Welcome to the new version of European Tribune. It's just a new layout, so everything should work as before - please report bugs here.

An Opportunity with Harry.

by ceebs Sat Aug 25th, 2012 at 03:24:47 AM EST

And so the third in line to the throne, on army leave, goes out on a wild weekend with a selection of his mates to Las Vegas. And during this weekend, along with swimming in the pool with Olympic medal winners, ends up, as a single man in his mid twenties moving the party back to his room with a group of local women. In the course of this, someone being under the influence of alcohol suggests a game of strip pool, and at some point either through lack of skill or native cunning, the prince and his female playmate both end up naked, and pictures get taken. So much so far for the normal story of youthful royals. It's not unusual, he's a squaddie and an ex rugby player and if you've ever been to one of their paries and people didn't end up drunk and naked at some point when off base, you'd wonder what was going on. If it wasn't for the fact of his position in the life of the nation, it wouldn't even rate a line in a local newspaper.


However being the royal celebrity that he is, the pictures flashed round the world, being published in a variety of international websites and from there onto a variety of international newspapers. In other times there would be a rush of UK tabloid hacks for the airport, and desperate attempts to buy the film before any of the competitors laid their hands on it. This doesn't appear to have happened.

Over the last two days the tabloids and a selection of their journalists and ex journalists have been crying foul, and saying that through fear of Leveson they have been restrained. That is one possible view but it seems most unpersuasive to me.

In a case where the person is a senior member of the royal family, it could be argued that there is a level of public interest in activities that in any other case would be private, and so the argument for non-publication is at best tenuous. However by holding off publication for 24 or 48 hours, tabloid papers could generate a level of sympathy at the supposedly mighty Lord Leveson restraining their publication, when in fact it could be considered that the papers had delayed publication to create publicity and increase circulation when the pictures were actually published.

Is it a case that they're standing up for the freedom of the press? You would think that if it had really been about that then the decision to publish would have been made 24 hours earlier than it actually has. Yesterday evening the Sun decided to print a copy of the pictures, using posed models (an editor of the paper standing in for Harry, and an unnamed intern standing in for the young lady involved). What is added to the story by a day later printing a pair of almost identical copies of the actual pictures is hard to grasp. Is it a grand gesture for press freedom? Or should we instead judge it purely on the original's photographic skills or the Sun staff's gymnastic ability?

By pushing in this way, it may change the terrain of the ultimate argument when the Leveson report hits the shelves. Instead of the argument revolving around the Dowler and McCann cases, and the morally questionable activities that were involved in generating those stories, those pushing against any form of regulation of the press, like those who have a business model based on the exploitation of celebrity culture, will now have a glowing example of why the tabloids should not be regulated. The fact that this is based on a non-threat is something that will be lost in the background.

Lord Justice Leveson may be several weeks into reading and writing in preparation for publishing his report, but this action may have shown some details into sharp relief, several reporters have said that this is an attempt to stand up against Leveson, or a big fuck-you from Murdoch, but as the royal family are such public property, it's hard to say that they are even covered by the Judge's report. The last two days might have him starting over again, but it's a desperate throw of the dice by the newspapers to try to wind the clock back to those days before the Dowler story exploded and they were kings. Whether it succeeds is something that shouldn't just be left in the hands of journalists, newspaper owners and politicians.

Display:
I'm not the only one thinking this way

This is not about Harry's Bum - Brian Cathcart « Inforrm's Blog

So there you have it. We spend a whole year discussing press ethics and then, for the sake of a peek at Prince Harry's bum, half the world seems ready to say that the editor of the Sun can make up his own ethics.

No, this is not about the freedom of the press. Nor is it about print versus internet. And it is not about the public's `right' to see pictures of Harry's bum either. It is about mob rule and the right of large newspaper corporations to do whatever they like. 

It is about mob rule because the Sun is claiming that it has the right to do something that is wrong on the grounds that other people (on the internet) are doing something wrong. That is what looters said after last summer's riots - `I thought it was OK to steal stuff because everybody else was stealing.' As the Sun itself pointed out last summer, that is no excuse for wrongdoing.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Aug 24th, 2012 at 07:05:33 AM EST
A lady at Leveson - I forget who - talked about being chased by, shouted at and spat at by photographers.
This apparently being standard procedure to get the "eyes wide open in shock" pictures they want.

As she said, this would have been illegal if they hadn't been carrying cameras. (Not convinced it's legal anyway, but that's just me.)

