Thursday, September 13, 2007

Madeleine McCann and the way we live now

Rod Liddle has an article in the Spectator tomorrow that expresses my own views on the case:
The McCanns, having discovered that Madeleine was missing, did what they were meant to do these days and flung themselves bodily upon the massed media; they performed, they posed with that cuddly toy of Madeleine’s, they embraced the brouhaha: they did what was expected of them. If Madeleine had been found within 72 hours all would have been fine; but the media, especially the English media, always end up loathing what they have created — an essential part of the self-disgust intrinsic to any tabloid journalist.

They grow bored, they look for the new angle. They treated the McCanns — and especially foxy, photogenic, middle-class GP Kate — much as they might a slightly exotic contestant on Big Brother. Her class and apparent composure demanded immediate respect — and then later suspicion and derision. It’s the usual thing: one moment she’s up, the next moment she’s down.
I am reminded of a couple of novels by Gordon Burn - Alma Cogan and Fullalove - which explored the unhealthy brew of child murder and celebrity that fuels the tabloid press in Britain. You could do worse than read them if you want to understand the times we live in.

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