criticise. She rightly points out that they as parents have not committed a crime. She says it felt like a safe, normal and appropriate thing to do. She says that now she, like us, can’t believe she had no doubts about leaving the children. So let’s give them our full support and sympathy, because “there but for the grace of God go I” and “the benefit of hindsight is 20/20″”
Sympathetic pa 07/08/2007

“It is with the assumption those who are without sin and completely innocent throughout their entire life are making these cruel comments about these parents. People (HUMANS) make mistakes. NOBODY can judge them. Leave them be. Focus your energy and anger on the idiot that took their child and something new….PRAY for her parents and for her safe return. Oh and 3 months later they find a speck of blood in the room and traces where someone tried to clean it. If we cut our finger and got a speck of blood somewhere, wouldn’t we clean it up??? Papers gotta do better than this.”
LISA from day1 07/08/2007

“DON’T SHOUT!!!”
Wolfman7421 07/08/2007

“I DON’T KNOW WHAT TO SAY ACTUALLY BUT ONE THINK MADELEINE IS LOST WE DON’T KNOW WHERE SHE IS HOW SHE IS AND ALSO FOR THE PARENT’S WHAT CAN I SAY TO THEM I KNOW MADELEINE MUM IS VERY BLAME HERSELF AND ALSO DAD ASWELL BUT YOU 2 NEED TO BE STRONG FOR MADELEINE AND FOR THE TWINS ASWELL YOU 2 DIDN’T WANT THIS THINKS HAPPEN AND U DIDNT THINK ABOUT IT THIS WOULD’VE BEEN HAPPEN.. YES YOU 2 ARE PARENT BUT THAT DOES NOT MEAN YOUR PERFECT BECAUSE WE ALL ARE HUMAN BEIN….”
AVASIN 07/08/2007

“I know the feeling Gem, sad isn’t it? I beleive the criticisms are warranted, but for some reason it is deemed the the McCanns have ‘Suffered enough’, not as much as that poor child, but this seems to be subjugated beneath a shroud of pity for the family, in no way do I pity their arrogance, but I do pity the child. In no way do I assume that these questions will help bring her back, but I DO beleive that a little more co-operation and honesty from the McCanns will help in finding out at least how she was taken.”
Wolfman7421 07/08/2007

“What I find odd though Wolfman is that the so called ‘impartial’ media only object to negative comments, any that praise the McCanns are not subjected to the same treatment”
Gem 07/08/2007

“I think silverlining is talking about how we are just re-hashing the same thing, we know they were wrong, and that’s it. The article raises these questions and all we are doing is concurring with it, but enough is enough, it won’t help Maddie, we know this, but the British, and indeed international public feel a need to express their outrage at how this family seem to have abrogated their responsibilities and now no-one is allowed criticise them, it should have been done immediately, but we were pussyfooting around their feelings instead of asking pertinent questions, perhaps now it is unfortunately too late to ask, but we feel we need to try, perhaps at some point they would like to try to explain why they felt it necessary to leave three young children alone, but I for one won’t hold my breath…”
Wolfman7421 07/08/2007

“Very good article by the way. I would like to know why the media has been so slow in any critism of these parents and why the media has had no trouble in vilifing Robert Murat. I feel the UK press has surpressed news and I would like to know why?”
Sue, London 06/08/2007

“Silverlining, what I, and alot of others, fail to understand is WHY we are not allowed to criticise ? How come this case is different from every other subject in this country and our opinions are subjected to censorship? I have never seen the likes of this before and I hope I never do again”
Gem 06/08/2007

“I am an American columnist who has written extensively about the McCann’s negligence. Too many people “covering for” the McCanns keep falling back on the “How do you think Gerry and Kate feel?” line. Enough is enough…how do you think little Madeleine feels? Questions and inconsistencies abound…and the British media needs to its responsibility seriously in looking at all aspects of this case. No more whitewashing! The two Freindly Fire Columns below, with comments on each: July 27 McCanns Are Globe Trotting Celebrities: http://www.thebulletin.us/site/index.cfm?newsid=18636398&BRD=2737&PAG=461&dept_id=576361&rfi=8 And May 15: McCann Parents Are to Blame: http://www.thebulletin.us/site/news.cfm?newsid=18342152&BRD=2737&PAG=461 Christopher Freind”
Chris Freind 06/08/2007

