Friday, November 5, 2010

Madeleine McCann: Truth, Lies and The Smearing of Robert Murat by the British press

Thursday, 9 August 2007

Nearly three months ago I complained about the media's obsession with Madeleine McCann. Some of you may be wondering why I have been hypocritically writing about the case recently. Personally I still do not give a hoot about Madeleine McCann and her family members and friends. What I do give a damn is the deterioration of the majority of the mainstream British press all because of this sordid case.

Take The Independent for example, a paper I normally respect (before they went all tabloid), whose latest piece titled Truth, lies and the Smearing of the McCanns has riled me up pretty badly. As evident in the headline, this piece was hardly going to be impartial. Personally I take a very dim view on media organisation who disregard impartiality. The headline certainly doesn't help especially when you consider how much both the British print and television media has allowed themselves and the McCanns friends to smear Robert Murat. Just why are the McCanns afforded such immunity is one of the question I would like to ask? Why were so many British press websites deleting comments that questions the McCanns but allowed libellous comments on Robert Murat?

Then there is this, in the very same Indie article:

The same could have been written about the McCanns, but they chose not to, and I highly doubt they would ever with the way things are going. You certainly won't be seeing anything like "The McCanns remains at large, protesting their innocence..." any time soon. The Independent has also accused the Portuguese paper Diario de Noticias of being "anti-McCann". Accusing a paper of being biased is one thing. Being biased yourself is another. Distorting facts is even worse.

In the same article you will see the paper speculating again on the Portuguese police (whom the British press seems to hate), alluding that the police is leaking false information in order "to create the impression that their investigation has momentum" for the sake of the British press. A fairly obvious dig, that was allowed to be echoed in another piece. Quite why British journos think that any police force would want to kowtow to them is beyond me, but I digress. Also The Independent made it very clear that there is no evidence that shows that Madeleine McCann was murdered, yet failed to mention that evidence showing her to be kidnapped has been lacking as well, while maintaining that the article is based on "the truth".

A few days ago on GMTV when reporting that British police has found nothing incriminating at Robert Murat's home, decided to chip in with an opinion that Murat could have possibly destroyed all of the evidence. Shocking. Did they not forget that the McCanns could also have possibly destroyed evidence during the hours before they informed the police of their daughter's alleged kidnapping?

With wild allegations ramping up over the past few days over the conduct of the McCanns and their family, many of the British papers has attempted to squash new speculations, mainly because these new speculations are originating from Portugal, the scene of the crime. And yet many in the British media has not attempted to explain why they believed in the alleged kidnapping. If the British press think that it is okay to convict Robert Murat through libellous comments, why can't the Portuguese press do the same with the McCanns and their friends? I wouldn't normally say this, but right now I think it is fair game. No feeble and pathetic backtracking excuses needed. Fair game indeed.

It would be great if someone could explain to me in rational words, the media's love affair with the McCanns - now reaching seemingly Diana level of hysteria. Is it, like many has speculated before, because the McCanns represent the ideal British family value: white, blonde, pretty, educated, religious and middle class - especially when they are pitted against 'inept' Johnny Foreigner? Just why are many British press willing to flush down their journalistic integrity for this? Or has the media taken a leaf out of reality TV shows, spoon feeding the gullible British public with lies with attempts to jack of ratings and sell more papers by acting like mobs?

*Sigh* Keep the money rolling in and still no sign of Madeleine McCann (and the many other missing Portuguese kids). Just more balloons.

Read also: I am not pleased. A digest of yesterday's London paper evening headline.

Note: No, I do not believe in secret Illuminati or Masonic or Vatican etc. organisations that are pulling the strings. British press is still one of the best in the world, but it also one of the naive as highlighted by the biased coverage on this case, which should not have been covered in the first place!