“Daily Mail publisher Associated Newspapers has demanded that CBS remove a ‘misleading montage’ of newspaper headlines from its ‘Oprah with Meghan and Harry’ broadcast … Associated Newspapers alleges that the programme does not, in its current form, ‘comply with the ViacomCBS editorial policies or align with its stated values’”.
There was more. “In a letter sent to CBS on Friday, Associated Newspapers’ group editorial legal director, Elizabeth Hartley, said: ‘As a responsible broadcaster with integrity we believe… that you will deprecate, as we do, the deliberate distortion and doctoring of newspaper headlines in the misleading montage of British newspapers broadcast in “Oprah with Meghan and Harry”’”. The Mail lecturing others on integrity. Do go on.
“Many of the headlines have been either taken out of context or deliberately edited and displayed as supporting evidence for the programme’s claim that the Duchess of Sussex was subjected to racist coverage by the British press”. The Mail complaining about something being taken out of context. And claiming not to be racist.
And the conclusion? You’ll love this. "In conclusion, the programme in its current form, does not comply with the ViacomCBS editorial policies or align with its stated values. In terms of both accuracy and integrity, the programme is clearly compromised by the inclusion of this misleading montage … Accordingly, I should be grateful for your urgent confirmation that the offending content will be removed from the programme currently being made available to the public”. Deadline has helpfully added some of that context.
“Associated Newspapers’ intervention also comes against the backdrop of its legal fight with [Meghan] Markle over the publication of a letter to her father. Markle secured a major victory in the ongoing battle last month”. ANL failed in the UK courts; now it’s trying its luck in the USA. But, in the court of public opinion, the Mail was not faring too well.
“Which Daily Mail?The one that demonised Meghan for holding her baby bump, while it made Kate Middleton mother angel for holding hers? The one that gave Piers Morgan a platform to incite hate via his personal vendetta against Meghan? I hope CBS ignores those. Grifters for clicks” was a typical response. Also, there was a warning for the Mail.
“I know the Daily Mail is used to dealing with amateurs but Oprah and CBS are seasoned professionals so good luck … If they are offended by a 30 second clip now imagine how Meghan feels after all the articles”. More of that context. And CBS appeared unmoved.
“‘Oprah with Meghan and Harry’ has grown to over 21 million viewers domestically! The special will be rebroadcast tonight 3/12 at 8pm on CBS … Plus, global viewership has surpassed 61 million”. Then Ellie Hall of Buzz Feed news brought the Mail bad news.
“Harpo Productions has responded to Associated Newspapers' allegations they ‘doctored’ headlines in the Oprah interview: ‘Prince Harry and Meghan, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, shared in the interview their personal story. We stand by the broadcast in its entirety’”. In other words, CBS and Harpo have told the Mail to shove their complaint.
The Mail titles can bully obstacles out of the way in the UK. But in the USA, they are treated only on the merit of their case. And this time, there wasn’t any. Sad, really.
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