MADELEINE McCann’s father Gerry blasted the media coverage of his daughter’s disappearance when he attended a Parliamentary committee last week.
by GAIL EDGAR (Sunday Life, Belfast) Sunday, 15 March 2009
Mr McCann says his family “have been the focus of some of the most sensationalist, untruthful, irresponsible and damaging reporting in the history of the press”.
And he criticised the fact that the coverage focused on what he called the ‘Kate and Gerry show’ rather than the search for Madeleine.
But let’s look at the facts. Yes, the McCanns were defamed by some newspapers — and received huge payments for the Madeleine Fund in return. But it’s also true that they courted the media and by doing so succeeded in raising more awareness of their little girl than the parents of any other missing child in history.
While my heart goes out to them for the loss of little Madeleine — a loss that they will never get over — it astounds me that Gerry can talk about the irresponsibility of others without any hint of irony.
Of course the media focused on Kate and Gerry.
Madeleine had vanished — but her parents were speaking at press conferences, appealing for information about their little girl, meeting the Pope, and going jogging.
And for a time they were official arguidos. To ignore this part of the story would have been irresponsible. As for Madeleine becoming a commodity?
Newspapers highlight issues that are in the public interest, often exposing wrongdoing, often changing people’s lives for the better. They are a vital part of democracy.
But they don’t do it for free — they’re a business after all.
And anyone who doesn’t understand that is just being naive.
We’re all guilty of bad judgement at times. And Gerry of all people should understand that.