Per yesterday’s post, mightn’t Drudge have been doing the Brits’ secret bidding by spilling the beans? Er, probably not: Harry was due back anyway “in a matter of weeks,” which, on the one hand, makes the leak seem not so bad and on the other makes it totally gratuitous. Bummer:
Sky defence correspondent Geoff Meade said it could take at least 24 hours to bring him back to the UK.
He added: “There will be a degree of frustration – not least from the Prince himself – and anger.”
But he said that Harry had proved himself as a solider and, with media support, future deployments to war zones would be possible.
Yeah, where? They already denied him a tour in Iraq because the mujahedeen would be gunning for him. Then again, he’s not entirely safe at home either: “Once this … comes out, every single person that supports them will be trying to slot me.”
As for the media ethics angle, Channel 4 newstool Jon Snow, whom old-school HA readers will remember from this almost comic display of pro-Palestinian bias, gives Drudge a pat on the back for having the stones he himself lacked to break the conspiracy of silence. To which the Guardian responds by wondering when, precisely, temporary media blackouts became some sort of novelty:
Editors accepted a purely voluntary “understanding” with the Ministry of Defence that specifically stated that the blackout applied only to his military duties in Afghanistan and not to any of his other hobbies or activities, such as late night socialising.
In return there would be special access for the media to the prince before, during and after his deployment which could be reported when he returned home [in early April], without any interference by the Royal family or the military except for reasons of operational security…
In fact media blackouts are not that unusual. We do not report kidnaps, at the request of the police, if a hostage’s life might be a risk. We often know about the movements of politicians or royalty so that coverage can be planned but do not report them until they are safe.
Exit question: How much of the ethical question here is informed by one’s opinion of the royals and the propaganda value of having Harry successfully complete his tour? It’s no surprise that a leftist like Snow was itching to blow the story open, even though the actual news value in it is fairly slight. It is kind of a surprise that the Guardian didn’t take the same position.
Update: Jihadist degenerates try to snatch victory from the jaws of propaganda defeat.
According to a Taliban spokesman, the prince’s presence in Helmand province is a direct sign of the British Royal Family’s stance against Muslims and warned it would merely encourage further insurgent attacks against British soldiers.
Zabihullah Mujahid said: “Prince Harry’s presence in Afghanistan encourages our fighters to launch more attacks on British forces.
“The Royal Family is now directly participating in the aggression against Muslims.”…
Mr Mujahid also suggested the British are facing defeat in Afghanistan and that news of the prince’s deployment was deliberately leaked in order to raise spirits.