Unsurprisingly I was truly disgusted at The Sun for their decision to publish the Prince Harry photos. Not a few hours earlier had I been praising the UK media for their handling of the situation and not showing photos of him naked. It was a clear invasion of privacy and even though it was out there the UK media had no need to go down the same path. Then of course a certain newspaper broke ranks and decided that they had to do so because it was in the public interest. Public interest trumps privacy but was this really in the public interest?
The newspaper say that they published the photos so that everyone could be informed about them and then we can have a proper debate about them. Well they are the words that came out of their mouth but all I heard was, ‘we knew people would buy our newspaper if we had a naked photo of Prince Harry on the front so we decided we didn’t give a shit and just wanted to enhance our circulation figures.’
Some believe that even in private Prince Harry has to do things in a certain way. Look at Paul Walter from his post on the subject:
Of course we have a right to see publicly available evidence of his behaviour. Of course he has to uphold certain standards even in private. And, of course we should be able judge for ourselves as to whether that behaviour is compatible with his position as 3rd in line to be head of state and as a commissioned officer in the British Army.
Someone who is the third in line to the throne, holding an officer’s rank in the army, should not strip naked with random girls.
As far as I’m aware no-one was stopping anyone viewing these photos online. Everyone has to uphold certain standards even in private but these are mostly ‘don’t break the law’ as who cares what people do in private as long as it isn’t against the law. You know what? Playing strip billiards is as far as I’m aware not against the law either in the UK or in Nevada. So a guy gets naked in his own hotel room. Who gives a crap. Just because he is third in line to the throne does that mean he can’t play strip billiards? Is it ok if I played strip billiards? Does anyone want to play strip billiards with me? I don’t have a billiards table though so does anyone want to play strip putting the dishes in the dishwasher with me? Sounds like a fun game, no?
I couldn’t disagree with Paul more about that final sentence. Who cares if a guy strips naked with some random girls. I mean seriously. If David Cameron wants to get down and give Tory HQ a pole dance behind closed doors I wouldn’t give a stuff (although I would be bizarrely interested to see how it went down) but I’d have no rights to view any evidence.
That is where the difference is. The public interest is very different to ‘would interest the public.’ Most things that go on in private would interest the public. However privacy is something we all deserve as long as we aren’t breaking the law of the land. A Tory MP Damian Collins tweeted, ‘Harry is a senior royal so there’s clear public interest in the Vegas pics. If this had been another public figure there would be no debate.‘. He gets the public interest and would interest the public thing muddled up. If Mr Collins MP partied at a private party at his home then would he think the photos would be in the public interest if any of them turned out to show him in a less than stellar fashion?
Talk of MPs we move on to another Tory MP – well is she an MP? She quit but she won’t leave and we are talking Louise Mensch. She told the Today programme that she chilled that the Palace had asked the media not to publish the photo and that she hoped the press would stand up for their rights. Basically she’s down with invasion of privacy. It is all good as long as she gets a good look at Harry’s todger.
Teachers and parents used to always say things like ‘just because Tom is doing such and such doesn’t mean that you should’ and this is the point here. Just because the American media and other worldwide publications think that they can make a bit of money by invading someone’s privacy it doesn’t mean that you should. The Sun broke ranks and showed that they were happy to get in the gutter as long as they had plenty of company they could use to justify their decision to jump right in.
They have showed their true colours but deep down we all knew what they were like. Prince Harry has done nothing either illegal or immoral and yet he is being dragged through the mud. The Sun have tried to legitimise their decision but deep down it was all about money and exposure (excuse the pun) and heck it sold them a few more newspapers than usual and got them high on all the news bulletins for 24 hours. I hope that it was worth it as selling your soul and decency to me is a rather heavy price to pay…
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