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Saturday 15 August 2015

Prince George - Tabloids Silent

It was the lead item on the Beeb’s 2200 hours news yesterday. Yet the intervention from Kensington Palace, complaining in forthright terms about paparazzi harassment of the two-year-old Prince George, has gone largely unnoticed on most front pages today, with the exception of the Guardian, the i, sister paper of the Independent, and most notably the Murdoch Times, for once showing a little independence of its own.
The claims made, that the paps “Photographed the children of private individuals visiting the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's home … Pursued cars leaving family homes … Used other children to draw Prince George into view around playgrounds … Hidden on private property in fields and woodland locations around the duke and duchess's Norfolk home … Placed locations near the home of Catherine's parents in Berkshire under steady surveillance” were pretty grim. But British papers were not in the firing line.

Indeed, “The palace said a small number of media organisations, mostly in Germany, France, Australia, New Zealand and the US, had published photos of Prince George in ‘unacceptable circumstances’ … However it said the ‘vast majority’, and all UK publications, had refused”. So why the silence?
Ah well. The tabloids, in particular, carry a collective guilt when it comes to the Royal family and paparazzi intrusion - as well as a set of distinctly flexible principles on the use of the paps’ produce. Those editors, pundits and hacks reading about Prince George’s grandmother with have known very well that there is only one of those - because Diana, Princess of Wales would have been the other, and she is no longer with us.
The editors of the Sun, Daily Mirror, and the now-defunct Screws, all confessed after the event to feeling a little responsibility for the circumstances that led to Diana’s death in a car crash in Paris eighteen years ago. So it is no surprise at all to see Sun and Mirror keep the Prince George story off their respective front pages. And the Mail, that paragon of outraged righteousness, has its own reason to keep a low profile.
In the aftermath of the Paris crash, the then Lord Rothermere decreed that his titles would no longer use paparazzi photographs. Once he had shuffled off the following year, this promise somehow slipped the memory of the Mail’s editor, then as now the legendarily foul mouthed Paul Dacre, who just went right ahead and continued to do business with the paps, as Roy Greenslade later observed.

On top of that, with the deeply subversive Guardian running the story today as its front page lead, those titles keeping schtum have another excuse to carp about the Beeb and Guardian being some kind of rotten lefty alliance, although they are anything but. Meanwhile, the thought enters that, although our own free and fearless press has not yet been tempted to buy the latest pap produce, they might be in the future.

And there would be no point in being even bigger hypocrites than usual, would there?


pete.c said...

Standard had the story as its front page lead yesterday.

Mentions of ludicrous paps hidden under sheets in car boots etc.

If it was you or me we'd be up before the beak, pronto.

Anonymous said...

I'm sure had the finger been pointed towards the BBC, those front pages wouldn't be quiet so silent on the matter.

Anonymous said...

If I hid in the boot of a car near a park and had a telephoto lens attached to a camera taking photos of children I would probably get my collar felt. The fact the child they are photgraphing is famous is no cover for what they are actually doing

Once they get arrested for being paedos and get on the sex register they may decide their chosen occupation was a bad idea.

Anonymous said...

And they "wonder" why journalists are despised.............

Miss Costello said...

Why is George wearing a frock? It's 2015 in the year of 'Celebs R Us Royals'.