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Anorak | 100 Days Of Madeleine McCann: Looking At Nothing

100 Days Of Madeleine McCann: Looking At Nothing

by | 11th, August 2007

madeleine-mccann.jpg“KEEP looking for Maddie,” says the Sun.

It’s been 100 days since Madeleine McCann disappeared. And we’ve been looking. We’ve been looking at Robert Murat. We’ve been looking at the parents, Kate and Gerry McCann. We’ve been looking in Morocco, Malta, Germany, Belgium and Spain. We’ve seen balloons in Argentina and Gerry in the White House. We’ve seen the Pope and a butterfly in the Vatican.

The media has told us where to look. They have directed the search, swarming around the McCanns, competing to show how much they care.

This was the single thread story all parents can relate to. Every parent’s worst nightmare, fed by the tabloid press. Paedo panic. Dungeons. Child trafficking. Parents holding children’s hands that bit tighter as they warn off paedos.

And the news went to the very top. David Beckham was on the telly in Spain. JK Rowling was offering a reward. The English rugby union team wore Madeleine T-shirts. Hell’s Angels handed out posters. And in a mawkish display of overt caring and empathy, MPs wore yellow ribbons in the House. Gordon Brown vowed to help. The BBC broadcast live from Praia da Luz.

This Year’s Wristband

The disappearance of Madeleine McCann has become this year’s Make Poverty History campaign. And then we bought the Madeleine McCann yellow bracelet.

bandsthumbnail.jpgWe waited for the Maddy Catty, the official version of the toy Kate McCann holds, all proceeds going to expanding Sex Offenders Register. There isn’t a Register in Portugal. If only there were…

The Mirror wrapped a yellow ribbon to its masthead. “Click her for the slideshow,” says the Sun’s website today. The McCanns holiday snaps are now a horror show broadcast in a voracious media frenzy. The Mirror’s woman on the scene noted Murat’s “creepy” behaviour. But what is more creepy than this?

EastEnders changed it story line. So too Coronation Street. Entertainment should not impinge on reality. Such was the coverage; producers were concerned their viewers may confuse the livid pain in Portugal with a script, a work of fiction.

Looking To Speculate

And the public spectacle has been fuelled by speculation. Today the Mirror leads with: “SHOW US THE PROOF – Madeleine parents tell cops: Where is the evidence she is dead?”

Madeleine’s parents are Kate and Gerry McCann. We know them. They are the tabloid press’s Everyparent, the symbol of what could be us but for the grace of god.

“Madeleine,” says the Express, as ever, “New British suspect hunted by police” and “Riddle of ‘lost’ hour.”

And the Telegraph follows: “Parents tell of the 100 wasted days in the search for Madeleine.”

The broadsheet take on that travel and publicity is sobering. It counts for nought. Madeleine has not been found. And finding their daughter was all the McCanns wanted.

No End

The result has not been the happy ending we hoped for. Nothing has happened. There has been no meaningful debate on paedophilia, the crime the tabloids spoke of.

But the papers can’t look away. So we look at the parents. We look at the suspect. Fingers are pointed. Hands are wrung.

And we see the McCanns’ pain. And we read their blog and see interviews on the TV and in the press and magazines.

And we learn nothing new about the missing child. We just watch, voyeurs at a public display of heartache and pain…



Posted: 11th, August 2007 | In: Madeleine McCann Comments (25) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink