What a happy chappie
So it was that the Mail, Express, Mirror, Telegraph, Times and Sun splashed the official photo of the happy couple across their front pages. But in one corner of the Old Media world, someone was not happy. Sitting there beneath a dark cloud across which the word GLOOM was etched in bold capitals was former Screws and Daily Mirror editor Piers Morgan. He was going to throw a mardy strop, and didn’t care who knew it.
“Harry & Meghan have announced they’re pregnant and released this cheesy photo of themselves to ensure the media gives the story about their private life more prominence - in their latest courageous effort to stop the same media focusing on their private life” he whined plaintively, managing not to mention he is not a disinterested bystander.
After all, Megs has just trounced Associated Newspapers, publishers of the Mail on Sunday, in court. ANL also runs Mail Online, for whom Morgan is an “editor at large”. Hal has sued the Murdoch Sun and the Mirror over allegations of phone hacking: Morgan used to edit the latter, and is big pals with News UK CEO Rebekah Brooks.
And for all those who think the legal actions have nothing to do with Morgan’s miserable mood, along he comes to confirm that, er, they do: “They don’t want privacy. They want publicity but only if it’s positive. So today they let all the papers they hate publish their baby announcement photo because it enhances their brand. A few days ago, they were trashing the same papers as dehumanising invaders of their privacy”.
All that Hal and Megs are doing is to give the press the information that they choose to give them. At the same time, they are taking a consistent line with encroachments on their privacy, if necessary by instructing lawyers. Piers Morgan, as an Old Media person, doesn’t like that one bit. For him, anyone remotely Royal is public property, and is there for his pals in the press to do as they think fit - privacy be damned.
Added to that, Morgan thought he’d got a line to Megs, only for her to figure out that her new pal was not some benign acquaintance, but had the potential to leak anything she thought might be private all over the nearest front page. The Sussexes have the control they want. That’s a depressing thought to someone who thinks they shouldn’t.
So it was that the frustration boiled over after BBC Breakfast host Dan Walker gave the couple his congratulations. “Arise, Sir Poodle” sneered The Great Man, letting slip the reality - that ITV Good Morning Britain won’t be laying a ratings glove on its BBC competitor any time soon, no matter how much his press pals talk it up.
On top of that, he’s lost his access to the White House. Sad, really.
Enjoy your visit to Zelo Street? You can help this truly independent blog carry on talking truth to power, while retaining its sense of humour, by adding to its Just Giving page at