Meghan Markle and Prince Harry, as we know, have been relentlessly targeted by the UK tabloids, and they’ve been pushing back. They’ve sued the Sun and the Daily Mail and they spoke to Oprah during the Television Event of the Year about the British royals’ fear of the tabloid press and alluded to their cooperation with them – at the expense of even their own family members.
A few years ago, the British tabloids were making headlines themselves when they were investigated for illegal activity, like phone hacking. This is, in part, why the publication News of the World no longer exists. Byline Investigates has stayed on this story even as it’s faded from the headlines. And for the last couple of years, they’ve been following the way the British tabloid press has covered the Sussexes and they came out with another damaging report yesterday about the Sun.
WORLD EXCLUSIVE: A Private Investigator Hired by The Sun to Spy on Meghan Markle and Her Father has Apologised to the Duchess â€“ and the Queen— Byline Investigates (@BInvestigates) March 18, 2021
Full Story: https://t.co/sawJCVZiuP#meghan #meghanmarkle #duchess pic.twitter.com/oJiUz8kxHc
The Sun is claiming they didn’t know that the information provided to them by the private investigator was illegally obtained, which some are obviously skeptical about. Please read the story provided in the tweet above for the deep-dive on the Sun’s allegedly shady practices, which was also picked up by the New York Times.
For the purposes of our discussion here, as mentioned, even before Prince Harry and Meghan Markle started dating, publications like the Sun and the Daily Mail and News of the World (before it folded) weren’t exactly impressing anyone with their journalistic integrity. So the denial here coming from the Sun, given that past, and their reputation, might be not be as convincing as they’re hoping. And then you have to wonder…
How is it that they were able to get their scoops? I’m not talking about what the private investigator was able to dig up but about how their reporter, Dan Wootton, for example, was the first to report that Harry and Meghan were moving to Canada – remember that? Byline followed up last summer with a report on the possible connection between Dan Wootton and Christian Jones, then Prince William and Kate’s press secretary, which they both deny but even if that’s true, the fact remains that Dan Wootton’s scoop had to have come from inside the palace.
With the Sun’s past then, and their past practices, why would anyone associated with the royal institution even be talking to a reporter from that publication?! The phone hacking case in the UK was a BIG deal – and yet here you are, still leaking to one of these papers?!
The other thing that jumped out at me from Byline’s latest report on the Sun has to do with tabloid personnel:
“The Sun’s Editor was former Daily Mail executive Tony Gallagher, now Deputy Editor of The Times.”
The reason this is interesting, at least to me, is because The Times has been breaking a lot of inside palace information over the last year and a half or so, including most recently, when they published that scoop about Meghan’s alleged “bullying” of staffers. And the whole business with her earrings. The Times is not generally regarded in the same way as the Sun or the Daily Mail. It’s seen more of as a legacy publication, and may even carry some prestige. People don’t automatically scoff at what they read in The Times. But…The Times is a News Corp title. News Corp as in Rupert Murdoch. And if their deputy editor is coming from a tabloid environment, and they’re out here with all these exclusives coming directly from the palaces…and those exclusives happen to be have an anti-Sussex slant…
How, exactly, are the British royals choosing which media they will and won’t work with? And how can they possibly be suggesting that Harry and Meghan’s affiliation with Oprah Winfrey and Gayle King is off-side? As I wrote yesterday, at the very least, Harry and Meghan reaching out to Oprah and Gayle is on the up and up. The British royal establishment, meanwhile, has cloaked its involvement with these publications behind anonymity so they can continue to pretend they’re not playing at these PR games when, in fact, they’re among the most active players out there – and enabling the kind of journalism that has done so much harm while seemingly undermining their own blood.
Harry, in the interview with Oprah, described it as being “trapped”, that his family was “trapped” by this connection with the UK tabloid press. And that’s exactly what it is now…because in their minds, even if they wanted to end this toxic relationship, it’s almost like they’ve being held hostage – because if they have been serving up all this inside information to the media, selling out the Sussexes and feeding the tabloids, those reporters, those editors, do those tabloids have that on them now? Do they feel like this could be held over them? If that’s the case, imagine that. This royal family with its history and all its pomp, at the mercy of the Sun and the Daily Mail.