It has been a sad reality of the print media for many years that once one paper runs with a story, the rest of the pack, or at least those peddling a similar product, feels duty bound to run with it too. What is new with the ruckus generated by the pursuit of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex is that the pack is now including broadcasters.
As Zelo Street noted recently, the court papers that form part of the legal action brought by the Duchess of Sussex against the Mail on Sunday lay bare the dishonesty and forthright bigotry that is being employed in pursuit of all things Hal and Meg. The MoS then let the world know that it would be defending the case “robustly”, and to this end the sister Daily Mail plastered the mind games all over its front page yesterday.
Central to those games, as the headline “MARKLE vs MARKLE” suggests (readers will have to be of A Certain Age to get that one) is the idea that Thomas Markle will rock up in London to testify against his daughter. As the BBC has reported, “The Duchess of Sussex's father, Thomas Markle, will testify if asked to in the court case against Meghan, the duchess' half sister has said. Samantha Markle - Mr Markle's daughter from his first marriage - told the BBC: ‘If he is called, he will come’”. Will he now?
Markle Père didn’t manage to get to her wedding, so one might have thought that this claim would have been treated with a little more scepticism. Not by the BBC, and, whisper it quietly, its Royal correspondent Jonny Diamond, whose line on the case is showing signs of being remarkably adjacent to that coming out of Northcliffe House.
Moreover, Samantha Markle’s back story does not inspire confidence in the accuracy of her claims, particularly when it comes to her half-sister. Take this snippet from the Mirror last year, claiming she “was labelled a ‘bore’ and a ‘loser’ who is ‘using the duchess' name to trick media organisers into pushing her shit book’ in an awkward radio interview”.
Or this from the Murdoch Sun, now firmly in the Meg-bashing camp. “Samantha announced that she would release her memoirs and that her sister should prepare herself for some home truths … when speaking of the wedding, she added that she was still hoping for an invitation … [then] She blasted her half-sister on Twitter after claiming to have been snubbed from the wedding”. Publicity seeking, much?
And the Daily Brexit, still claiming to be called the Express, had this last November. “Meghan Markle sister timeline: Raging feud through the years as Samantha attacks Duchess … MEGHAN MARKLE and her sister Samantha are far from close”. Well, well.
What does that tell any half-objective observer? That Samantha Markle is what might be called an unreliable witness. So today’s further episode of the Megs Mind Games from the Mail, where it champions the Duchess of Cambridge by proclaiming “Kate the dazzling Duchess shows how it’s done”, is nothing more than whistling in the wind.
The expectation in legal circles is that the MoS is going to be routed, should the case come to court. Most likely is that it will not, and that the MoS will throw in the towel, doing the best deal it can without having to shell out too many millions doing so.
So why is the BBC apparently playing along with this charade? Curiouser and curiouser.
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