Being in the media is pretty cool, especially when you run your own news bureau, as I now do (www.FreindlyFireZone.com)
I recently flew in an F-16 fighter jet, accelerating vertically from zero to 12,000 feet in under ten seconds. Shortly after that, I also flew with the U.S. Air Force Hurricane Hunters, flying directly into the eye of the beast for 12 hours.
I have interviewed world leaders, presidential candidates, and the owner of a World Series winning baseball team.
And I’ve had a ball exposing hypocrites and bad guys in politics, business, sports, and yes, the media.
Yet the more I think about it, I’m still in the wrong business.
I should have been a British cardiologist or general practitioner.
Either way, I’d be in a great position to become an international celebrity, one that could mingle with presidents, popes, paparazzi and the press. I could globetrot to my heart’s content, write sweet-nothings on my blog, threaten people’s right to free speech, and bully anyone into silence who dare oppose me.
Now THAT’S a really cool gig.
And to think, all I’d have to do is abandon my three children, with a combined age of seven, night after night in a Portuguese resort while I went carousing on the town with friends. And if my three-year old daughter — who, for sake of this story, we’ll just call….Madeleine — happens to disappear (with, or without my knowledge and complicity), then so be it.
While it wouldn’t be easy, it’s a sacrifice I’d be willing to make. Come on— it’s a private audience with the Pope we’re talking about here!
Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not referring to anyone in particular.
Ok, ok. You got me. That one was a lie. I am.
But in good faith, while I won’t mention these people’s names, their initials are Gerry and Kate McCann.
Life is still rockin’ for the killers….of the spirit of goodwill.
Despite millions around the world who’ve come to realize the awful truth that the McCann’s gross negligence destroyed an innocent little girl’s life, both figuratively and, in all likelihood, literally, the McCanns continue their quest to stay in the headlines, soak in the limelight, and impugn the integrity of good people courageous enough to ask the tough questions.
Quite simply, the McCann’s are desperately trying to stay…relevant.
The latest chapter in this nearly three-year saga is their championing of a woefully bad ruling by a Portuguese court upholding a ban on the book written by former lead police investigator in Maddie’s disappearance, Goncalo Amaral. Mr. Amaral is also prohibited from discussing his theories in the book, and cannot give interviews about the same.
Additionally, Gerry and Kate are suing Amaral for defamation, seeking 1.2 million Euros in compensation. And who can blame them? The millions they have raked in as globetrotting celebrities just doesn’t go as far as it once did.
Why the ban on Amaral? Because he makes the extremely small leap of suggesting that Maddie might be dead. And, according to Team McCann, the book defames them.
1) The McCanns don’t need a book to defame them. They have done that perfectly themselves.
2) I know it’s the European Union, where personal rights and national sovereignty go out the window, but a book ban? I thought we emerged from the Dark Ages.
3) While by no means should hope be abandoned, the overwhelming odds are that Maddie is dead. With the incredible worldwide attention given to the case, the fact that no substantial leads have emerged since Maddie disappeared from the Algarve resort in May, 2007 speaks volumes.
3A) A point of clarification: Actually, there were substantial leads, all leading to Gerry and Kate.
Cadaver dogs, trained to detect the scent of death, reacted positively to many items, from Kate’s clothes to Maddie’s favorite stuffed animal. Blood was detected in their rental car. And there were many conflicts in Gerry and Kate’s stories. Quite simply, the McCanns have done more to cast doubt on themselves than anyone else.
And by the way, you will NEVER see Maddie’s disappearance referred to as a "kidnapping" here, since there is absolutely NO evidence to that theory.
But the best part of all is the statement of Gerry and Kate, who said, "The court case has demonstrated, once again, that there is no evidence that Madeleine has come to any harm."
By definition, when a three-year old is deliberately left alone by her parents in a foreign land with the door unlocked — in effect, charged to care for her two-year old twin siblings— THAT is bringing harm to a child.
And yes, when that child disappears (at whose hand we don’t "officially" know yet) because of that abandonment, that is "harmful."
Always making it about them, the McCanns continued, "It has also clearly shown that no police force is actively looking for Madeleine, even, shockingly, when they are presented with new information and leads."
Yes, the entire world of law enforcement should drop everything every time a "lead" arises. Too bad the leads making the McCanns "arguidos"— official suspects— were never followed through.
Lastly, the McCanns forcefully criticized those who dare ask the logical questions.
"The motives of those who have tried to convince the world that Madeleine is dead, and who’ve disgracefully and falsely tried to implicate us in her disappearance, need to be seriously questioned."
A) Bad use of the King’s English. The evil-doers either implicated you, or they didn’t. But by definition, they couldn’t, "falsely implicate" you. It’s kind of like being a parent. Either you are…or you aren’t.
B) The only serious questioning that needs to occur is that of Gerry and Kate. The Portuguese police tried, but were pressured to stand down. The Brits fell way short of their due diligence, and at the least, should have charged the McCanns with negligence.
C) The McCanns ARE guilty, and they always will be. Of murder or accidental death as so many think, I cannot say. That may, or may not, ever be proven.
But one thing is certain. Gerry and Kate McCann are unequivocally guilty of destroying three lives— Madeleine’s, of course, but also that of her siblings, who will carry severe scars for the rest of their lives. The McCann’s actions of child endangerment and gross negligence, so easily avoidable if they just acted like….parents, could have spared a little girl the pain and anguish which she surely experienced — a girl who would still be with us today, living out a life she richly deserved.
Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but NOT to their own set of facts.
Just remember, Gerry and Kate. The authorities may be looking the other way, but some of us are not. Sunshine is the best antiseptic, and you need some more light in your lives.
Chris Freind is an independent columnist and investigative reporter whose news site is slated to launch this month. Readers of "Freindly Fire" hail from six continents, thirty countries and all fifty states. Freind also serves as a weekly guest commentator on a Philadelphia-area talk radio show, WCHE, and makes numerous other television and radio appearances. He can be reached at [email protected]