Okay… This is a very sensitive subject, so I’ll get one thing straight before I start.
I’m not denying the tragedy of the story itself. It was a terrible story and a shock to parents and people everywhere and so on and so on.
Now, it’s been almost four years since Maddie McCann disappeared and yet today, her face was on page one again. The story was about Kate McCann, Maddie’s mother, releasing a book about her experience. I needn’t rant for an hour about how ridiculously over-the-top the media saturation was at the time, even though I absolutely could; nor will I rant about all the thousands of children that have gone missing since then, who received little to no coverage due to not quite fitting in with the “cute, blond, white, british girl goes missing in foreign country” theme, and I know, I know, she had a weird distinguishing mark in one eye, and I’m sure the tabloid editors were licking their lips at that one, but no, my problem is the amount of money that has been generated from the story.
The vile, marauding ass-wipe know as The Sun had a field day with it, plastering her face on every front page for a year, knowing how many copies it would sell for them, and before long there could have been a nuclear attack that blew China off the face of the Earth, but if a trucker in Alaska said he saw “A lost looking blonde kid”, you can bet what the top story of the day would be. So now, even after all this time, any minor bit of paperwork being moved from cupboard A to cupboard B, or an off the cuff remark that a guy says to another guy in a Delhi hut will be immediately smacked onto page one along with one of the immediately recognisable Maddie snapshots in lieu of any other story that may actually be relevant or important, simply because the editors know that it will sell like gold dust.
The media’s ‘milking’ of this story aggravates me so much that I honestly can’t remember what I was intending to write about here! I think it was something to do with how many millions of pounds the McCann parents are going to make by cashing in on their (let’s face it) deceased daughter’s celebrity status in this book, presumably even more than they have already made so far as we see them happily flogging some of their fancy merchandise with some other bloke in the adjacent picture. Or the fact that while I have no opinion of my own on what happened, being that I have updated my priorities to not include things that happened four years ago that are none of my business what-so-ever, I know many people believe that it was the parents who ‘did the deed’ in the first place. Although it does make me shudder to think that as they pose together, being instructed to look quizzically and mournfully into the distance around the top left hand side of the camera, they may be thinking “Bloody hell, who’d have thought that getting pissed and killing a kid gets you a multi-million pound pay check!”, that isn’t my point either. I’ll say once more that I’ve gotten so wrapped up with this rant that I scarcely remember what my point is, other than to say this…
For god’s sake England… Shit happens. It’s a terrible tragedy of course, but it’s none of your business. Starting a ‘Find Maddie’ Facebook group isn’t going to do a damn thing, and arguing in chat rooms doesn’t make you a private investigator. Show your support if you want, but don’t force feed pictures of one missing girl from four years ago down the throats of everyone in a world full of constantly updated horror and tragedy. By all means Kate and Gerry McCann can keep searching for the rest of time, enjoying the fully paid world tour that they had to “spread awareness of Maddie’s disappearance”, but I just think it’s time for it to no longer be in the spotlight. Not that I ever thought it was appropriate to be in the spotlight in the first place, given that the publicity only succeeded in making the police work impossible and the prime suspects wealthy.
So I’ll say again, whatever happened to Maddie, it is a tragedy for friends and family that she isn’t around anymore, but please people, if not the girl herself, at least have the decency to let the story die.