Madeleine McCann: horror in Cyprus and trolling the McCanns in the Sun
Madeleine McCann: a look at reporting on the missing child.
We begin this round-up with news in the Sun that the missing child’s parents are posting on their official Facebook page. In “BEATING THE BULLIES” we read that Kate and Gerry McCann have re-opened their Find Maddie Facebook account amid a “huge outpouring of love and support” after “taking a ‘break’ from trolls”.
You might well wonder how that is news. But social media functions as something nasty for old media to look down on, like a school gates mum gathering her PTA pals around to snipe at the gauche new arrival. “As the page administrator switched it back on,” we’re told “she vowed to ‘continue to turn the page off if we receive hateful posts’.”
But you can’t turn off the Sun’s comments section. Beneath the paper’s story “MADDIE PROBE SLAMMED – Good Morning Britain viewers in meltdown over ‘ridiculous’ £11million bill for the Madeleine McCann investigation as top cop declares it a waste of money”, the Sun’s bleeding hearts offer lots of opinion. These are the comments in order of appearance on the Sun’s story:
The “TOP COMMENTS” are:
One site’s ‘Bullies” and “trolls” are another’s commenters and readers.
Having made not an inch of progress in finding out what happened to Madeleine McCann, the voracious Press see if they can have any better luck with a new ‘Maddie’.
“My daughter could have been the next Maddie McCann,” says the Mail’s headline. “Mother staying at five-star Cyprus hotel woke to find maid trying to snatch her one-year-old.”
The maid did it!
Siobhan Prescott, 25, “claims she woke to find her one-year-old daughter Harper crying as a dark-haired woman in her 40s attempted to pick her up out of her cot at the five star King Evelthon Beach and Hotel Resort in Chloraca Bay, Cyprus.”
As parents cancel their family summer holiday and eyes “dark-haired” women (in Greece!) with suspicion, the Mail tells us what happened next:
The horrified mother claims she was powerless to react because she was sleeping naked, so screamed out for her partner Simon Smith who was on the balcony of their room.
Who knew British holidaymakers were so demure?
Anyhow, Simon came running.
He confronted the sheepish woman, who was dressed in a maid’s outfit, and demanded to know what she was doing.
The woman said something in another language, before bursting into tears and trying to flee the room – but stopped to make a phone call from the room phone.
Eh? She made a phone call before legging it? So there are finger prints, a number to track and you got a good look at the would-be abductor. Right now the only thing Madeleine McCann-like about his story is that readers to examine someone else’s parenting skills.
“I was napping when a maid snuck into the room and tried to snatch my baby,” says Siobhan. “The only reason I woke up was because Harper screamed out, otherwise she could have been the next Maddie McCann.”
Well, yes, aside from the fact that this time both parents were in and the child never did go missing. What the incident could have been is the subject of the thrilling headline, but what actually was it?
“We were furious and we made our way down to the reception and demanded the hotel manager immediately,” says Siobhan. “I was absolutely hysterical, but the hotel management just said she was cleaning the room and picked up my baby to check she was alright. But it was rubbish. That woman had no cleaning products on her and it was the afternoon so our room had already been cleaned. I was naked in the bed, what kind of person walks into a room when a woman is lying naked on the bed? She let herself in with the aim to try and steal our baby.”
“TOT SNATCH HORROR,” thunders the Sun. “Brit mum reveals terrifying moment maid tried to snatch her toddler from cot on holiday and says ‘she could have been the next Madeleine McCann’”.
A TERRIFIED mum said she feared her daughter could have been the “next Madeline McCann” after she woke to find a hotel maid looming over her cot.
Siobhan Prescott, 25, claims the worker was attempting to pick up one-year-old Harper, who was screaming hysterically.
The baby was crying. The woman picked her up. The Sun writes:
The family were on a dream holiday to Cyprus between February 22 and March 1 when the horror unfolded.
It was weird and unsettling, no doubt. But a “horror”?
They claim they were later told by the hotel that the same maid had been sacked two years previously following an “incident” but was on her first day back in work.
So the woman “dressed as a maid” was a maid, which is why she was dressed as one. Is that right?
Siobhan said: “I am lucky to have woken up, but if I hadn’t God knows what would have happened. Harper could have easily been snatched and we would be in the exact same situation as Kate and Gerry McCann.”
What, hated by Sun readers?