Saturday, September 15, 2007


It was the Iraq war that convinced me that the Rolling News Programmes (Sky, BBC) demonstrated that old law – more means less. Less analysis, less comment and less in-depth reporting.

The disappearance of Madeleine McCann has confirmed that ten-fold. Like jackals circling their prey the media haven’t been able to leave it alone. Breaking news, in a red box constantly appears at the bottom of the TV screen as another titbit is fed to the waiting hordes.

This ‘human interest’ story was perfect for the Rolling News Programmes, constant ‘updates’ the grieving parents, the suspect Murat and then that twist as the McCanns were named as ‘aguidos’.

The journey of the McCanns back to England was followed in excruciating detail. The TV commenting on all the media present… That ghoulish interest by the on lookers waiting to catch a glimpse.

There’s that old quote about the press, ‘Power without responsibility - the prerogative of the harlot throughout the ages.’ How the hell do you describe the coverage on the McCanns? Words fail me; the best thing is to switch off.

Read the ‘Guardian’s’ incomparable Charlie Brooker’s Screen Burn.


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