After the Super Soaraway Currant Bun drove a coach and horses through the PCC Code of Conduct and published the photos of a naked Prince Harry that everyone who wanted to had already seen, there had to be someone to spin the whole thing in a suitable way without even thinking to offer an apology. In the event, the hack drawing the short straw span the story without even thinking period.
Because that hack is none other than Trevor Kavanagh, former political editor and faithful Murdoch retainer, who has dutifully trotted out an autopilot generated pile of fresh and steaming bovine by-product which holds, more or less, that whatever decisions were made were correct, anyone who says otherwise is a Rotten Lefty (tm) or a media hater, and manages not to mention the PCC.
And he slips in a whopper at the very start, as Sun readers are told “we ignored threats and published”. Trevor, nobody threatened you. Nobody. Not the Royals, not their lawyers, and certainly not the PCC, who were probably looking on from behind the sofa. And your excuse? “We made a stand for the ... now dangerously imperilled freedom of the press”. Yeah, like you backed the Guardian over Wikileaks.
Not a wise place to practice meditation
He goes on “Nobody pretends Prince Harry’s conduct, ill-advised as it may have been, was an earth-shattering event”. So what’s it doing on your front page, then? Ah, but the monarchy has to take the rough with the smooth, y’know: “The Royal Wedding and the Queen’s Jubilee were planned and milked for all the favourable publicity they were worth”. Yeah, by your sodding paper, Trev.
“William and Kate’s every move is weighed for its contribution”. Yes, Trev, also by your paper in its desire to move a few more copies – which is the only reason your editor, Dominic Mohan, and his boss published the Harry photos – that, too, was “weighed for its contribution”. “But Buckingham Palace cannot turn the publicity tap on and off to suit themselves”. Nowt gets past Kavanagh, does it?
The Royal Family have known that since, er, “Royal Family”, which was over 40 years ago. I think Phil and Brenda have figured that out without the assistance of the Dirty Digger. But then the mood changes as we get the inevitable Diana sob story and the assertion that “We did NOT invade his privacy”. Trev, you’re not bloody illiterate. You know damn well what’s in the PCC Code and that you broke it.
But, after suggesting that “the high minded” write the rules, which may amuse Paul Dacre, Kavanagh gets to the punchline: “News is what people DON’T want in the paper”. Good job they read the Sun, then, innit? Bugger all chance of them seeing any of it there, by all accounts. This is the lamest apology for Murdoch since the last Kavanagh lamest apology for Murdoch. And you know what that splashing sound is?
That, Trev, is you spraying your credibility up the wall for the last time.
If you get your kit off at a party where people have cameras - even your own party in your own house or hotel room - you shouldn't be surprised that someone's going to take a photo.
The next day that photo is going to be shown around - whether you're famous or not (and whether you like it or not).
If you're not famous, it'll get shown to everyone you know and probably posted on Facebook.
If you're famous, someone will flog it to the media.
Therefore, famous or not famous, you should think carefully before stripping off at a party - even if that party is in your own house or hotel room.
Maybe Harry did think carefully and concluded: 'Fuck it, it'll be a laugh.'
If he thought: 'Surely noone will take a photo of me and flog it to the media', then he's an idiot.
So, someone did take a photo - shock! - and they did flog it to the media - double shock!
And the media all around the world, from TMZ to the Times of India, published it - triple shock!
I'm not sure The Sun broke the PCC code as Harry, unless he's an idiot, wouldn't have had a reasonable expectation that what happened wouldn't happen.
Whatever you think of The Sun and tabloids in general and their ethics and practises, on this issue the only person to 'blame' is Harry - and he probably doesn't give a shit anyway, otherwise why would he have stripped off in front of a bunch of strangers in the first place.
If something does happen, so often as to be regarded as normal, this does not mean that it should. If someone wanders down a dark alley in a strange town while chatting obliviously on their iphone, and gets mugged, the fact that they did something ill-judged does not change the illegality of the mugging.
In both cases, hopefully the notional victim learns something.
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