Our free and fearless press continues to invent stories about the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, with today’s Daily Mail running a poll suggesting the public wants the couple to be stripped of their titles. But if the public really knew the reality of what has been going on, they would be angry, and not at the Sussexes. So what is the real back story?
The first reveal came from ITV’s Tom Bradby, who had been filming with the couple during their tour of Africa. He dismissed the big press lie: “It's certainly not true to say the palace were blindsided by this”. Why so? “The couple's view was they came back and wanted to talk to the family about their plans. It had been made clear to them in their absence there was going to be a slimmed down monarchy and they weren't really a part of it”.
ITV News added “[Bradby] went on to say how the couple were asked to put down their suggestions on paper - but initially declined to do so for fear of a press leak. When that did happen, and the news leaked, the couple then decided to go public with their decision without alerting the other Royals they were doing so”. Looks a little different now.
And it gets worse - much, much worse. The clearest evidence that the press has been lying to its readers has come from court papers forming part of the Duchess of Sussex’ action against Associated Newspapers (publishers of the Mail titles). The content has been revealed by Professor Brian Cathcart in an article for Byline Investigates.
His headline conclusion? “Why Harry and Meghan Move is Really About Dishonest Journalism”. How does he back that up? Well, the court papers contain a section on claims made about the renovation of Frogmore Cottage. And it is that renovation that has been used to drive much of the negative publicity aimed at the Duchess of Sussex.
The Mail titles claimed she had “‘splashed out £5,000’ on a copper bathtub (which does not exist and is totally untrue) … ‘forked out £500k’ on soundproofing to block out the noise of planes (ditto) … variously installed a ‘yoga studio’ (ditto), an ‘orangery’ (ditto), a ‘tennis court’ (ditto) and a ‘guest wing’ for her mother to stay in when she visited (ditto)”.
All put before the public as facts, and all now asserted to be totally untrue. But the really big Frogmore Cottage whopper was over the “£2.4 million of taxpayers’ money” claim, which is being peddled by every self-appointed Royal media expert.
This is what the court papers say about that: “the [Mail titles] sought to portray these renovations as being done at ‘the taxpayer’s expense’, costing ‘£2.4m of YOUR cash’. This was also false and misleading. In fact, the Cottage is a Grade 2-listed 17th Century residence, which was already undergoing much-needed renovation for safety, and its refurbishment back to its original state as a single family home was funded by Her Majesty the Queen as part of her obligation and responsibility”.
That responsibility was “to maintain or refurbish the upkeep of buildings of historical significance through a portion of the Sovereign Grant, made in exchange for the revenue from her Crown Estate (which is several times the amount of the Sovereign Grant)”.
Did you believe any of those claims? If so, you are one of millions taken for mugs by the Mail titles, and indeed all the other papers that piled in on the back of Mail reports.
The court papers also lay bare the Mail’s racism, as witness “In relation to the article entitled ‘Harry’s girl is (almost) straight outta Compton: gang-scarred home of her mother revealed - so will he be dropping round for tea’, the statement that the [Duchess] lived or grew up in Compton (or anywhere near to it) is false”. And there is more.
“The [Duchess] will also refer to the fact that the article cites her aunt as living in ‘gang-afflicted Inglewood’ in order to bolster this negative and damaging impression of where this (black) side of her family is said to come from … In fact, Ava Burrow (said to be ‘the actress’ aunt’) is not her aunt or any blood relation at all, a fact which if correctly stated would have undermined the narrative which the [Mail] was intended to convey”.
Moreover, it isn’t just anti-Black racism. There is also vicious Islamophobia, as witness “In the article entitled ‘Kitchen supported by Meghan’s cookbook is housed inside Mosque “which has links to 19 terror suspects including Jihadi John”’, the connection made between the Hubb Community Kitchen (in which the [Duchess] worked with those affected by the Grenfell tragedy as part of a cookbook project that became a New York Times best-selling book) and the al-Manaar Muslim Cultural Heritage Centre (supposedly ‘linked to 19 Islamic extremists’) is at best a highly tenuous and deliberately inflammatory one”.
The court papers conclude “The characterisation of these victims as being linked to terrorism in the same way as the [Duchess] is said to be supporting or endorsing jihadi terrorists through her participation in a cookbook for victims of Grenfell, is as false as it is offensive”. Also, this looks like a deliberate attempt to stymie sales of that cookbook.
