The Washington Post article about Meghan and Harry “quitting the Firm,” says, "[Meghan] said that when she first met the prince, ‘my British friends said to me, “I’m sure he’s great but you shouldn’t do it, because the British tabloids will destroy your life.”’ And I very naively — I’m American, we don’t have that there. . . . I didn’t get it.”
The article also says:
I vividly remember the death of Princess Diana-- Peter Jennings interrupted evening programming to announce the devastating news that she had died in a car accident while being pursued by paparazzi. This event had global impact and it must have deeply scarred her two sons. As next in line to the throne after Charles, William can’t escape, but I can imagine that getting away must be something Harry has longed for ever since the tragic death of their mother.
Tell me more about the UK tabloids and how/why they are worse than USA tabloids.
I know very little about US tabloids, but assuming the National Enquirer falls into that category, their main schtick seems to be “make ludicrous shit up”. While that is also a feature of some British tabloids (mainly the Daily Star), the main ones (chief offender being the Sun) will go out of their way to try and dig up secrets about celebrities that are actually true, but quite often hurtful. One recent example - former rugby player Gareth Thomas was hounded into publicly revealing that he is HIV positive because the Sun had somehow discovered this and were threatening to ‘expose’ him (like it matters much these days - I mean, obviously it matters to him, but it’s no concern to the rest of us). UK tabloid reporters have also been found to have broken the law in numerous instances, the most famous and widespread example being the phone hacking scandal whereby they obtained unauthorised access to celebrities’ voicemail messages. Perhaps the most egregious case of this was a reporter hacking into the voicemail of a missing teenage girl, which led the family to believe for a short while that she might still be alive and accessing her phone. Sadly she was already dead and the phone activity was down to this nefarious reporter, who obviously didn’t own up at the time for fear of exposing themselves.
Yes, this was pretty bad and lead to the closing of the News of the World tabloid, which no one misses. It lead to a lot of resignations and criminal charges and destroyed the Murdochs’ attempts to purchase a British satellite broadcaster.
But only the peons went to jail, those in charge (e.g. Rebekah Brooks, Andy Coulson, Piers Morgan) continue to live the high life with their millions. And the NOTW is back in all but name with The Sun on Sunday.
A story today in the Sun is showing outrage that the defeated opposition leader will not describe the recently assassinated Soleimani as a ‘terrorist’. Erm, because he isn’t.
They exist in a perpetual state of fury at everything, people were ASTONISHED and FURIOUS, about KFC closing a few days a couple of years ago due to supply problems.
The Express had a breakdown shortly after the brexit voted was announced and reported the opposite of reality to do with the EU for about three years (apparently a superb deal was agreed three and a half years ago, and that news was repeated daily since). As a paper it is also obsessed with Princess Diana and is so close to publishing the word N*gger on their front page.
The reality is that there’s a bunch of tax dodging billionaires who still hold the boomer generations attention, and are just riling them up, and making sure they don’t pay tax. It’s a masterclass in how to control a deluded ex-world power.
It does seem to me that the British tabloid press is a lot more unrestrained in their drive to dig up dirt on celebrities, and focus on exactly that- dirt/embarrassing/humiliating information about celebrities.
Meanwhile the US ones seem… gentler? Not really fawning, but less bent on humiliation and embarrassment.
If I had to speculate, I’d guess there’s some sort of class-based reason for this; maybe the British public enjoys reading about their celebrities/politicians/Royals being taken down a peg by the tabloids, while the US public, while still liking the shock value, doesn’t really have the same visceral desire to see them taken down a notch.
Not saying the paparazzi had nothing to do with Di’s death, but wasn’t the driver found to be intoxicated? What are the media going to do when you’re already in a car? If they dart in front of you, they’re risking their own lives. And even then, colliding with them at a normal speed is at LEAST safer than speeding into a tunnel and crashing against a pillar.
As vicious as paparazzi can absolutely be (and I, as a boring American nobody would certainly know), I guess I’d sooner blame someone driving drunk than people outside and behind the car.
The theory is that they wouldn’t have been driving so fast if they weren’t trying to shake off the press pack behind them, and stop them following the car all the way to its next destination, and there’s some truth to that (I don’t remember anything about the driver being drunk, but he was certainly driving too fast)
There’s probably also some truth to the theory that if Di and Dodi had been in the habit of putting on their goddamn seatbelts whenever they got in a car, they’d probably be with us today. But people don’t like to be that blamey towards someone they like, who’s dead.
It’s like having a pacer in a running race to encourage runners to go faster. Press cars would drive fast around Diana’s car, so he’d drive fast to get away from them. I don’t have a cite, I just remember seeing videos of the way press cars were around Diana at the time: they did drive in a way that could have injured them, as well as anyone else.