“The reason why comments have been removed? Because, earlier today, a line was drawn, ie enough comments had been made about the McCann’s parenting. So, if you have comments on that subject, as opposed to the media issues raised by this opinion piece, then probably best to take them elsewhere.”
SilverLining 06/08/2007

“well said wolfman, my comment has been removed but I didnt say what is in the medias script so its no surprise really!”
Gem 06/08/2007

“Difficult questions need to be answered, someone needs to be asking them. Very good article, thankyou.”
Wolfman7421 06/08/2007

“you may remove the comments from this website, this doesnt make them any less valid…..”
Wolfman7421 06/08/2007

“Excellent story, well done for finally doing what no UK newspaper has “dared” to do. Anyone who paid into that fund must be feeling extrememly frustrated and angry.”
Me1 06/08/2007

“THANK YOU, THANK YOU. Your report is the only one in 3 months dissecting the McCann media campaign (which was protected by the UK press) and their refusal to answer the public’s questions. McCann’s want money donated, but, will not answer questions of those donating!!!”
JOANN 06/08/2007

“Thank You, interesting article, NOW, when will the mainstream journo’s show some spirit, and cover the main areas, when will one of them sit down use googlearth and measure the distance from the tapas bar to the apartment (just under 50 metres in a straight line, over a swimming pool, shrubbery, 2metre high wall and a road), or 145 metres by the path… And, when will any journo take on the information coming from Portugal about the cadaver dogs finding traces inside the apartment, when will anyone ask why no money has been spent on investigators, why the parents have never followed up single leads, there are so many questions which must be asked.”
George S. 06/08/2007

“Umm Has any member of the media actually asked what the fund is being used for? The media do mot ask why the distance from the restaurant/bar is getting shorter all the time and why have none of the reporters who were out in Portugal walked the distance and told their readers/viewers/listeners the true measurment, thereby ending one avenue of conjecture?”
Scots Gran 06/08/2007

“Good discussion, but no more comments, please, on the parenting skills of the McCanns. Any more, and they will be automatically deleted. The AMS webmaster.”
SilverLining 06/08/2007

“People are getting 2 issues confused here. First, the terrible event (or what we know of it because nobody has solved or even got to the bottom of the exact nature of the crime – was it murder, or abduction?) Second is the media machine we are invited in the article to ask questions of. The only people who need to know all the details are the ones solving the crime. Arguing about the morality of the McCann’s lifestyle is a fairly easy one way street since not even they would recommend following their behaviour now. Anyway my point is by putting morality before solving the crime, hacks are confusing what is important here – and that surely has to be justice for Maddie. Not justice for the parents – that comes later.”
comic2 06/08/2007

“I cannot believe how shallow some of the comments are regarding Gerry and Kate McCann, we all know hindsight is a great thing, Ok it was not the best idea to leave the kids alone but they could never imagined their worst nightmare would happen, at this very difficult time in the familys life it’s time people stopped slating them for a mistake which they will live with for the rest of their lifes. This family need support at this time and not people slagging them off. I think some of you will regret the negative comments should the worst result transpire.”
Jimd 06/08/2007

“What might Madeleine be going through? Maybe if the McCanns answered some of the questions being asked people would not be so critical. How can it be put right? This isn’t a minor mistake – they made the decision to leave their three very young children alone whilst they had a night out. If they had put their children first they would still have Madeleine now. I can’t believe that anyone can condone what they have done.”
crosspatch 06/08/2007

