The response of the legendarily foul mouthed Paul Dacre and his obedient hackery at the Daily Mail to the statement from Kensington Palace yesterday on behalf of Prince Harry, taking exception to the intrusion into his relationship with US-born actor and campaigner Meghan Markle, has been all too predictable: our vibrant, free and fearless press will not be silenced in its desire to score as much copy off the couple as they can.
Why the f*** can't I order intrusive hit pieces on someone who can't fight back, c***?!? Er, with the greatest of respect, Mr Jay
To this end, there has been a raft of articles, whose tone has been patronising, sneering and sickeningly condescending in turns, along with the entirely fabricated suggestion that Harry wrote the statement himself, and had his father been consulted, he would have just kept quiet and taken it on the chin like a good little boy. And they have a response.
The statement, by “A Mail Online Spokesman”, is decoded first.
“We were very surprised by the Prince’s comments, particularly as no earlier complaint had been made by the Palace. MailOnline believes it has acted courteously and correctly in its coverage of this story”. “Very surprised” is legalese for “Come off it”. No earlier complaint was received by the Mail - because Kensington Palace made it to IPSO.
“We carried no smears”. The complaint was not specific to one paper - in fact, the most obvious smear was carried by the Murdoch Sun.
“Our articles had no racial undertones”. Bullshit. Quite apart from Alison Boshoff asserting “Miss [!] Markle … who is of mixed race heritage … Her mother’s great-great-grandfather was a freed slave”, Rachel Johnson has given us “If there is issue from her alleged union with Prince Harry, the Windsors will thicken their watery, thin blue blood and Spencer pale skin and ginger hair with some rich and exotic DNA. Miss Markle’s mother is a dreadlocked African-American lady”. “Rich and exotic DNA”. Racial undertones.
“There were no nightly legal battles over stories”. So not every night for the Mail, then.
“We sent no photographers to Ms Markle’s mother’s home”. So they went on spec.
“We offered no payments to Ms Markle’s ex-boyfriend or anyone else associated with this story”. Is that just Mail Online speaking, or the Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday too?
“And, finally, we certainly made no attempt to gain illegal entry to her home”. Note use of the word “illegal”, plus the possibility that someone did to get information that the Mail later used has not been ruled out.
“We wish Prince Harry and Ms Markle well in their relationship”. Stuff your wishes. You couldn’t give a flying foxtrot as long as you score plenty of extra sales before someone gets killed or injured.
This sneering dissembly is more than backed up by pro-am loudmouth Katie Hopkins telling Mail Online readers “there, there, he’s in love, poor dear, why not just take it on the chin, lean back and enjoy life”, as if one can do so with the likes of Hatey Katie in pursuit. And there is worse, much worse, in a hit job to order from Sarah “Vain” Vine.
“Quite aside from the passionate tone of the tract and the fury of some of his allegations, the idea that Ms Markle is some media ingenue, some hapless victim of unfair and unwarranted scrutiny, is simply preposterous” she sneers dismissively. See, you run a blog and publish photos of yourself, that means you’re asking for it!
“The woman - a transatlantic TV star don’t forget - has 1.1 million followers on Instagram, where she’s shared over 2,000 pictures, and her own website, The Tig, which is not dissimilar to Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop”. Know your place - you’re on TV, therefore we’re entitled to intrude. And don’t bother complaining, or we’ll intrude a bit more.
Ms Vine then goes into vomit-inducing mode: after condescendingly observing “His statement also offers an insight into the mind of the young man who many remember as a sweet, sad child, bravely fighting back the tears as he followed his mother’s coffin along the Mall … Because that trauma, I suspect, is where this cry of rage really stems from. From Harry the boy, Diana’s brave little soldier, who despite everything could not protect his mummy, as all little boys long to do”, she takes out her king-size onion.
“I have a lot of sympathy for this stance. I know only too well how it feels to see someone you love traduced in the media, lied about on the internet and attacked unfairly”. Who, Michael “Oiky” Gove? Another Minister for Murdoch? Expenses over-claimer extraordinaire and gravy train rider supreme? Yeah, right. So what about “Oiky” getting lampooned?
“It’s incredibly painful and it stirs deep emotions that can be very hard to control”. Like when you shat all over Ed Miliband and his wife, just to score a few more Brownie points with the Vagina Monologue. Those kinds of deep emotions.
Readers also get “Did Harry wait until Charles was overseas before issuing his statement? RICHARD KAY and GEOFFREY LEVY analyse the timing of the outburst”, which claims to have talked to one of Charles’ friends (doubtful) and at least one “royal aide” (ditto). But the real giveaway is the presence of Levy, who wrote the infamous “Man Who Hated Britain” piece. His presence means Paul Dacre personally approved this message.
All of this, together with the repeated claim that Prince Harry “hates the media”, mean that the Mail’s editor has put the word out that Harry and his girlfriend have to be put in their place and be made to learn their lesson: free speech means Dacre and his Rottweilers are free to dish it out, and the Royals are free to suck it up.
Once again, the inmates of the Northcliffe House bunker show that they can please themselves, and dare anyone who thinks they’re hard enough to prove otherwise.