-----
sapere aude

by Number 6 on Fri Aug 24th, 2012 at 07:28:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I think it's clearly in poor taste to publish the photos -- not that anybody at the Sun (let alone TMZ) could ever be accused of having good taste -- but not in the same galaxy as harrassment and threatening behavior towards people or hacking people's phones.  Those are all criminal behaviors, as far as I'm concerned.  The lady should be perfectly justified in calling the cops and/or making the photographer eat his camera.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Fri Aug 24th, 2012 at 08:02:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well it's not even Varguely Legal, (It was Sienna Miller by the way) Hugh Grants evidence included, after something like this happening to his girlfriend, her mother attempting to confront two photographers, one driving their car at her.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Aug 24th, 2012 at 08:52:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That is rather striking, considering the attitudes of police in the U.K. to citizens who are not photographers taking pictures in public. Seems that the attitude is that any provocative behavior by photographers in the interests of corporate profit is OK, while any citizen photography is inherently suspect and grounds for police harassment, or worse.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Fri Aug 24th, 2012 at 01:09:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I guess this Royal episode will set more definite decency standards. An opoprtunity indeed.

The lady should be perfectly justified in calling the cops and/or making the photographer eat his camera.

If she is not identifiable, her best justified action is to do nothing.

There is an old puzzle-anecdote about Victorian times. A Cambridge professor is enjoying sun-bathing on a secluded lawn on a bank of a river, fully naked. Suddenly he hears his students approaching from behind trees, walking along the river. The professor has only a towel, too small for cover. What he has to do?

by das monde on Fri Aug 24th, 2012 at 10:28:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
There are advantages to living in a barbarian state.  Paparazzi in the US don't go to these extremes; they know they'd get shot.
by rifek on Wed Aug 29th, 2012 at 02:00:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"Cameras don't kill careers, popular opinion does".


-----
sapere aude
by Number 6 on Fri Aug 31st, 2012 at 08:35:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
We here at Eurotrib weren't afraid to publish our exclusive on Harry when the papers ran off in 'fright' at Leveson...

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Sat Aug 25th, 2012 at 03:55:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I thought the Onion had the best commentary: "Queen Elizabeth Annoyed Nude Pictures Of Prince Harry Don't Show Anything Good". Crass, blunt and to the point.

-----
sapere aude
by Number 6 on Fri Aug 24th, 2012 at 07:30:45 AM EST
Eric Lewis's Animal Nuz at Daily Kos on Saturdays has a news crawl across the bottom. This week it said to the effect "Queen relieved Harry not photographed in Nazi uniform."

Dumb cluck, he's just undone years of careful PR work; I'll bet the backstage folks are gnashing their teeth.

That said, the whole thing seems in exceedingly questionable taste. I imagine Harry has quite a nice bum but have not bothered to seek out the pictures. He has some growing up to do, but I'll leave him alone while he does it.

by Mnemosyne on Sat Aug 25th, 2012 at 02:15:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well it's provided Alison Jackson with an opportunity

New Prince Harry photos emerge... | AlisonJackson.com

New Prince Harry photos emerge...


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Aug 25th, 2012 at 02:29:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.  What's the matter with you people over there?

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Fri Aug 24th, 2012 at 07:54:50 AM EST
Well, America has pro wrestling, Europe has royalty.

(For those not familiar with this comic, each character is a satirical embodiment of a particular nation.)


-----
sapere aude

by Number 6 on Fri Aug 24th, 2012 at 09:21:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
ENGLAND PREVAILS.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sat Aug 25th, 2012 at 03:32:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Zelo Street: Murdoch Harry Hypocrisy
Yesterday, the cheaper end of the Fourth Estate was incandescent with rage about the naked photos of Prince Harry - not that he was starkers, although as I pointed out, the righteous mood among the pundits at the Daily Mail tried to spin it that way - but that, while TMZ could go right ahead and publish, Clarence House had had one of those quiet Gentlemen's words and put the kibosh on publication in the UK.


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Aug 24th, 2012 at 09:24:14 AM EST
Public interest and the Prince - the Sun fails the responsibility test « Inforrm's Blog

So finally, the "Sun" has come up with a public interest argument to justify writing about and publishing illegally taken photographs of a party in a private hotel room.  Under the headline "We fight for press freedom" the "Sun" bootstraps for Britain - justifying its publication of private photographs by reference to the "debate" which it, and the rest of the media have generated.  The public interest in publishing the photographs is, apparently, "in order for the debate about them to be fully informed".   

And then there is this curious version of the "argument from the internet": everybody has already seen the photographs so  "Sun" readers need to see them too.  The photographs are described as the "Pics of Harry you've already seen on the internet" - that is, they are in the public domain.  But also, these are the pictures who those who get their news in print and don't have internet access "could not see".   It this clear?  The "Sun" is publishing both because everyone has already seen the pictures and because millions have not.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Aug 24th, 2012 at 10:31:51 AM EST
Well, what is "page three" except the Internet for those who don't have it?


-----
sapere aude
by Number 6 on Fri Aug 24th, 2012 at 10:37:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well played.
by rifek on Wed Aug 29th, 2012 at 02:06:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
and from the world of the Daily Mash

Harry photos ruined by old Spanish woman

Cecilia Gimenez, from Zaragoza, was hired to restore Ecce Harry, hailed by art historians as a key example of neo-smartphonism.

