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Meghan and Harry's Bizarre Break-BreakUp Letter to the Tabloids

Monday, April 20, 2020

Harry and Meghan never cease to amaze me.  The couple released a public letter to the editors of the four major British tabloids--Daily Mail, Sun, Mirror, and Express--in which they declared their intention never to cooperate with the four tabloids ever again. It felt very middle school. I half expected them to ask for their friendship bracelets back at the end. I also had a strong sensation of déjà vu.  Haven't they already expressed this quite robustly before? 

Meghan and Harry in Bo-Kaap, Cape Town, South Africa, Sept. 2019

To me this letter screams a need for attention.  The truth is that without a formal role, Harry and Meghan couldn't really play a part in the current pandemic crisis without looking like opportunists. They had to quarantine like the rest of us and wait...and think.  Without a social media platform, I suspect that Meghan feels cut off and a little stifled. The couple did a few Zoom calls with charities that did not garner all that much attention. William and Kate have made bigger splashes with their activity because they are senior royals helping to lead their nation, and of course they have the Palace apparatus to promote their work. As the United States looks to reopening, Harry and Meghan have emerged on several volunteer missions and pictures of them were recently featured in most major publications. This letter, though, is yet another erratic ball out of left field. 

Half their letter tries to explain how they aren't hypocrites and that they believe in the free press even as they attempt to freeze out a major contingent of the press. Again, we have read this from them before. Even more disconnected is the nature of the announcement that they won't be cooperating in any way, ever again. 

Were they cooperating closely before? Was there a cozy relationship between them? I am pretty sure Harry and Meghan already called it quits on that friendship a while ago. Does anyone else remember the finale of the South Africa trip? The couple's decision will not have a serious effect on these outlets. They will continue to run the paparazzi photos of the Sussexes, write up op-eds, share details on the couple's living arrangements... Harry and Meghan's bizarrely delayed and repetitive declaration is ultimately very bizarre and has left more than a few again questioning not just their judgment but their basic good sense.  They seem committed to public self-destruction. 

Now, apparently Meghan's lawsuit has a hearing coming up this Friday. I don't know if the timing of this letter has to do with the suit, but I rather doubt it. I definitely agree with the theory that Meghan is trying to remind everyone not to trust the four papers, but at the end of the day, if there was a purpose beyond the face value of the letter, it couldn't have been worth the further damage to their reputation that they just inflicted. 

This letter would have been weird, (a little funny), and disastrous for them in the best of times. Since the world is still in the midst of a global pandemic, people are afraid, people are dying, people are losing their livelihoods, some are already starving and lining up at food banks, the Sussexes' pointless letter comes across as more delusional than ever.