Sunday, March 02, 2008


Back at my post of May 16 last year I opined as how Prince Harry's aborted deployment to Iraq [Basra] with the British Army was the shameful work of a shameless media -- that if they could just keep it under wraps termporarily, he might successfully deploy to the hinterlands of Afghanistan, and do some soldier-stuff that might yet make a man of him, not to mention serving his country in an inspiring way.

The Brits obviously took my advice (heh) -- but the shameless media of other countries did not.

Harry put in ten good weeks, and then a couple of marginal ladies'-type publications in Germany and Australia let the royal kitten out of the bag.

This could have gone pretty much unnoticed, but then the human megaphone, Matt Drudge, got hold of the story, and the jig was up. Harry had to be extracted forthwith from Afghanistan for the safety of himself and his comrades (though he will probably now be a fairly good-sized target in Britain -- that was inevitable, one supposes).

Drudge, on the whole, does pretty good public service -- he only occasionally gets ahead of himself on the facts. But in this case, he had his facts correct -- he just had no conscience about the consequences of making them public. He could have waited six more weeks -- then big headlines, big graphics, big story on the Prince Who Pounded the Taliban. But he refused to risk being scooped. So he put a big fat target on Harry's back, and the backs of his mates. But what the hell, eh? Drudge got the big score -- that's what counts, right?

Drudge offers an email for comments, [DRUDGE@DRUDGEREPORT.COM] but I'm not aware that they ever get posted anywhere. So here's what I sent him:
I don't suppose we'll ever know exactly who was first to leak that Prince Harry was serving in Afghanistan, though I understand the Drudge Report boasted an exclusive. Imagine that -- boasting at being first to put not just Harry but everyone he serves with in imminent danger of being specially, and no doubt spectacularly, targeted for death by Taliban murderers. You must be so proud!

As the parent of two members of the American military (one in Iraq), and a friend to people with a son in the British army (who served in Basra, and dreaded the scheduled deployment of Prince Harry there, once it was broadcast in the news), I condemn whole-heartedly your complicity in the publication of news which served no purpose whatsoever beyond endangering the lives of finer men than you, and frustrating the remote possibility that an aristocratic wastrel might be made something resembling a man at last, for the betterment of both himself and the increasingly sad-sack country over which his family reigns. Had he been permitted to complete his deployment without exposure, the headlines and your readership would have been just as big when the word got out that he had returned home -- no loss to you.

Disgusting. Shame.