Saturday, September 15, 2007

They Would Treat Christ The Way They Treat Madeleine

SOMETIMES, the media embarrasses me.
Sometimes, it appears as a creature without morals, without feelings, without purpose.
Indeed, sometimes it seems that the only reason for the media to exist, is to fill the pockets of the decreasing number of people who own its outlets.
While there are many out there now claiming to be bored by the whole Madeleine McCann saga, while some allegedly satirical magazines seem to think Madeleine Mc Cann jokes are de rigeur, while the hysterical sign online petitions calling for the McCann twins to be taken into care and while amateur sleuths claim to have solved a crime that professionals cannot solve, I believe the McCanns are due as much sympathy now as they ever were.
I have no idea who did what to whom on that balmy May night in Praia de Luz.
But i do know these inevitable truths.

Whether she is alive or dead, Madeleine McCann suffered and may well still be suffering.
Whether or not they are involved - and I hope and believe they are not - Madeleine’s parents are going through hell.
The ability of the media to turn on those they first put on a pedestal has never been better illustrated than by the Madeleine McCann story.
Parents admired for their courage, their faith, their tenacity, their strength and their fortitude, are now derided as drunks, ego maniacs, child abusers and murderers.
There is no doubt, none whatsoever, that some Portuguese police have lined their pockets selling tidbits to a hungry media, tidbits that may or not have any basis in fact.
Others in the Portuguese justice system have systematically fed information to the media which attempts to show that system in a better light.
And then there are those in the media who simply overhear gossip in pubs or cafes and present what they hear as credible theories or fact.
Others still, believe me, just make it up.
The result is that the focus turns from the search for Madeleine, to a search for someone to hang.
It has become, with all the classic elements, a witch hunt.
Do those who own media outlets feel happy or proud when they see a pack of reporters and snappers camped outside the McCann house?
Do they not see the irony when, for example, Sky News flashed along the bottom of the screen Gerry McCann’s plea for privacy while the picture being shown was that of a helicopter hovering over the plane that brought the family back from Portugal?
Do they care?
The media didn’t snatch Madeleine McCann.
The media didn't kill her.
But they could help.
They could help, for starters, by doing something novel and innovative.
Like only printing what they know to be true.
Wouldn’t that make a nice change.
They could be ethical and not accuse people in a bit, simply, to up circulation or viewing figures.
They could be moral, and show sympathy for the McCanns, regardless of what happened that night.
They could be decent, and move away from their home.
But then, the media, and the British media in particular, is a soulless creature.
If Christ returned to earth today, He would first be praised before the media then turned on Him.
They would call Him a fraud. They would call for Him to be arrested.
They would call for Him to be crucified or put to death by lethal injection.
They would shove cameras into the faces of Joseph and Mary.
They would hound the apostles.
They would try to photograph Christ’s body (if it was there!)
And if people then blamed the meda for what happened, the would, Pilate-style, wash their hands of it.
Then, in an effort to keep the story going and to exonerate themselves, they would find someone else to blame.
The media feeds on people, decent people.
It gobbles up heroes and spits them out.
It tells us how wonderful people are only so that it can later revel in their falling from an even greater height.
Sometimes, the media embarrasses me.
This is one of those times.
And, unfortunately, they are becoming more and more frequent.

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