Thursday, 13 March 2008

The mothers of missing children...

...are going through a kind of hell I cannot even begin to imagine.

Which is why I was so speechless (and then so angry) when I read this, this, this and this today, followed by one of the articles the others were talking about, in the Daily Mail.

I already knew that some missing children receive more media attention than others. Al Jazeera Int did a short feature contrasting media coverage of Madeleine McCann and several other (non-white, non-British, non-Middle class) missing children only a few days after Maddy went missing (I remember this because it was probably their 2nd week on the air, and that was the moment when I became a truly committed fangirl).

Back then, I tried to rationalize this knowledge (studying PR will do that to you) - those media outlets were catering to their target audiences, who, in turn, are more likely to respond to a human interest story if they feel that it affects them (or their own group) intimately.
Yeah, I know...that didn't exactly satisfy me either.

However, as if it weren't vile enough to be make victims of crime almost invisible based on sales projections, some journalists seem to have taken it upon themselves to go one step further.
Apparently, it is not enough to spend days (or months) in complete anguish because you don't know where your child is. No, it is also important that the media tell you exactly how wrongly you are handling the situation, how you are a miserable failure as a mother (and as a person, obviously), and how everything is really your fault.

So, Kate McCann was attacked for being too thin?
I suppose not knowing where your daughter is and what happened to her will diminish a person's appetite. Had she gone to some of those renowned Spanish restaurants she would have been attacked for being callous and then, presumably, for being too fat.
Resorting to this kind of attack is not just cruel, it's also pathetic enough to be completely ridiculous. But I suppose there was little else to criticize her for, what with her being middle class and married to the father of her child, and all...

...unlike Karen Matthews and Fiona MacKeown.

I can't even articulate how disgusting this is.

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