And what about the “racist” headlines that appeared in the interview claiming to be from the UK press, when more than a third were in fact taken from independent blogs and foreign media? British media respect the Independent Press Standards Organization’s code of conduct “to avoid any prejudicial or derogatory reference to an individual’s race”, as well as stringent libel laws. And rightly so – the UK press doesn’t always do it right. But social media is the Wild West in comparison, posting vile slurs on a daily basis with impunity.
So some find it strange that such a contentious couple claim to have been ‘silenced’ when they have brought so many complaints, including recourse to legal action, about stories they claim they haven’t even read. . There’s something equally contradictory about a couple accusing the tabloids of lacking in self-reflection while refusing to take any blame – for anything.
In any normal world, insightful writing on such matters would be classified as an honest commentary, but not, apparently, on Twitter where those who are completely lacking in objectivity are all too willing to point out and manipulate virtue. .
As the trolling peaked following the interview, veteran royal reporter Robert Jobson of The Evening Standard called me. “Don’t answer these monsters,” he advised. “It’s getting nasty over there. Watch your back!
Yet despite my general feeling of bewilderment at the threatening cigarette ends, I can’t say that it didn’t shock me to find out that a close friend had been abused online, simply from being my mate. . After discussing the efforts the troll had to make to find her, she asked me, “Have you ever worried that someone would do something terrible to you?” Uh, not until now, no.
Of course, it’s upsetting, even for an old cynic like me. Worse yet, people who know me criticize my profession on social media. Often times, these are the same charlatans who wouldn’t think of laughing at me for the latest gossip about the royal family, while publicly claiming that reading such a cover is completely below them.
Most pernicious of all though – especially after Piers Morgan left Good Morning Britain following a complaint to ITV and Ofcom by the Duchess – is the corrosive effect all this fuss has on freedom. expression. When you have a former actor actually editing a UK breakfast show at an £ 11million mansion in Montecito, what happens next?
I can’t help but think we risk setting race relations back 30 years if people seriously suggest that any criticism of Meghan is racially motivated. It is hypocrisy that attracts me. When Priti Patel was accused of bullying, the same people who voluntarily suspended the Home Secretary from drying out are now the ones defending Meghan against such allegations, claiming they were just because she is “A strong woman of color”.
Of course, journalists should take responsibility for everything they report and be held to account – but Harry and Meghan don’t have a monopoly on the truth just because the close friend and neighbor who interviewed in exchange for £ 7million CBS took what they said as gospel.
If she is unwilling to probe the disparity between Meghan saying someone questioned Archie’s skin color when she was pregnant, and Harry suggesting it happened even before they were are married, then someone has to do it. There is a name for such a review. It’s called journalism.