Prof Cathcart notes that the court papers “Give a flavour … of the press coverage the couple have endured, and of which they have now plainly had enough”, adding “As you will read, this is not legitimate media scrutiny of members of the royal family; it is lying and bullying by a powerful press organisation”. His conclusion is a warning to all of us.
“All the power of our corrupt national press is being turned on this couple now, doggedly flogging us the racist and misogynist myth of a ‘difficult’, mixed-race, American woman preying on a vulnerable prince … The aim is clear - to break up the marriage … Not one mainstream media outlet is prepared to present this affair as what it really is: a scandal about dishonest journalism”. Not even, whisper it quietly, the BBC.
You think the Duchess of Sussex is a baddie? That she’s led the Duke astray? That she is somehow unworthy of Royal status and should be stripped of her title? Read those court papers and think again. And next time you see Piers Morgan, Eamonn Holmes, Sarah Vine, or any of the other self-appointed “Royal experts” shooting their mouths off, remember who told you the truth. And that it wasn’t them.
Our free and fearless press is an utter shower. But you knew that already.
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The press are not content with their part in hounding one royal to death?
Still banding Andrews name around and nobody else in regard to Epstein (who took his own life)?
That tells who is pulling the strings and for which country...
I always knew it would come to this. British press started the dog whistle racism when the couple were dating. The media thought "How dare Meghan get ideas above her station? A black woman and our prince? Outrageous!" Everyone knows the Monarchy plays a huge part in the structure in this country which holds up white supremacy. That's why Eamonn and Piers attack her so viciously. It's their white supremacy which they feel is being threatened and they can't stand it. They may not even know that's the reason because we have all been conditioned from birth to think that we must protect and love the Royals - Eamonn and Piers are no different in this crazy groupthink.
I have been in situations where people have been tearing into Meghan, angry because she is 'such a diva' etc. When I responded with "so what? She has had to give up her whole life to be with Harry, who by the way, is well punching above his weight" I was met with confused, shocked, offended stares. A lot of you lot are brainwashed in to thinking the Royals are deserving of all the material things they have because the media tells you how to think and feel - including how to think and feel about Meghan. So many of you are absolute mugs.
More Mail hypocrisy. A phrase from the past when the Kate was the tabloids' hate figure.
"AMANDA PLATELL: No tears or tantrums here, 'Waity Katy' Middleton has become the Royals' crown jewel after a torrid week for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle
By AMANDA PLATELL FOR THE DAILY MAIL"
We need to heavily fight back at these gutter press reports. They are the lowest of the low, The papers and broadcasters need to wipe the s—t from their shoes and mouths and turn these papers into trust and trustworthy reporting. Employ professional journalist and editorial staff now ! if they want to sell their newspaper before the summer As they must take responsibility for a country that if no action is taken the UK is looking like a very dark place to live with a bleak future for our children. At the moment we are the laughing stock of the world. The media and the conservatives have been playing a very dangerous Machiavellian game with our future. If they stop this now we may start to trust and hold our heads up! And try to forgive the evil devious games they have put us through.
Even you have resorted to personal and grimy comments ! So the difference between you and those you call ‘mugs’ is what?
I applaud your comment At last some intelligence placed into the ring
Oh come now, it's a bit unfair to expect the Mail to publish actual facts. Journalistic freedom and all that.
What a pity Murdoch doesn't piss off back to where he came from and do the UK a favour.
A very fine piece, Tim.
I hope the couple take the Rothermere Heil gang to the cleaners. Me, I'd make it personal and go after the individual propaganda clerks who produce this muck. Bankrupt them all.
The Mail is vile beyond hope of redemption
A priceless Sarah Vile in Martin Rowson's Guardian cartoon today.
Could you use it as a replacement for your usual pic, Tim?
The press will do everything to sell papers. All about money, plain and simple and the foolish public who read or even start to believe, are also guilty. A drug addict remain one if supplied with drugs. What will the press do when they are no longer in view? That's the real problem. They will target poor Kathy. Only hope William too will make sure his wife is protected against these vile preditors. I am glad Harry and his wife have made this decision which I'm sure wasn't easy to do. As for Pearce Morgan , someone show give him sedative. Better still sometime to stop his verbal diarrhoea.
He's not a mug.
It's is all nosense . To papers spreading wrong and upside down information. We a No longer happy about all this.
So so sad! No respect for the Queen. William also lost his mother. She must have know what.a royal life entailed. Harry would have told her. Money in cottage and wedding what for.
I'm not being paid. Neither do I have an agenda.
Let's just say I learned from the best!
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