It wouldn't be the festive season without The Great Escape, mistletoe, mince pies and the McCanns shoring up their case for the defence - er, oops, I mean pleading for more witnesses to come forward.
I get increasingly tired of the unquestioning bullshit masquerading as news on the Beeb's news web pages. The Maddie rubbish is a good example. You might ask, well if it pisses you off so much, why say anything about it? Why not just ignore it then? Well there is an argument for that, I can see that side of things. But I just feel that so many journalistic resources have been wasted in this search for a missing girl, so many lies have been told without ever being questioned by journalists, so many smears have been made, so much utter drivel has bubbled up from the stinking midden of the tabloid sausage factory, that you can't avoid it. Even if you want to get away from Maddie, she's on the front page of the Express (barring those days when Diana - also blonde, dead and juvenile - makes a guest appearance, of course) almost every bloody day, despite there being no news about the case, no real new witnesses, no progress in the police investigation and no real evidence of an abduction by a stranger... yet still stories keep finding their way into the papers. Who puts them there? Who has an agenda to keep it in the public's mind that the child was abducted, not killed by someone she knew? Why don't these questions get asked in public? It's almost as if it's taboo to use your brain and think.
Of course, at the heart of the story there is a terrible tragedy of a girl who is most likely dead, a family holiday that went terribly wrong, but beyond that? We don't really know. No-one knows, least of all the tabs - but they're more than happy to keep churning out the shit, speculating, smearing the innocent and protecting people with something to hide.
Anyway, let's dive in, and you'll see what I mean.
Almost 350 calls have been made after the parents of Madeleine McCann made a TV appeal for their missing daughter.
Saying what? They know where Madeleine is? They know who abducted her? They've suddenly remembered something about the most famous child abduction case in Europe they hadn't thought about before, thanks to the festive TV appeal? Shouting abuse? We don't know. We're just told the number of calls.
The 347 new leads will be investigated by Spanish detective agency Metodo 3 with a "fine tooth comb".
Ah yes, Metodo 3, the private detective agency hired by the McCanns, who are, let's not forget, suspects in their child's disappearance. Metodo 3, who said Madeleine would be back by Christmas. And now it's Boxing Day. Whoops! Still, I guess that's the Spanish 'manana' attitude for you. Fine tooth comb? But why? According to Metodo 3, they know who took her. Actually, I have a fair idea they do know who took her, but... anyway.
Here comes Clarence Mitchell, who once upon a time was apparently a journalist.
Clarence Mitchell, the McCanns' family spokesman, said: "We are pleased with the calls and they are continuing to come in. Every single call is much appreciated and we are going through them with a fine-tooth comb. Any that need to be acted upon swiftly, are being acted upon swiftly."
Swiftly? Eh? But Metodo 3 know who took her, according to them. All they say they're waiting for is a location. So what are they going to do? Scramble their private detectives to anywhere that any nut with a telephone tells them?
Yet, bizarrely, the McCanns’ spokesman Clarence Mitchell... denied it existed — saying Gerry did not own such a bag and never had done.
So does it exist or not? Did the Sky people make it up, or someone else? Who says this bag existed? Oh well, Mr A says X. Mr B says Y. Move on! Don't question anything! Give up! That's journalism.
Yesterday, a family friend demanded that the “fundamentally flawed” case against them be DROPPED immediately by Portuguese police. The call came over fresh doubts about the validity of DNA tests.
It is thought the Maddie probe has involved the same process of so-called “low copy number” DNA testing used in the Omagh bombing case — thrown out of court after a judge ruled it “potentially unreliable”.
Well I suppose a family friend would, wouldn't they? Hmm... what did the Portuguese police have to say? Oh, er, not enough time to give them a ring, obviously, seeing as there's not a single word from any official source in there. Well, they're busy people, so let's just run with a single completely biased source saying something, and not question it in the slightest. That'll fucking do, won't it?
The Omagh case presents an interesting poser. Does this 'low copy number' DNA evidence prove or disprove anything? Is it safe and if not, why not? Unfortunately, there isn't the time or space in any of the BBC or tabloid articles to actually bother explaining any of the science - sorry, not sexy enough for our modern young readers, we won't get the demographic we want if we try and actually explain things that might be a tiny bit difficult! They'll just get bored with things that can't be told in a bit of whizzing graphics or an info panel. Come on, this is the 21st century! People don't care about facts! They only give a shit about being told what Mr A said and then Mr B disagreeing with it. They don't want information about things that have actually happened!
Such contempt for readers. Such hatred of journalism. Such inability to question anything. It could only be yet another bloody Maddie story. Already, I can sense the anniversary pullout specials being prepared somewhere in Wapping... unless of course Metodo 3 get their man in the next few days and we can actually get a happy ending. But somehow I doubt it.