Meghan and Harry's Oprah interview leads to media blowup and official threats over charges she's lying about suicide attempt
One of the most famous and popular TV personalities in Britain walked off the set of his TV show and resigned after getting flak over his charges that Meghan[i] was just drama-queening to Oprah when she claimed to have considered suicide. So great is Piers Morgan's media clout that the show business bible Variety wrote, "Morgan's shock departure from 'Good Morning Britain' is sure to be a blow for ITV," rather than a risky gambit for the broadcaster.
Because the U.K. has no First Amendment, Morgan may be in for official trouble, according to NBC News:
The United Kingdom's Office of Communications announced it was investigating the show's Monday episode under its "harm and offence rules." The office said it received 41,015 complaints about Morgan's remarks following Meghan and Prince Harry's interview with Oprah Winfrey.
It is unclear whether the American censors at Facebook, Twitter, and Google will employ their "harmful misinformation" excuse and censor Morgan without state action.
For his part, Morgan later on attempted to make amends for the hypothetical harm many critics accused him of — to wit: discouraging suicidal people from seeking help. From Variety:
Morgan later returned to the show and said: "When we talked about this yesterday, I said, as an all encompassing thing, I don't believe what Meghan Markle is saying generally in this interview and I still have serious concerns about the veracity of a lot of what she said. But let me just state for the record on my position on mental illness and on suicide: these are clearly extremely serious things and should be taken extremely seriously and if someone is feeling that way, they should get the treatment and the help they need every time. And if they belong to an institution like the Royal Family and they go and seek that help they should absolutely be given it."
Morgan's critique was mild compared to the thorough debunking British journalist Melanie Phillips delivered to the interview in Substack, in an essay titled "The contemptible Oprah/Sussex circus." Even though I don't care about the lives of the renegade royals, the media storm they have created is threatening the institution of the British Royal Family, and that actually does matter. While I am grateful to live in a republic that rejected the British monarchy, at this point in history, the Brit royals provide an important stabilizing force and strengthen values that are important, including duty and fortitude. I found Melanie's essay riveting, because I dislike Meghan so much and she is so thoroughly trashed.
One of her Melanie's key points was her belief that Brits are far more skeptical than Americans of the couple.
From the reported reaction, it seems America is overwhelmingly on the side of Meghan and unquestioningly believes the preposterous story she has told of her own alleged persecution and suffering at the hands of the royals (other than the Queen herself, who by Meghan's own account treated her with nothing but kindness and has now had her whole family smeared and trashed for her pains).
In America, there seems precious little desire or ability to subject the Sussexes' denunciation to anything like the scepticism it requires. For the whole thing was not only an attempt to besmirch the Royal Family by spraying a poisonous miasma of unspecific smears and unsubstantiated assertions. It was also riddled with astonishing ignorance and contradictions.
Certainly, our media are selling them to us as worthy of attention and as part of the victim class mania aimed at a broader political revolution: handing money, position, and power to people because they or their ancestors were accorded victim status. And Brits are far more familiar with all of the royals than we are. But I suspect that plenty of Americans are also disgusted by their self-serving attempts to shirk duty but retain all the benefits of the family they trash.
A British poll indicates that the U.K. public isn't buying what the Sussexes are selling, as the U.K. Daily Mail writes:
Most Britons think the Duke and Duchess of Sussex were wrong to have given their explosive interview, a poll reveals today.
A majority of the public believes they have let down the Queen – and should be stripped of their royal titles. (snip)
But asked about the couple's incendiary accusations of racism within the Royal Family, more people disbelieved Meghan's claims than believed her.
She is now the least popular royal after Prince Andrew.
Most people felt Harry and Meghan prioritised media attention over service and duty, according to the findings of the online poll commissioned by the Daily Mail.
The results reveal a split between older and younger Britons – with the latter often more willing to accept Harry and Meghan's claims.
Meanwhile, in the battle of the memes, it looks as though Meghan and Harry are losing:
[i] Is her last name now Sussex? Or is it Windsor? Or, like a proper American feminist, is it still Markle?