The twentieth anniversary of the death of Diana, Princess of Wales is fast approaching, and so the amount of Diana coverage in the press is ramping up, as her image and memory still sells papers. But not all is sweetness and light in the media mansion today, because Channel 4, which is detested by the right-leaning part of the Fourth Estate, has scheduled a documentary including previous unseen video footage.
This was recorded by former actor and public speaking coach Peter Settelen as part of his work to improve her speeches and other speaking appearances. Diana talks at some length about her life, including her troubled marriage to the Prince of Wales. Channel 4 has decided to go ahead with their documentary, while the press, which has not got the tapes, has decided to play the other side of the field and condemn the broadcaster.
And at the front of the queue to put the boot in on Channel 4 has been the Murdoch Sun, which has put the story on the front page under the headline “GRUBBY BLOOD MONEY”, telling readers “Princess Diana’s pals urge Channel 4 to axe film featuring unseen tapes on her doomed marriage over fears it will hurt Princes William and Harry”.
The Sun suddenly taking William and Harry’s feelings into account? And there’s more: “Royal pals have blasted the TV station for its decision to air the clips - recorded by Diana's voice coach Peter Settelen - which she never gave permission to be made public”. The “Royal pals” are mainly Diana’s former pal Rosa Monckton. And we don’t get to know if anyone actually asked Diana to give her permission to use the tapes.
At this point, anyone remembering the way the Sun, and the rest of the tabloid press, obsessively pursued Diana, especially when she was no longer part of the Royal inner circle, and therefore easier to doorstep and follow, will hear the bullshit detector sounding long and loud. Had the videotapes been made available to that same press, or, in the caae of the Murdoch goons, Sky TV, there would have been no controversy.
The Sun never had any qualms about long-lens or other paparazzi photography, and nor did any of the other papers suffering a fit of the vapours over Channel 4 today. The Murdoch faithful never exercised the slightest restraint when there was a Diana story in the offing. The intrusion extended even to her last weeks, and continued as the tabloids bullied and hectored the Royal Family to fly flags how the press decreed they should be flown, and who should return to London and speak to their people.
There is only one reason why the Sun, and all the others running this story, are so sour about next weekend’s documentary: they didn’t get the tapes for themselves. It’s worse for them because Channel 4 is the broadcaster they all despise, the TV channel that declines to be pushed around by the Murdoch mafiosi and all those others in the press establishment who pay grovelling homage at the feet of Don Rupioni.
This is the ultimate media hypocrisy. So no change there, then. Don’t Buy The Sun.