Prince Harry (aka “the bullet magnet”) had been serving in Afghanistan for ten weeks until the word leaked out, and now that the news is public he may have to head for home.
His deployment there was subject to a news blackout deal struck to preserve his safety, but it broke down after foreign media leaked the story.
The deal included guaranteed access to Harry for interviews if the media wouldn’t report on the deployment.
It’s good to see that the Brits still have some media who, in the end, realize which side they’re on. Can you imagine the larger American media (NYT, CNN, USA Today) being able to keep it zipped for ten weeks about anything to do with the war — especially about something that may actually help the U.S. win the damn thing?
Maybe the NYT did know about this, but if we were to substitute Harry with, say, Jenna Bush, the secret would have been out before Dubya could say “nu-kew-lur.”
In the old days, before treason fell under the umbrella of freedom of speech, reporting information beneficial to the enemy in wartime would have meant the firing squad for the likes of the leaker. Nowadays the mainstream media will not discern between friend and enemy — believing it’s not their place to do so. If the enemy wins the war, however, the enemy will do the discerning for them, but the media doesn’t seem to realize that.
In 1780, British Maj. Andre was found in possession of the plans for West Point given to him by Benedict Arnold. After some American scouts found the documents after a patdown, the major was hanged.
If the same thing happened today, the mainstream media in the United States would have called for George Washington’s head for violating the privacy rights of Andre. After all, the major was merely a tourist sharing cultural exchange with a local. Benedict Arnold would have then secured a tenured humanities professorship at Columbia University.
Of course, we’re talking about papers like the New York Times, which would have done such a good job at helping to win the Revolutionary War that the cover of the paper would have looked like this: