Many millions will have seen the Oprah with Meghan and Harry interview aired today in the UK, so I do not need to summarise it. Those who did not watch it will not benefit much from my summarising it. What I can do is give my assessment.
The fundamental issue behind this high profile celebrity story comes down to lies, perpetuating lies and the Tabloid Press being the vehicle to destroy people’s lives and even threatening the UK Royal Family.
Meghan Markle gave her version of events. She commented that people should learn that when people have broad smiles (the context was when she was at a function with Harry because she was too afraid to be alone because of her suicidal thoughts), things can be very different inside.
The truth is that it does not matter much what we ‘the people’ as individuals think – those who should learn this lesson are the Tabloid Press.
Harry and Meghan left Britain because of the Tabloid Press. How so? Meghan and others point out the distinction between the Royal Family and “the Firm”, the officials around the Royal Family. Meghan did not complain about the Family but about the Firm who did nothing to protect her from the lies in the Tabloid Press. Harry said: “We are talking about the UK press, here, right?” He referred to his long history with the media. “I asked for calm from the British Tabloids, once as a boyfriend, once as a husband, once as a father.” When Oprah asked why they left the UK, Harry replied: “lack of support and lack of understanding” and then referred to ‘the Institution’. What is meant is lack of support from the Firm to correct the lies in the Tabloid Press. Harry pointed out that 72 MPs supported Megham against the racism in the Tabloid Press, but none of the Royal Family gave public support at that time.
The Celebrity Effect
The small man has always had to live with the lack of natural justice. However, things change when celebrities are affected. Max Mosley took on the system and won, as did Sir Cliff Richard. As a result, the BBC would not waste public money appealing the decision in favour of Cliff Richard and have opted for the cheaper version by simply getting MPs to change the law in favour of the media. Voilà! Who needs an appeal system when you have friends at court?
But Meghan had no friends at court – in this case the court is the Firm and the Tabloid Press.
Harry said that the Royal Family are afraid of the Tabloid Press turning against them, describing it as “control by fear”, so the Tabloid Press had ready access to holiday parties at the Palace to keep them ‘on side’.
The danger of the Tabloid Press
Christians have known for long enough that the Tabloid Press has a baneful effect upon public life. The Harry and Meghan story adds spice to the baneful effect of the Tabloid Press. In one small phrase, Meghan referred to death threats. The context was social media.
This should demonstrate, what is obvious to thinking people, that the Tabloid Press as a genre is similar to and feeds social media.
The complaints about the abuse on social media are rather late in the day. It should have begun long ago with the Tabloid Press. However, if even the Royal Family is afraid of the Tabloid Press because of bad publicity, no wonder that those in public life will not address the issue.
It is the price paid for losing Christianity and Christian values from public life.
“Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself”. The Nuremberg trials taught us that it is not enough to say “it is/was my job”. Those engaged in the Tabloid Press need to ask themselves what love they show to those whose lives they destroy, what care they show for the damage to family members of those whom they destroy. Their excuse that is “in the public interest” is shallow.
“Jesus said to them, You justify yourselves before men, but God knows your hearts.”Luke 16:15
The Tabloid Press reporters search out the secrets of men, publicise them and destroy people, their family, their acquaintances and future usefulness and contribution in public life. The public loves to read it – this is the interest of the public, misrepresented as ‘the public interest’.
“Shall not God search this out? for He knows the secrets of the heart.”Psalm 44:21
They are in a miserable employment with a miserable eternity in front of them. Are they far-sighted enough to see this? Can they hear the Lord Jesus saying: “They are blind leaders of the blind” (Mat 15:14)?
Meanwhile, the destruction of the Royal Family would be the ultimate Celebrity scoop. At last, the public might waken up to see that lies are destroying conversations, families, institutions and societies. The Freedom of the Press is a precious commodity but it is not freedom to tell lies, spread rumours and destroy people with gay abandon.
Let those snooping reporters do some real investigative journalism on issues that really matter. Such journalism is welcome and praiseworthy. Tabloid journalism is destructive.
9 Mar 2021: Nigel Farage’s defence of the Royal Family against ‘racism’. He says that the tabloid press ‘goes with the territory’. It is time to change the territory. Most people cannot handle its vitriol. Only a few people join the territorial army. Each person tries to reframe the debate – the purpose of reframing is to distract attention from the issue and to speak about another issue. We distract little children from their sore knee with some more pleasant consideration. Similarly modern identity debate reframes debate. Farage speaks of ‘mover’s advantage’ and as the chattering classes have picked up on ‘racism’, so Farage addresses it. However, he downplays the tabloid press and mental health issues. The real issue is lies, innuendo, misunderstanding and false accusations by the failure to communicate with each other in an open manner.
9 Mar 2021: everyone is having their say and falling out with each other – Piers Morgan has criticised Meghan and the mental health charity Mind has criticised him. It lost him his job, and no wonder considering his assertion that he “didn’t believe a word” Meghan had told Oprah Winfrey about her mental health. It sets him up for his next career move.
9 Mar 2021: Buckingham Palace’s statement. Unwisely, it isolates the charge of racism, giving credence to the framing of the global debate. It plans to deal with the matter privately as a family. As commentators have noted, racism is not a private matter and already debate is extending to the Commonwealth, not simply the Royal Family.
Identity politics is grievance politics – using one’s identity to try to elicit a sympathy vote to secure favours; but how does this fit with the secular equality doctrine that discrimination is wrong? The wrecking ball of identity debate, joined with lies and the inability to discuss issues without misrepresenting others and reframing debate, continues to avoid the whole picture. The root error in modern debate is the inability to speak the truth far less “the whole truth”. Tony Blair in his memoirs admits to stretching the truth beyond “breaking point”, candidly admitting what is only too obvious in other politicians, but which justified the Bliar anagram frequently applied to him.
10 Mar 2021: Sky News Australia’s opinion and its perspective on Royal titles. The BBC’s take on the Palace’s take. The BBC adds nothing to what a viewer can read for themselves, although it says “The royals are said to consider this a family matter and to believe they should be given the opportunity to discuss the issues privately”. The Palace’s statement does not say this at all, showing us the state of media exegesis and why conversations are at cross-purposes in modern debate.
18 Mar 2021: private investigator Danno Hanks’ conscience is beginning to bother him: “I’m just doing it to clear my conscience.” If he wants peace, only Jesus Christ can do it for him. Would that others would learn from his experience and begin to examine their own conscience. There has been a 40% decline in viewers of ITV’s Good Morning Britain since Piers Morgan walked off the set.