[imagesource: Press Association]
The British Royal Family is in many ways ‘public property’, in the sense that their continued existence is determined by the goodwill of the people whose taxes pay for their way of life.
I mean, apart from the occasional message of hope, a few charities and social engagements, they don’t really do that much to govern the UK.
(With the way that Boris Johnson governs, I’m sure some wouldn’t mind if the Queen took over.)
When Harry and Meghan left the Royal Family to strike out on their own, financially speaking, the media had no way of predicting how their new independence might affect their engagement with the press.
Per The Guardian:
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have told the editors of British tabloid newspapers that they will never again deal with their outlets, in an unprecedented direct attack on a large part of the media that leaves little chance of repairing the relationship.
Harry and Meghan sent letters to the editors the Sun, Daily Mail, Mirror and Express stating emphatically that they would no longer respond to inquiries from their journalists. They’re adopting a “zero engagement” policy in this regard.
I’m loving this. Those publications deserve it for their treatment of the couple.
In a strongly worded attack, the Duke and Duchess said they refused to “offer themselves up as currency for an economy of clickbait and distortion” and accused the outlets of running stories that are “distorted, false, or invasive beyond reason”.
This comes about as Meghan prepares to take on the Mail on Sunday in court over the publication of a letter that she sent to her horrible father.
In the letter Harry and Meghan tell the editors that they believe a free press is a cornerstone to any democracy that can “shine light on dark places, telling stories that would otherwise go untold, standing up for what’s right, challenging power, and holding those who abuse the system to account”.
Those principles aren’t shared by the tabloids. As the Sussex’s representative put it:
“There is a real human cost to this way of doing business and it affects every corner of society. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have watched people they know – as well as complete strangers – have their lives completely pulled apart for no good reason, other than the fact that salacious gossip boosts advertising revenue.”
The policy, he says, is not about avoiding criticism. They want to avoid fake news.
The couple’s total ban on dealing with the British tabloid media also applies to the Sunday editions of the newspapers and their associated websites. Harry and Meghan have previously made clear that they particularly object to the way stories from British newspapers about the couple are carried around the world, especially by the Daily Mail’s sister publication MailOnline – which has an enormous audience in the US – and its columnist Piers Morgan.
Piers Morgan has an unhealthy obsession with Meghan, which he works through in long-winded articles about that time she ghosted him.
This is going to be a massive blow for him.
I’m not sad about it.
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