“Critical it might be jujo, but vindictive? I think not, the McCanns are trying to pull anystring they can to get their daughter back, I can’t fault them for that. What I, any ANY other responsible parent can fault them for is leaving their children alone, they might be suffering, but if they HAD been responsible, as many comments on here ave said, they wouldn’t be in the position they are in now. Perverts and paedophiles are OPPORTUNISTS, they might watch for an opening, a responsible parent wouldn’t give them one.”
Wolfman7421 06/08/2007

“I am saddened by the vindictive and critical comments posted here. Yes, to all those who want the McCann’s strung up, you probably wouldn’t have done what they did. But I don’t think there is any doubt that they are suffering in a way that most of us can only imagine. How can it help to hurl abuse and accusations at two people who are doing their damndest to put right what they did wrong?”
jujo1 06/08/2007

“Lulu wrote “Does everyone think that leaving the children unattended was a crime? I don’t. There seems a world of difference between active neglect and relaxed parenting.” Well yes actually I do think that leaving three children under the age of four unattended is a crime and is active neglect. Abduction would be the last thing on my mind if I ever considered leaving my children alone (not that I would even for a second) I would be more concerned that they would wake and be frightened alone in a strange bedroom or would fall out or get out of bed and hurt themselves. Call me an over protective parent but I do not consider what the Mc Canns did to be “relaxed parenting” but to be child neglect. Surely we should all be feeling devastated for poor little Madeleine who was tragically let down by her parents (who are supposed to protect their children) rather than the two selfish adults who quite frankly should have known better.”
crosspatch 06/08/2007

“I want to know who it was that said the McCann’s parenting fell within ” responsible parenting ” skills. Who was that person , let them be named. and the measurement from apartment to Tapas bar cannot change from day to day, why hasn’t someone measured the distance. And as far as the McCann’s feeling bad enough already I would dispute that fact.”
John Hampson 06/08/2007

“Nothing takes away from the fact that they should have been there. Comic2. As for the parents suffering, what might Madeleine be going through?”
diddy 06/08/2007

“Losing their daughter might be punishment enough for their arrogance and stupidity, but what price has Maddie paid? Would YOU have left a 3yo ALONE with two 2yo twins? If it had been a single mother doing this, she’d have been nailed to a wall, and deservedly, but this pair seem to have gotten away with neglect that would have had any other parents OTHER children removed. To be honest, I think they have been lucky so far in getting away with NOT answering these questions, but hopefully Maddie will be found soon, hopefully safe and well, but if and when she is, her parents should be held responsible for THEIR actions, my wife and I only have one child, and NEVER left him alone, even for ‘Dinner’ whilst checking on him ‘every half-hour’. Their attitude makes me sick. By making this such a public campaign, THEY have made sure that the public NEED to know, so to answer YOUR question, Comic2, the people who need to know, ie. US, don’t….”
Wolfman7421 06/08/2007

“A respectful and reasoned article. Vast amounts of money have been raised, both through public donations and by way af site traffic revenue and corporate contributions, yet the fund does not address how that money is being used. We were appalled by the story that the child had been abducted from the safety of a locked vacation apartment; it now appears that the safety existed only in the mindsets of the parents. Reports from the Algarve state that recent searches have uncovered indications that a death occured within the vacation apartment, which suggests that the investigators may now have to re-establish timelines provided three months earlier by members of the vacationing group.”
HAL 06/08/2007

“My son wandered off on holiday when he was 3, and I can still remember those few minutes of complete heart-stopping terror until we found him. I can only imagine the horror of what the McCann’s are experiencing, and don’t feel it helps to condemn them for what happened. I have no doubt that their harshest critics are themselves. As for the scepticism regarding their use of the media, I say bully for them. Most parents would do anything in their power to restore a lost child, and as far as I can see, that is what they are doing. No doubt all the critics are perfect parents but for all the rest, those in glass houses etc etc..”
jujo 06/08/2007

“Does everyone think that leaving the children unattended was a crime? I don’t. There seems a world of difference between active neglect and relaxed parenting. And since when did we demand the media should judge and damn people. It doesn’t require a front page or TV report to tell the McCann’s that they made a mistake for which they’ll never forgive themselves. While their behaviour and the media caravan has been bizarre, don’t you just wish they’d go away and cry?”
lulu 06/08/2007

