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Sunday 19 January 2020

Megxit May Not Be Good For The Press

As details of the arrangement reached for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex to step back from front-line Royal duties were revealed yesterday, it seemed our free and fearless press was on to a winner. “Prince Harry and Meghan will no longer use their HRH titles and will not receive public funds for royal duties, Buckingham Palace has announced … The couple will also no longer formally represent the Queentold the BBC report.
There was more. “The Duke and Duchess of Sussex intend to repay £2.4m of taxpayer money for the refurbishment of Frogmore Cottage, which will remain their UK family home, the statement added”. Former Screws and Daily Mirror editor Piers Morgan could not have been happier, gurgling “The Queen’s told Megan/Harry to sling their part-time royal hook. Well done, Your Majesty - right decision”. But someone was not thinking this through.

For starters, what has happened is more or less what Hal and Meg wanted. They are still the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, he’s still a Prince and 6th in line to the throne, and the two of them “would continue to maintain their private patronages and associations”. They can also, whisper it quietly, award their patronage to new causes.
And that is where the press, gleefully telling their readers of the “Hard Megxit” that has supposedly been imposed upon them by Brenda (and presumably approved by Brian), appears to have a blind spot. Think for a moment. What are both the Sussexes doing right now? They’re both taking legal action against our free and fearless press.

The Duchess is suing the Mail on Sunday over the publication of private correspondence, with the BBC reportingLaw firm Schillings, acting for the duchess, accused the paper of a campaign of false derogatory stories”. The Duke is going after the Murdoch mafiosi and publishers of the Mirror titles over historic claims of phone hacking - what the Guardian described asan escalation of his all-out war with the British newspaper industry”.
And because the Sussexes will continue to be high profile individuals, the wider public is likely to pay more attention to potential lawbreaking within the press. One look at Byline Media and Byline Investigates gives a flavour of where that attention may focus. From “Piers Morgan Named in New Court Docs Over ‘Theft of Princess Diana Letters’”, to “Major James Hewitt Sues Piers Morgan’s Daily Mirror for Phone Hacking”, to “Twelve Sun Editors Suspected of Phone Hacking and Blagging, Court Told”, it’s bad for the press.

It’s even worse for the press’ cheerleaders, like Piers Morgan, nowadays regarded as more of a broadcast presence. If Hal and Megs decide to throw their support behind campaigns that highlight press misbehaviour, those stories will come centre stage, whether the press and their pals want them to or not.
Doesn’t sound quite so good for our free and fearless press now, does it? Hal and Megs keep their high public profile, advocate against press misbehaviour, thus raising the profile of that misbehaviour and the organisations that campaign for press accountability.

They got Leveson 2 canned. They can’t can the Sussexes. Bad move, press people.
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Anonymous said...

Nice to see you appraise the group's who are going after the Murdoch Mafioso and not individuals too?

Some of us know more than you ever will Tim.

I won't be using this site anymore as I also note your aversion to certain situations yourself!

Burlington Bertie from Bow said...

Very cryptic, Anonymous @ 13.56.
Not to say gnomic.
And portentous.
And even unintelligible.

We inta gramma We inta gramma good said...

The plural of 'group' is 'groups'.
'Appraise' is not the same as 'praise'.
Glad to hear that you won't be on this site anymore as I'm sick of Russian trolls with a poor grasp of the English language.

Anonymous said...

@ 13:56.

That apostrophe......that apostrophe......

grim northerner said...

I like carrot's.

nparker said...


No idea what you're saying. It might make sense to an idiot, but not to anyone who isn't one.

I suspect that even if you had made sense, the comment would still have been pointless.

Sam said...

I'm surprised the penny hasn't dropped yet that Rupert Murdoch- who has paved the way for the descent of the popular tabloids into the gutter whereby they are playing catch-up to The Sun- doesn't particularly like the UK and really does hate the so-called Aristocracy and the Royal family. It dates back to his father's influence. Sir Keith Murdoch was a war correspondent at Galipoli and often his vitriolic reports back to Oz about the sheer incompetence of the British command running the show were censored. Rupert's admiration for his father is well known and although he may live part time in the UK and enjoy much that it has to give, anyone who has worked for him in the distant past (me) had it drummed into them that Murdoch always viewed Britain's establishment as an entity that must be eventually destroyed and if he can make money out of it,even better. Pundits like Piers are par for the course for how Murdoch has brought the British media to the point it's now at.

Anonymous said...

Nice write up Sam.