It may have escaped your attention, although Lawd knows how, but earlier this week an interview with former royals Harry and Meghan was broadcast on ITV, illustrious home of hard-nosed journalism and snuggly interviews on the GMTV sofa.
But this was different. This had gravitas. For this time, an interview broadcast on ITV was hosted not by Richard Madeley, but by Oprah Winfrey, someone who actually knows how to interview people without coming across like an Alan Partridge tribute act, and who knows how to look aghast when the crucial details (that she already knew) are revealed.
And there was no greater cluster-fuck of a revelation to look aghast to than that someone in the Royal family had said something racist to Meghan when she was pregnant with the couple’s first child.
For full disclosure, I didn’t watch the interview, but I have seen clips of it. The best bits. And Oprah is a much better actor than her performance in the interview, gasping “What?” when the bomb was delivered implies (seriously, watch The Color Purple and tell me she can’t act.)
Obviously, that’s not what I want to write about today.
You know how much I adore advertisers, but I think they missed a trick here. When it next cut to an ad break after the big revelation, Ray Winstone’s massive head should have appeared on our screens, shouting “Who done the racist thing? We’ll give you evens on Prince Phillip (he’s got form, hasn’t he), 2-1 on Princess Michael of Kent and 100-1 on one of the Corgis. Tap out at anytime you muppets!”
My money’s on Camilla; I can just imagine her stubbing a roll-up out on the head of a servant, hoiking a tit up like Les Dawson as Ada, and asking “So what colour is this baby going to be, anyway?”
Cue absolute uproar in the press. Particularly as Harry also mentioned the reason they had gotten out of the Royal Family was because of the treatment his wife was getting from the good old British press.
You won’t be surprised to learn that I have very little empathy for the Royal Family as a whole, but I do think that watching your mother literally be hounded to her grave by the British press is going to have an effect on you. And if it were me, if I saw certain behavioural patterns within the Press re-emerging, I would probably do what Harry did: get them the heck out of there, sharpish.
And so in the same interview, there was an allegation that the Royal Family and the British press were racist.
Step up Ian Murray, executive director of the Society of Editors, who released a statement insisting that the British press was not racist.
Well, he would, wouldn’t he?
So let’s have a look at some of the things which were written about Meghan, and some of the things, on an identical subject, which were written about a different (i.e. white) member of the Royal family. It’s probably easiest if we focus on perhaps the best point of reference, Kate, having married Harry’s brother only a few years earlier. And for consistency, we’ll only look at articles written by the same paper, albeit their online version.
Nothing to see here in the Express, where North London luvvie-food the avocado is a gift to the Duchess of Cambridge to help her with her morning sickness, but a blight on everything that is bad in the world when linked to Meghan.
Nothing to see here in The Mail either, where it’s a symbol of caring motherhood when Kate “tenderly” touches her pregnant bump, but when Meghan does it it’s either “pride, vanity, [or] acting” but a very definitely a bad thing which ever option you choose.
Well, that all seems perfectly legitimate, fair and not at all driven by either of those papers general hatred of all things non-white. If they’re not determinedly rowing across the channel to try and live a life picking fruit, the bastards, then they’re infiltrating a British Royal family which is German anyway or, even worse, bringing the house prices down where you live.
Having stated that the British press is not racist, Ian Murray, who you will recall is the executive director of the Society of Editors, went on TV to be interviewed by Victoria Derbyshire.
He should have known better, because Victoria is not only a fine journalist, she’s also (I imagine) still mightily pissed off that the BBC cancelled her mid-morning TV show, pushed her back behind a news desk, and therefore has an axe to grind and a point to prove. The interview does not go well for Murray, and Derbyshire is brilliant:
Get her hosting Question Time and maybe I’ll start watching it again.
On Wednesday, Murray resigned.
But this was not the most startling resignation this week. That honour rests with *coughs* people’s champion, Piers Morgan, who walked out of his cushy job on GMTV this week, because someone had the audacity to challenge his position:
And there’s the nub with Morgan. He liked her so much he was prepared to risk public humiliation by admitting to have watched Suits, which nobody in the UK ever watched. They met (once), he liked her, but she thought so little of him, they never met again. Such is Morgan’s life: when he’s not sticking his fingers in the air to see which way the wind is blowing, which bandwagon to jump on, then he’s whining about the fact that Meghan Markle met him once and decided that was enough. Spurned, he started to oppose every thing she did or said.
What a sad, pathetic man.
Later in the week, Morgan tweeted this:
What you don’t get in that screenshot is the whole of the quote he posted, so here it is:
That’s Morgan, unironically posting a Churchillian quote which highlights Morgan’s inability to deal with criticism without flouncing out of a TV studio.
And so to a tune. I had a song in mind, but I asked a friend if they thought it could be construed as racist. They said that although they knew I didn’t mean it as such – it’s just a record to illustrate a point – it could be misinterpreted, so I won’t be posting it. I suppose the fact I needed to ask should have told me all I needed to know.
So today you will, rightly, not be listening to Boney M’s “Brown Girl in the Ring”, because there’s only so much weight my cheeky approach to all of this can bear.
Instead, this, dedicated to Morgan & Murray, but in particular Morgan:
Let’s not forget that whilst all of this palaver is going on, the Royals continue to block the FBI’s efforts to question Prince Andrew about his links with dead nonce Jeffery Epstein.
Funny that they can release a statement about alleged racism, but not that, isn’t it?
Still, say what you like about Prince Andrew, at least he never refused to have sex with an underage girl because of the colour of her skin, as far as we know.
Which makes him definitely not racist, and by extension, we can only conclude that the whole
Saxe-Coburg-Gotha Windsor family isn’t either.
Wheel him out for another interview, I say. The last one went so well, after all. I may even watch this time.