Thursday, September 20, 2007

Trial by Media?

Student Opinion - Catherine Wylie

A middle class family go on holiday to Portugal: two doctors, their young twins and their slightly older daughter. They stay in a beautiful villa in an idyllic resort. Disaster strikes as one night the older daughter tragically disappears into thin air prompting a worldwide hunt. The parents launch a remarkable campaign to find her. So many people go missing every day, but this little girl is different. International celebrities appeal for her to be found on television screens everywhere. The parents visit the Vatican and speak to the Pope. With four months and no breakthrough, the unthinkable happens. The parents are made prime suspects in the disappearance of their daughter. It’s high drama! To be continued…

The above paragraph sounds like an exciting and shocking pitch for the latest Hollywood film. But it’s not. It’s a simplified version of the rollercoaster which the world has been taken on in the mysterious case of Madeline McCann. Not since Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman went missing has there been more news coverage of a missing child. Their case was solved a lot quicker though, and although the culprit was a man who had appeared on TV speaking of his shock and sadness at their disappearance, it wasn’t totally unbelievable that he was the criminal. To think though that the McCann’s are now the prime suspects in the disappearance of Madeline is absolutely ludicrous. How could they possibly have done it? And how can the world allow themselves to be taken in by a sensationalist media who are obsessed with shock value and “reality” television? Because that’s what the Madeline case has become…a sort of reality TV fix which takes a new turn each day. Even the news reporting is reflective of this, with journalists questioning Kate and Gerry’s grieving process like psychologists on ‘Big Brother’. Why isn’t she more emotional, they ask. How can he be so composed in front of the world’s media in the light of what has just happened his family, they write. Don’t they take into consideration that everyone grieves in their own way? And who can say what the “correct” way to behave is when your young daughter has just disappeared without a trace in a foreign country? I am disgusted that some people are deeming the McCann’s to be suspects based solely on their behaviour. This is not enough evidence by any means.

And who can overlook the careless manner with which the case was handled throughout? There appears to be no sound evidence against the McCann’s at all. For instance, the cadaver dog evidence can be ripped to shreds by a defence barrister. They say the dogs detected the “scent of death” in the hired car. Even if they did, this means nothing. The “scent of death” is not the equivalent to the “scent of Madeline’s corpse”. According to a British pathologist, had the DNA been found in the car in a British lab, it would under no circumstances have been returned to the McCann’s. Instead it would have been kept as a critical exhibit in the court case.

Under such media scrutiny, when exactly would the McCann’s have had the chance to dispose of the body? In my opinion, had they killed Madeline by accident, surely then they would not have been able to have composed themselves in the way that they did. No human being could possibly live with the guilt of killing their daughter, dumping her body and involving the world in their tragic story.
Right now, all we have are our own opinions. However, one thing for sure is that there is someone in the world who knows exactly what happened to Madeline McCann on Thursday May 3rd 2007.


Anonymous Caoimhe C. OSF said...

What is Mehole Harkin's view on this issue, or indeed in the case of any other "disappeared"?

9/24/2007 10:30 am  
Anonymous William Bradley said...


Wise up and stop being a complete ass. No one really cares how and in what ways you can manipulate any story into slagging him.

9/24/2007 7:22 pm  
Anonymous Yang Hung Neo said...

I hope Mecole won't be manning any stalls tommorow at the Fresher's Bazaar while he's at "work"

9/25/2007 9:58 am  
Blogger Gown Team said...

Yet again a blogger has managed to link (albeit very loosely) Northern Ireland and indeed Union politics to a story on a completely unrelated topic.

We at the Gown would like to encourage productive debate if possible, rather than the petty jibes which are so prominent on this site. Any takers?

9/25/2007 7:50 pm  
Anonymous Katie said...

Gown Team I beg to differ. VP Education is an out and out member of Sinn Fein, a party who have on numerous times spoken and represented people with connections to the so called "disappeared". As Madeline has DISAPPEARED under dubious circumstancous (like the "disappeared") there is a clear link and is of relevence. Hence the question asked by Caoimhe and if people can't make comments on the article and subsequent related topics why publish this article in the first place?

9/25/2007 9:49 pm  
Blogger Gown Team said...

The link you are referring to is a political one. Madeleine McCann's disappearance has no political connotations. The comment is irrelevant and simply an excuse to make petty jibes as said before.

9/27/2007 1:05 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

here here

10/01/2007 6:49 pm  
Anonymous Ben Preston Wannabe said...

Why isn't Mescroll Harkin defending himself and answering the legitimate questions which he has been asked??

10/02/2007 5:28 pm  
Anonymous I am not the owner of the Dragon Renevouz said...

Harkin should be ashamed of his behaviour.

The protest tomorrow (03/10/07) outside the Union should be MASSIVE.

The organiser Dermott Kennan says he is expecting 15 thousand students.

Harkin will get the message loud and clear: resign you traitor sell-out.

10/03/2007 2:59 am  
Anonymous Alan said...

Ben Preston Wannabe, for Mehaw Harkin to defend himself he would need to be in possesion of a set of balls and an IQ over 100. Just incase, for those of you who are unaware Mehaw has neither. Awwww

10/10/2007 11:05 pm  
Anonymous pj said...

isn't anyone going to comment on the actual mc cann story itself? as for the name "mehole" thats just immature playground stuff and nullifies any chance you lot have of being taken seriously. coming here as a fresher i thought i would have the chance to escape the narrow minded bigotry on both sides. how wrong i was

10/22/2007 1:26 pm  

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