As I’ve been hunting for leads this week, I keep seeing all of these British-tabloid editorials about the Duke and Duchess of Sussex and their statement, days ago, about how they were cutting off access to The Sun, the Express, the Daily Mail and the Daily Mirror. Those are the four outlets which smeared Meghan the hardest and ran multiple stories over the course of several years in which they racially abused her and attacked her regularly over everything and nothing. Just looking at the Sun, I found no fewer than FOUR different editorials denouncing the Sussexes’ announcement, including one from Dan Wootton (“Harry and Meghan, these conspiracies and fights with the media are pathetic – the world’s moved on”), one from The Sun’s editorial board (“THE SUN SAYS: Has there ever been a more ill-timed bid for publicity as Harry & Meghan’s?”) and one from some woman, “Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are boycotting The Sun but without publicity what are they?” You get the idea.
I didn’t think too much of it and I wasn’t going to write about it at first, but it’s really been nagging at me as I absorb all of the nasty, salty coverage of the Sussexes this week in particular. It’s clear that those same tabloids are nervous about the lawsuits and what will come out. It’s obvious that there will be a major move to deflect from any story which makes the Sussexes look sympathetic, or makes the tabloids look like pathological liars. But, I found myself asking, is there something there? Was it actually a bad move or a poorly-thought out move for the Sussexes to announce their Sussexit from the British tabloids?
When I covered the news, my initial reaction was “old news.” We knew that they were moving this way anyway and the statement just seemed to formalize something we already suspected. But was it the wrong time? Or the wrong issue to focus on? I still suspect that Meghan and Harry had a reason for announcing the tabloid-Sussexit when they did, just days before Meghan’s important hearing on her Mail lawsuit. I feel like three months from now, we’ll probably look back on that statement and understand that it was part of a larger media strategy. So, yeah. Maybe we could nitpick their timing or their own sense of self-importance, but I still believe they had their reasons. Maybe what we’re seeing now is the tabloids reorganizing how they cover Harry and Meghan.
Photos courtesy of Backgrid, Avalon Red, WENN.
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