So still the UK part of the Fourth Estate has held the line on the topless photos of the Duchess Of Cambridge: despite their being splashed across French magazine Closer (prop. “Duce” Berlusconi) and now across Italian magazine Chi (prop. “Duce” Berlusconi), no media outlet in the UK is touching them with the proverbial bargepole. That much is not in dispute.
Not even slightly fair and balanced
What certainly is in dispute is why nobody is breaking ranks, unlike the naked photos of Prince Harry which had earlier been run by the Super Soaraway Currant Bun, running a coach and horses through the PCC Code’s privacy provision and demonstrating just how useless that body really is. So why the different attitude in the two cases? Simples. It’s the Diana factor.
Memories of the late Princess of Wales constantly dodging snappers, juxtaposed with further memories of her death, take the popular press to a very dark place. Editors know how the public reacted to Diana’s death, and equally know that they dare not tap that well of feelings over Kate. So they avoid the photos and merely fulminate about the dastardly garlic crunching Frogs instead.
That explanation, though, is not allowed to enter where Melanie “not just Barking but halfway to Upminster” Phillips is concerned. Mel is not regarded as mad for nothing, not least for her ability to turn reality on its head in order to bend the available facts to fit her warped view of the world (while accusing anyone opposed to her of doing likewise, usually under cover of “political correctness”).
So Mel looks at the refusal of the UK press to touch the Kate photos and concludes triumphantly “This is because self-regulation here has worked”. Er, what? “Publication of such pictures ... is outlawed by the PCC code of practice”. Yeah, right, what about the Harry ones? Oh, wait, she’s not finished: “the British press ... has significantly cleaned up its act since the death of Diana”.
Christ on a bike, did she really write that? And did the subs let it through? Where do we start? Since Diana passed in 1997, we’ve had Phonehackgate (just for starters) as well as routine defamation of the McCanns and Robert Murat, the Christopher Jefferies business, and of course we’ve had Operation Motorman, revealing Steve Whittamore and his dodgy dealings on the south coast.
Whittamore numbered among his clients the very paper in which Mad Mel’s latest rant has been published. As one Mail hack told Nick Davies “If the Mail go for you, they get every phone number you have dialled, every schoolmate, everything on your credit card, every call from your phone and from your mobile. Everything”. That was in Flat Earth News. Which was researched and published well after 1997.
If Mad Mel thinks that equals “cleaned up its act”, she really is utterly barking.