Wednesday, January 16, 2008

The Diana non-story

Like most rational human beings, I gave up on the Princess Diana "story" a long time ago. Although my very first reaction when I heard about her death was to assume that the secret services had bumped her off, the idea of the Duke of Edinburgh as some sort of murderous eminence grise is simply not credible.

So I reckon Roy Greenslade's call for editors to stop reporting the increasingly tedious Diana Inquest is probably quite timely.

But it seems to me there is a slightly deeper issue here to do with the nature of modern journalism which I am surprised that Greenslade, as a media commentator, does not address more fully. It concerns what I would term "journalism without context."

Only this week, for instance, we have witnessed newspapers and broadcasters alike getting all excited over the second-hand "revelations" from the Princess's allies that she did not think Charles would become King, ignoring the fact that this ground was extensively covered by the Princess herself in her notorious 1995 Panorama interview.

Similarly, there has been much made in recent days of the infamous "Mishcon letter" in which the Princess aired the fear that her car would be tampered with in order to cause her to have an "accident." This too has been in the public domain for a number of years.

Maybe the press and broadcasting organisations think that the British public really does have the attention span of a gnat, and that after a certain amount of time has elapsed, any old rubbish can be presented as news on the basis that we'd all have forgotten about it first time round.

Maybe they are adopting a "year zero" approach to journalism, where everything that happened before a given date is simply ignored. I have known this to happen on papers, for instance when the editor changes, and unscrupulous news eds try to hoodwink the new guy by presenting an old story as freshly-minted.

Or maybe it's just that news organisations everywhere are still in thrall to the idea - almost certainly mistaken if the sales figures of the Daily Express are anything to go by - that Diana still sells papers.

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septicisle said...

The thing that rankles most with me over this whole sordid thing is that the very people most supportive and demanding of this inquest (al-Fayed, the Express) have long ago made their minds up about what happened. When it inevitably reaches the conclusion that she died as a result of a tragic accident, are they still going to keep up this conspiracy theory charade? The whole thing has been doomed to failure from the very beginning, and the establishment has feel completely into the trap.

Anonymous said...

As long as Diana keeps selling papers, papers will keep talking about Diana. Nothing will prevent that.

MorrisOx said...

A total non-story.

The saddest thing of all is that the same fate has befallen poor Madeleine McCann. An abducted little girl now seen as little more than a device to drive circulation and audience figures.

There can be no more savage indictment of modern media values.

Anonymous said...

Why does everyone think Guido Fawkes AKA Paul Staines is a neutral. Guido Fawkes is an extreme right winger.

His recent castigation of anti racist campaigner Mr Hain is a sign of what he hates. Hain sacrificed his security against a brutal state to fight for democracy for blacks in south Africa. Fawkes despises him for that.

He joined the Young Conservatives whilst at University.

Here is the real facts about Fawkes

Having joined the Federation of Conservative Students, he described his politics as "Thatcher on drugs".

Staines worked as 'foreign policy analyst' for the extreme right wing Committee for a Free Britain, a right wing Conservative pressure group, alongside David Hart. Staines acted as editor of 'British Briefing' a long standing publication that sought to "smear Labour MPs and left leaning lawyers and writers".

He does the same now but claims he is neutral. Funny how he nevers insults the tories bosses infact seems to let them of the hook. I am sure you can see he is no neutral. He is no neutral but wait the later points are even worse. .

Staines relates of his work with the Committee: in the book

(1998). Altered State: The Story of Ecstasy Culture and Acid House, 2nd edition, London: Serpent's Tail. ISBN 1-85242-604-7. —

"I was lobbying at the Council of Europe and at Parliament; I was over in Washington, in Jo'burg, in South America. It was 'let's get guns for the Contras', that sort of stuff. I was enjoying it immensely, I got to go with these guys and fire off AK-47s. I always like to go where the action is, and for that period in the Reagan/Thatcher days, it was great fun, it was all expenses paid and I got to see the world. I used to think that World Briefing was a bit funny. The only scary thing about those publications was the mailing list - people like George Bush - and the fact that Hart would talk to the head of British Intelligence for an hour. I used to think it was us having a laugh, putting some loony right-wing sell in, and that somebody somewhere was taking it seriously. You've got to understand that we had a sense of humor about this."

The CFB invited Adolfo Calero, the Nicaraguan Contra leader, to visit the UK.

What kinf of sickoe works with the contras and supplies gunsot them.

In a November 1984 report the Sandinista government alleged since 1981 the Contras had assassinated 910 state officials; attacked nearly 100 civilian communities; caused the displacement of over 150,000 people from their homes and farms; and damaged or destroyed bridges, port facilities, granaries, water and oil deposits, electrical power stations, telephone lines, saw mills, health centers, schools and dams.

A Sandinista militiaman interviewed by The Guardian stated Contra rebels committed these atrocities against Sandinista prisoners after a battle at a Sandinista rural outpost:

Rosa had her breasts cut off. Then they cut into her chest and took out her heart. The men had their arms broken, their testicles cut off. They were killed by slitting their throats and pulling the tongue out through the slit. Fawkes must be so proud. So think of that when you read his blog.

What kind of sickoe thinks it is fun to support sick creeps like the contras.

The CFB launched a number of policy campaigns and initiatives during 1988. It also supported the Community Charge (Poll Tax).

In time for the October 1988 Conservative Party Conference, the CFB published a British Foreign Policy - The Case for Reform, featuring a photo on the front cover of Foreign Secretary Geoffrey Howe giving the clenched fist salute at a meeting in southern Africa. In the pamphlet's conclusion it stated "The Foreign Office is one of the last of the great institutions to escape the refreshing breath of Thatcherism." Howe maintained he had not been giving a black power salute.

So now we see why fawkes despises hain. Re,ber he was a foreign policy analyst..

The Daily Pundit said...

Is anonymous 14:41 suggesting that Guido Fawkes murdered Princess Di? Or is he getting Fawkes mixed up with Prince Phillip?

Paul Linford said...

Yes, let's try and keep it on topic can we?

I suspect this is the same anonymous as this Telegraph blog poster.

dreamingspire said...

Very sadly, in the testimony Diana comes over as deluded. One has to ask why did that happen? Surely its not simply the 'three of us in this marriage'. Was it her own personality that led her into that dark tunnel? Or did her own family influence her? I cannot help remembering her brother's speech after her death: his challenge to the Windsors. Was she in the middle of an old-fashioned dynastic battle?

Anonymous said...

There is some excuse for Al-Fayed. None whatsoever for his despicable leech of a lawyer Mike Mansfield QC