Constitutional scholar Jonathan Turley is warning Americans to take seriously Prince Harry’s accusation that America’s First Amendment is “bonkers.”
It’s because “bonny Prince Harry” and his American wife Meghan Markle already have fought against press freedom in the United Kingdom and won, he wrote in a commentary on his website.
Now, the George Washington University professor pointed out, they are bringing their war against free speech to America.
“Harry and his American wife Meghan Markle have attacked media rights in England and succeeded under the laws of the United Kingdom,” he wrote. “They are now joining a growing anti-free speech and free press movement in the United States.”
He said the U.K.’s “harsh” laws give the government great power over media.
“Fortunately, the government has been largely benign in the use of such laws but there are far greater restrictions placed on British media than their American cousins. (For full disclosure, I was until a few months ago a legal analyst for the BBC),” he said.
Markle filed an official complaint to the U.K.’s Office of Communications, which runs a “chilling set of regulations” that govern publications.
She objected to television host Piers Morgan declaring on the “Good Morning Britain” show that he that Markle lied in her interview with Oprah Winfrey. Morgan was removed from his co-host position.
Markle also won in a case against London’s Daily Mail over a letter she wrote to her estranged father.
“The lawsuit would have failed in the United States under the freedom afforded to the press, but prevailed in Great Britain,” Turley said.
“Keep in mind that this letter was given or leaked to the media – a common factor in some of our most important investigative journalistic works. While Meghan could accuse her father or others of a privacy violation, she went after the media and Judge Warby not only ruled in her favor but ruled against an appeal. He ordered the defendants to publish an account on the front page of their newspapers,” Turley noted.
“Markle rejoiced in the victory and declared ‘The world needs reliable, fact-checked, high-quality news. … We all lose when misinformation sells more than truth, when moral exploitation sells more than decency, and when companies create their business model to profit from people’s pain,'” he said.
“What was particularly chilling was how Meghan assured all of her following that this was a triumph for them: ‘I share this victory with each of you—because we all deserve justice and truth, and we all deserve better.’
“What Harry and Meghan achieved in the challenge was a direct assault on core press freedoms. They then sought to get millions to cheer them for the effort. What is worrisome is that many did,” Turley wrote.
He said it was “a surprise for many to hear Harry lash out at the First Amendment.”
“After all, Harry and Meghan are so woke, they are virtual insomniacs,” he said.
“However, that is the point. The First Amendment no longer holds the inviolate position it once did with the left. Indeed, the First Amendment is now often treated as a danger than a guarantee to a fair and just society. Experts have explained how to evade its limitations to silence others. They have found precisely what Harry discussed in the interview when he noted ‘you can find a loophole in anything.'”
It’s part of the agenda, he said, of Democratic leaders who demand “corporate censorship and banning of books and authors.”
“Harry was raised in a system that rejects core press freedoms and Meghan is an enthusiastic convert to that system. It is ironic that they left what Harry described as the ‘toxic’ media environment of Great Britain to come to a country with greater protections for the press. However, the couple took little time in seeking to challenge the core values of the free press in this county. Now that is not just bonkers, it is bollocks.”
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