Just suppose…

So, Kate McCann is a formal suspect. In Portuguese law, this is a technical status, and doesn’t necessarily mean much. The police supposedly think they’ve found Madeleine’s blood in a hire car rented three weeks after she vanished but, y’know, details…

Just suppose – and I’m not suggesting this is necessarily the case – that the McCanns were in some way responsible for their daughter’s disappearance or death. Above all, this would represent a monumental failure on the part of the British media, who have been unabashedly partisan in giving the McCanns favourable coverage. The public is now closely engaged with the “hunt for Madeleine” and the McCanns are pretty much household names: there must be many people up and down the country going “but it can’t be them, I know them and- oh, no, hang on, I’ve never met them, have I?”

The media are now in a tricky position: just suppose the people in whom they have invested so much airtime, column inches and credibility, are in some way culpable in an unspeakably awful crime. How on Earth will they handle it? Whether or not the McCanns are in fact found guilty of anything other than leaving small children alone while they enjoyed themselves is immaterial: the point is that, if that does come to pass, the media have put themselves, totally unnecessarily, in an untenable position.

Never mind whether BBC journalists are wearing jeans or flashing a bit too much leg: the real question ought to be “why are they not even attempting to be objective any more?”

Though it would be nice if they could speak in proper sentences as well.


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