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Friday 2 December 2022

Royal Racism - Press In Blind Panic

The secret of all good comedy - timing - has also become the secret of how to send our free and fearless press into the panic to end all panics. That timing need not be deliberate; it need only give the press the impression that it is, and the latter’s advanced state of paranoia will do the rest. So it was in the aftermath of the Buckingham Palace racism row last week.

Hardly had the right-leaning part of the press, for which read most of it, decided to cast Lady Susan Hussey as some kind of “cancelled” victim for her patronising and aggressive interrogation of charity boss Ngozi Fulami, than Netflix released a trailer for the upcoming series from the Sussexes, which promises to lift the lid on what really drove them out of Royal life.

The headlines demonstrate superbly just how blind the panic has become: the Sussexes, as LBC host James O’Brien has observed, are just better at the PR game than the Waleses, and they are also more interesting, more empathetic, more approachable, and what the press hates the most, they are more independent. They do their thing, whatever the press wants.

So none of the screaming headlines will make a jot of difference. Haz and Megs won’t be troubled by the Daily Brexit, still called the Express, demanding “HARRY, DO YOU REALLY HATE YOUR FAMILY SO MUCH?” and telling readers of “A BOMBSHELL trailer for Prince Harry and Meghan’s ill-timed [says who?] Netflix documentary”. What’s “ill-timed” about it?

Series begins next week, first trailer comes out five or six days beforehand. Looks like normal commercial timing. Unless you’re paranoid and desperate to defend the Royals - and what O’Brien correctly identified as a symbiotic relationship between them and the press. But the Express rant was mild by comparison to that coming out of the Murdoch Sun.

Prince & Meg’s Netflix Ambush … Harry film ‘sabotage’ of Wills & Kate … Bombshell clip timed to ruin US tour … KISS MEANS WAR” howled the inmates of the Baby Shard bunker, making it up as they went along with such gems as “HARRY and Meghan reignited their war on William and Kate yesterday with an incendiary Netflix trailer”. False assumption, folks.

That assumes Haz and Megs dictated the timing of the trailer’s release. The Sun admits it when it tells “Royal aides believe they ‘deliberately’ timed its release”. The invention of parallel reality continues with “The … promo appears to threaten damaging new claims”. Meaning they don’t know, but they have to cast the Sussexes as the bad guys. As with the Mail.

Those labouring under the less that benign leadership of their editor-in-chief, the legendarily foul mouthed Paul Dacre, parrot the same line as the Express and Sun, not that it’s been handed down to them, oh no. “Unflattering image of Kate … And weeping Meghan … Netflix trailer allies of William and Kate say is a declaration of WAR”. Thank you Tedious Maximus.

All of which will have the people at Netflix whooping with joy at all the free publicity, and maybe ordering up one or two more trailers. What will Haz and Megs make of the latest press attack, including the sneering headline in the Murdoch TimesSussexes ‘have become the Kardashians’”? D’you know, they may not be able to muster a flying foxtrot of interest in response.

After all, the best the right-wing press has managed this week is to excuse a clumsy and aggressive racist interrogation by a Royal courtier by waffling on about a lifetime of unblemished service, that the individual concerned is 83 (does that mean you can be more racist as you get older?), and that this is another example of that cancel culture. That really isn’t a thing.

Thus the giveaway: that same press is so obviously parroting the Palace line that it’s no longer bothering to cover up its sources. It’s another part of the establishment being defended by, er, another part of the establishment. Trying its damnedest to hand out punishment beatings to those who it believes threaten the continued place atop society of, er, the establishment.

Our free and fearless press needs to treat racism as racism, not “causing offence”, and with no age-related get-out clause. If the Sussexes want to do a documentary series for Netflix, that’s their business. And there are limits to how long the UK’s population can be gaslit. Think about it, press people.

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Arnold said...


EDEN CONFIDENTIAL: Did deafness play a part in Lady Susan's palace race gaffe?


Arnold said...

Not ill-timed for the right wing tabloids. They aren't reporting our wretched government and the damage it's causing.

Arnold said...

Now the BBC hits back at Harry and Meghan's Netflix show: R4 host Mishal Husain says 'recollections may vary' after Sussexes insisted engagement interview was 'staged' – and Nicholas Witchell slams 'absurd' claims
In a rare reverse ferret, the Mail has commended the BBC for not being impartial. I doubt there are many comments calling for the BBC to be defunded either.