Friday, November 5, 2010

McCanns attacked in BBC radio phone-in

The McCann case is dividing public opinion, with sympathy for Madeleine's parents apparently waning.
Police visited the couple yesterday amid fears that their home could be targeted after they had been named as suspects. A crime prevention officer spent an hour with them, briefing the pair on protection measures.
A Radio Five Live phone-in was abandoned yesterday morning because of the unexpected degree of anti-McCann feeling voiced by callers.
The topic for discussion was "Do you support the McCanns?" Soon after the programme began, a large number of the calls were critical of the McCanns while the BBC was rebuked for having a debate about a couple who are part of a continuing legal process.
Eventually, Victoria Derbyshire, the presenter, said they would put it to a public vote whether to scrap the debate. The majority said yes.
An opinion page on the website of the McCanns' local newspaper, the Leicester Mercury, attracted a number of comments condemning the pair. Several weeks ago, the paper temporarily withdrew the facility to post opinions because many were inappropriate to publish.
They revealed that critics of the family were "bombarding" the website with libellous contributions that were "nasty, spiteful and defamatory".
An online petition calling for Leicestershire social services to "fulfil their statutory obligation to investigate the circumstances which led to three-year-old Madeleine McCann and her younger siblings being left unattended in an unlocked, ground floor hotel room" has received 16,957 signatures.