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Madeleine McCann in Spain: The Media Circus

The Spanish media is now fully on board the McCann circus, while Spanish cases of missing children are practically ignored

Sep 14, 2007

Although reticent to add to the rivers of ink, comment and speculation which have flowed since the disappearance of the only person no doubt completely innocent in the whole tragic affair, four year old Madeleine McCann, it is of interest here that three out of the four main national newspapers in Spain yesterday had front page photographs of Kate McCann with the two twins sitting in their car in the U.K.

It was not even a particular interesting photo, and we understand that journalists in England negotiated the appearance, as the McCann parents went to the local park to play with the children, with the couple’s media advisors. Just like royalty.

This week Spain became the first country in the world to embark on a ninth edition of ‘Big Brother’. The new edition of Gran Hermano has it all. Two half sisters who have never met before, two foreigners including a Muslim, and even a pair of identical twins who Big Brother is swapping without warning, to confuse the other residents in the house. The creative directors have excelled themselves, but as the saying goes, truth is stranger than fiction, and the McCann saga has become the international reality show of the season with far more dangerous ingredients than even Gran Hermano 9.

While the Spanish case of Yeremi Vargas, the seven year old who vanished while playing in the street in Vecindario on Gran Canaria six months ago, is now hardly mentioned, the Spanish media is now on board full time with the McCanns. The Vargas family are humble people, who say they want to leave the police to do their job – The McCanns, are something different.

Whether by design or not, the McCann parents are the stars of a tragedy which the media reports on the hour, every hour, as if it was the top rated reality show, where everybody knows that the grand finale will come when someone finally identifies the bad guy, in this case almost certainly a killer.

The viral nature of the Internet has without doubt contributed to it all, with webpages and debates worldwide, where everyone is more than happy to leave their hopes or opinions, but where few remember that still ‘innocent until proved guilty’ has to be law number one.

El País told us yesterday that Sky News knew of Madeleine’s disappearance at 11 minutes past ten on the night it all started, but that the Portuguese police were not informed for a full 30 minutes after that. That’s some exclusive for Sky. It may be true, it may not, but if it is, it shows that right from the very start the media were priority number one for the McCann circle.

Has the media been duped? How can the BBC justify the presence of 18 journalists in Praia da Luz? How can SKY justify 33?
Well, it’s a the serpent eating its own tail – the interest and ratings generated now give media bosses the justification of their ever increasing costs of covering the affair.

The term 'Media Circus' has never been truer, and although it may be hard to admit, most of us think we know who the clown is, and few of us are reaching for the ‘off’ button.

Source: Typically Spanish

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