“Excellent article, thank you. A rarity in the McCann media world.”
suki bapswent 06/08/2007

“One of their many PR consultants must have gotten through to Kate because I’m reading how sorry she is on several sites. She’s never admitted it before, but hey Kate, a bit late now. Gerry jabbers about the distance from the restaurant to their flat, saying it was lke being in the garden and not just in May on UK sites but almost verbatim in the US when asked why the kids were left alone. Just what is happening with that money? Why are they still going to other countries? They’re not helping find her, they’re hindering any chance to get her back.”
Karen 06/08/2007

“The McCanns at one point said they’d sell their £800,000 house to get Madeleine back. Exactly how much have they put into the “fund”? I suspect all they do is take OUT. Free flights, free accommodation (including their current home in Portugal, I hear), rewards totalling £2.6 million, a million pounds in the fund… yet no detectives or child disappearance experts hired. Instead, trips to see personages, balloon releases, posters, jogging, church visits mentioned continually (yet they used IVF to conceive all their children and the Catholic church is against IVF, considers it a sin). You really do have to wonder what all this is about, with the media circus and the industry that the McCanns have created. I note that a McCann relative is the head of the “fund” and another McCann relative is their “campaign manager”. Also, the UK government sent out media PR expert Clarence Mitchell to handle their publicity, presumably free of charge – what’s THAT about? It all boggles the mind.”
MIND BOGGLING 06/08/2007

“This article sums it up for me – my question would be why aren’t they hiring private detectives?”
pj 06/08/2007

“weegie, would you please stop repeating the McCann rhetoric of “they would have found another opportunity to take her”? How do you know this? Most kidnappers and paedophiles would not take on a man of Gerry McCann’s stature to take his daughter. If the parents had kept watch over their children, Madeleine would almost definitely be home with them today.”
Julie 06/08/2007

“The McCanns have been given astonishing leeway by the media. If the apartment had burned to the ground, there would have been no question of them, or hesitation in them, being charged with child neglect. I fail to see why they are any less culpable in this case or why the media continues to tiptoe around them.”
Wallace Arnold 06/08/2007

“Sympathy is the first instinct of everyone on the board but the notion of a stalker is conjecture on your part, weegie, because the McCanns are careful not to admit the full extent of their negligence.”
smugreekie 06/08/2007

“I am sick of reading comments like this. Yes, the McCanns made a mistake and I’m sure they are punishing themselves every day for that but surely that shouldn’t make us any less sympathetic to a couple who have had their daughter taken in this way? Lets not forget the real criminal here is the person who took her. This was not a random snatch – whoever took Madeleine had been watching the family and would have found another opportunity, even if the kids hadn’t been left alone that night.”
angry weegie 06/08/2007

“The McCanns can’t have this both ways – if they wish to sustain media interst in the search for their daughter, then they do have to be more truthful about the events of the evening that Madeleine disappeared. So far, there has been a mass of conflicting stories from them and their friends which only serve to inflame the rumours and conjectures. No one would disagree with the fact of losing a child in these circumstances is devastating, but it has been extremely irritating that the McCanns don’t own up to their negligence in leaving 3 small children alone night after night for the sake of having dinner with friends, who also displayed the same astonishing behaviour in neglecting their own children as well. We are told that what they did falls well within the bounds of good parenting and that thousands of other parents have behaved as they have done. To even more thousands of parents, this is repugnant behaviour – the vast majority of us would never dream of leaving small children alone and vulnerable at night. There is simply no excuse at all for this, and the McCanns must acknowledge their culpability. They want to direct and manipulate the media, but their conflicting stories of the events of that night will result in a terrible backlash, I fear.”
Julie m 06/08/2007

“Yuk. Isn’t losing their daughter in this way punishment enough? What more do you want? Since when was media retribution a journalistic goal? It is naive to complain about unanswered questions. Anyone who needs to know already does.”
comic2 06/08/2007

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