I have been keeping this story on the “backburner” since its beginning. Initially because it appeared to me as just one more number in statistics telling us that something like 11 children are reported disappeared in Portugal and around 100 others in the UK only last year… Then, I started feeling that the media frenzy in Portugal, the UK and increasingly all over the world around this case was, if not exactly tantamount to “much ado about nothing”, at least somewhat overblown.
My feelings about the case were themselves "somewhat overblown" yesterday with the news that the parents of the little girl were meeting the Pope (I am terribly sorry to say that, for some “unreasonable reason” (?), it kept bringing back to my mind the “opportune” meeting with the Pope by Liz Hurley in the aftermath of Hugh Grant’s shenanigans with Devine Brown in Hollywood…) and definitely blown away today when, while recharging my electricity key at a local corner shop (something I’ll probably come back to one of these days about the energy crises in Angola and South Africa…), I looked over one of the tabloids on the counter and, seeing a picture of Madeleine’s mother with a kid on her lap under the headline “finally back to mom’s arms” only to find that it was not Madeleine but one of her siblings after the parent's return from their meeting with the Pope, I just felt nothing less than “duped”!
Now, let me make something clear: I am a mother and can totally understand and sympathise with these parents’ angst, feel and express all my solidarity towards anything meant to find their daughter, but still cannot avoid the question “is all this media hype about finding Madeleine alive or keeping the story and the media reporting it alive, while alleviating her parents’ guilt?”