Friday, February 29, 2008

When Matt Outed Harry

By Cernig

Being a Brit, I suppose I should write a few words about the cross-pond scandal of Matt Drudge outing Prince Harry's deployment to Afghanistan.

I'm a wee tad conflicted on the Harry end - I'm no great fan of the concept of having royals in general and would rather think of Harry Windsor as just another second lieutenant from a privileged background who will either turn out to be one of the good guys or one of the banes of the squaddies lives, depending on whether he has sh*t for brains or not. He gets no slack from me just for being a Windsor - but that said, kudos for going within a million miles of the shooting when he could've used his birthrate to stay safe in the UK. His uncle Andrew got the same kudos in the Falklands.

Still, I understand why he has now been withdrawn. As the BBC's Jon Williams explains, and 2nd Lt. Windor's nickname "Bullet Magnet" suggests, it's not just about him.

this was never just about Prince Harry's safety, it was also about the security of the soldiers serving with him. No editor wants to be responsible for increasing the risk they already face from the Taleban. Nor do I think our audiences would have thanked us for doing so.
On Matt Drudge, I'm not in the least conflicted. What a low, unprincipled, headline-chasing slimeball.

Try a thought experiment. Replace "Harry Windsor" with, say "James McCain" and imagine his dad is president. Now imagine Drudge had leaked the location and unit of said presidential son on deployment in Iraq. Can you imagine the outrage? Drudge would be finished, if not in jail.