Maddie-balls: the public joins in.
It really does have everything - gorgeous pouting glamour model, the irony of a couple attempting to snatch a child they believe is Our Maddie, and just to rub it in, it turns out the child isn't even female. I can't exactly comment on tastelessness involving the McCann case, but it's also incredibly questionable to have a photograph of Drpic posing alongside one of Madeleine in a similar position, almost comparing them in the style that the Mail has chosen.
The report does though illustrate in the starkest fashion the sort of hysteria which the McCann case has inspired, all of it only exacerbated by the splashing on front pages of children who look slightly similar to "Maddie" when seen from a distance. One moment the newspapers and the McCanns themselves are encouraging everyone to "keep looking for Maddie" and saying that "every sighting raises awareness", then when the inevitable happens and someone almost takes the law into their own hands, it's only thanks to an understanding and already famous couple used to attention that a situation didn't turn out to be as unpleasant as it could have been.
You have to leave it to a commenter to make a stupid situation look understandable by comparison:
A 2 year old boy mistaken for a 5 year old girl? How long before paedophiles everywhere are using the excuse of "we thought it was Madddie" when they attempt to snatch a child? How long before some idiot does grab a child from their parents and hurts them?
- Dee, East Midlands, 18/8/2008 14:51