The images had become badly worn after being looked at on the internet, but instead of enhancing the detail around the Prince's upper crotch, Mrs Gimenez gave him a buck-toothed clown's mouth and covered his buttocks in thick, reddish-brown hair.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Aug 24th, 2012 at 12:39:11 PM EST
If it wasn't for the fact of his position in the life of the nation,; ...being the royal celebrity that he is,

Signs of a dying civilization so why care?

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.

by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Sat Aug 25th, 2012 at 06:49:41 AM EST
Sadly, probably not true.  There appears to be no shortage of those that can be labeled celebrities caught doing something naughty that tabloids can exploit because people are so dumb they pay for this meaningless crap.  At least the Brits know who Prince Harry is and don't mind a peek at his bum.  Over here, half the time, half the people haven't a clue as to who the celebrity is and what was so naughty about what they did.
by Marie2 on Sat Aug 25th, 2012 at 02:12:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
On balance, I'd rather see Harry's bum than, say, Kim Kardashian's.
by Mnemosyne on Sat Aug 25th, 2012 at 02:16:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
We'd all be better off if we saw neither and began shunning this crap.
by Marie2 on Sat Aug 25th, 2012 at 06:02:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Atlas Wanked is literature?
by rifek on Wed Aug 29th, 2012 at 02:08:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"That's not writing, that's typing".

-----
sapere aude
by Number 6 on Fri Aug 31st, 2012 at 08:36:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Angry Murdoch used Harry photos to defy Leveson - Press - Media - The Independent

An angry Rupert Murdoch ordered The Sun to publish pictures of a naked Prince Harry against the wishes of the Royal Family because he wanted to send a warning shot to Lord Justice Leveson, sources said yesterday.

The owner of the red-top phoned the News International chief executive Tom Mockridge from New York on Thursday amid suggestions that The Sun and other papers did not carry the photos for fear of recriminations in the Leveson report.

When the images emerged on Wednesday, St James's Palace asked the Press Complaints Commission to tell editors it did not want them published, and all British papers abided by the request on Thursday. But on Friday, The Sun carried a picture of a naked Prince Harry, taken during a game of strip pool in his hotel suite in Las Vegas last weekend, raising questions over why the paper changed its stance.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Aug 25th, 2012 at 09:38:49 PM EST
Why would publishing pictures of Harry's naked butt send a message to Leveson?

One of them Brit things us benighted colonialist won't understand?

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Sat Aug 25th, 2012 at 09:43:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well the argument is, pretty much that its murdoch saying I don't care what you come up with, we will not be regulated, and so plastering Royals, at a private party in a private space for no reason over the front page is as big a fuck you as he could come up with

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Aug 25th, 2012 at 10:27:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Murdoch has delusions of power.  The Royal Family, if they really wanted to, has actual power and could squash him like a bug.  Granted it would take a talented politician ... with brains ... which does rule out the current Ruling Family ...

But.  Still.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Sat Aug 25th, 2012 at 10:57:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Didn't the whole News international affair start with a journalist using the mailbox hack on a royal?

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se
by A swedish kind of death on Sun Aug 26th, 2012 at 04:51:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
hacking several royal staff, but the House of Windsor were the only people who could get the Metropolitan police to take any action, although several people were thinking the same was occurring to them.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sun Aug 26th, 2012 at 07:49:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The EU contains 7 constitutional monarchies: Belgium, Denmark, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

In terms of national and international branding only, my guess is that most of the European monarchies offer a good return on investment. They also offer a national perception of permanence and continuity in contrast to the impermanence of cyclical political power.

The Murdoch dynastic aspirations have been an attempt to combine the two opposites.

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Sun Aug 26th, 2012 at 06:49:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Not to mention the royal family has some excellent PR people. Compare "approval ratings" now with 15 years ago.
(I'd says the royals and the UK tabloids deserve each other, but no one deserves UK tabloids.)


-----
sapere aude
by Number 6 on Tue Aug 28th, 2012 at 07:39:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
But I'm assuming -- perhaps incorrectly -- one of the attendees leaked the photos to TMZ.  At that point, it's not really private anymore.  It's "Don't take your clothes off in front of people with cameras."

Personally I don't think Harry should care.  He's a goofy twentysomething being a goofy twentysomething.  Granted, he's doing it with a lot more money than most people, but I suspect you'd find many people doing similarly stupid stuff when they go on vacations with their friends, especially to places like Vegas and NOLA.

FSM help me, but I agreed with Boris's take:

"I think it'd be disgraceful if a chap wasn't allowed to have a bit of fun in Las Vegas. The real scandal would be if you went all the way to Las Vegas and you didn't misbehave in some trivial way."


Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sun Aug 26th, 2012 at 08:10:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, It's a fake outrage. and if Rupert and a few other papers weren't misplaying it it would be a nothing story.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sun Aug 26th, 2012 at 08:33:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]


Display:
Go to: [ European Tribune Homepage : Top of page : Top of comments ]