tabloid

Weapon of Mass Destruction: New Violence and WMD

 


An Introduction to the Arsenal

Yes, I have met the enemy and I can assure you he is us. I wrote about it in the book Looking Back: History through the eyes of those who lived it. I have seen weapons of mass destruction stockpiled for human doom. I have walked through a secret location with a military escort in a place in Siberia where a decommissioning facility was being built, a place that I could never find again and had better not. I have sat in the corner of a restaurant in Russia with an American Commander holding a laptop connected to God-knows-where while he sorted through its data to find some things that had recently been declassified so he could show me; there were some things he couldn't show me. The large shells that held chemical weapons were about my size; the smaller ones that would turn the Super Bowl into a morgue, were about the size of wine bottles. I have stood in assemblies holding two wine bottles and wearing a gas mask in order to make a point.

But now I have identified another kind of violence and even more scary weapon of mass destruction. It was revealed while doing some new research. My advice: be afraid; be very afraid for this weapon is a heat seeking predator. Why is it so dangerous? Because it is 'friendly fire'; it's constructed so as to do the most damage in short bursts; it isn't aimed at an enemy but at one of our own. It's a stealth weapon that can come out of nowhere and take away your life. Yes it could happen to you in your fifteen minutes of fame and your six degrees of separation. What is it? The media.

 

The Mission: Human Suffering

Suffering is one of those common denominators and levelers for all of humanity. Humans know misery; humans suffer. Suffering comes in many forms: physical maladies that cause bodily pain, mental anguish, psychic wounding, imaginal fears, ecological dilemmas, circumstantial misfortune, and self inflicted injury or defeat. Some suffering appears to be accidental or resulting from particular twists of fate. Some suffering is wielded for political reasons, some for profit.

One may be born into poverty which appears to be a geographical accident of birth; one may be born with deformity or acquire a handicap that sometimes is genetic and sometimes an acquired calamity; one may be subject to many kinds of accidents and mishaps through a lifetime; risk taking required by culture may elevate the incidence of accidents leading to unfortunate outcomes. And certainly these misfortunes are hard to comprehend or assimilate.

We ask “why?” Why has a particular circumstance visited one person and not another? We search for meaning in suffering because we do not want to believe in its randomness or senselessness. Even when misery is an accident of nature in some way, it is not easy to accept and only the most spiritually advanced among us can embrace it. I only knew two: a nun who taught meditation, founder of a spiritual retreat center who held gratitude for her creeping blindness as it assisted in her quest for enlightenment. No longer able to see the outside world, she was forced to focus on the internal one and this greatly accelerated her spiritual growth. Ram Dass has said of his stroke that limited his movement; he had to learn to stand still to know the Presence.

We affix blame when misfortune visits. We have blamed fate, circumstances, ourselves, God, karma, luck, Satan, the gods and goddesses and more through time. We tend to link character to fortune: ‘How could this happen; she is such a good person? She doesn’t deserve this.’ We sometimes try to link character to deserving dark times. When misfortune befalls someone we don’t like we declare facetiously: ‘It couldn’t have happened to a nicer person.’

The kind of suffering that is far more difficult to comprehend, for even the most tepidly moral person, is suffering heaped upon someone deliberately by another person. And the worst of those is the individual who with malice, plots in order to heap suffering on another for undeserved gain or something for which they have no claim or entitlement.

But there is another kind of suffering that is perpetrated upon another that constitutes the most vile purpose of all: entertainment. There have been many dark figures in history who have deliberately heaped suffering upon others: Hitler, Stalin, Bin Laden, Ivan the Terrible, come to mind. But mostly their reasons were political. There is, however, one famous figure in history known for inflicting suffering for sheer entertainment: Vlad the Impaler. According to the records, atrocities committed by Vlad to at least eighty thousand people include torturing, burning, skinning, roasting, and boiling people, feeding people the flesh of their friends or relatives, cutting off limbs, and drowning and skinning the feet, then putting salt on them and letting goats lick off the salt.

Pathologically sadistic, Vlad was highly entertained by watching people suffer. But his favorite voyeur pastime was impaling people on stakes. He perfected a method of using oil to make the stake slick so that it could be threaded cleverly in a way that would not pierce a vital organ but would keep the person alive for hours, even days. When impaling women with children, he often threaded their babies on the end of the stake jutting from their own chest. In this way, the mother was able to witness the horrific death of her infant before her own death. Vlad customarily ordered his meals and dined near the victims as he particularly enjoyed watching them squirm and hearing the screams while eating.

 

Method of Deployment

Yes, it’s hard to wrap your mind around that kind of depravity. Depravity comes in many flavors; there is even a contemporary kind that involves sadistic pleasure from entertainment. How much of a leap is it from sadistically impaling someone on a stake and inflicting maximum pain for your viewing pleasure to deliberately impaling someone on the cross of public humiliation, then periodically poking around and reopening the wounds to siphon all the psychic puss for encore? There is something lewd, salacious and obscene about the practice of impaling celebrities with today’s tabloid yellow pornography.

Have you noticed that currently the most popular genre in books and movies in our culture is Vampirism? We love to watch blood-letting and find it sexy? Does the irony of that escape you? Does the clamoring for tabloid gossip about our favorite celebrities satisfy some animalistic urge? It’s simply Neanderthal; no, more reptilian. There is something slimy about a culture supporting an industry that operates like a meat-market surgically slicing up pieces of people for human consumption. Stalking people with a voyeur's delight, carving them up, and feeding on their lives is cannibalism! There is nothing redeemable even human about engaging in a voyeurism that destroys people, their work, their lives and their futures. And our future.

It’s the kind of practice that deliberately looks for the lowest form of humanity. It gleefully attaches itself to its latest popular victim and sucks the life force from them. The worst offenders are journalists who deliberately hurl questions and insults designed to inflame the celebrity, already upset, so as to get even more lurid footage or copy for consumption.

Consumption of tabloid fodder and gossip is the kind of hobby that people engage in without thinking about the impact of their actions. Few think about the consequences of their indulging in the misguided practice of buying dirt rag magazines, watching tabloid TV, clamoring for the latest gossip about their celebrity interests. And reality TV is hardly ever a slice of my reality. How about yours?

 

         

 

Collateral Damage

If we would think before we consume this stuff or clamor for more we might realize what is lost because of it, what futures are preempted because of it: What gifts do talented people withhold because they are afraid to venture into the public venue? How many performers hold back from introducing new or avant garde art for fear of public opinion? How many people deny they have a personal problem and delay or avoid treatment because if they checked themselves into a rehab facility, their personal lives would be splayed in headlines? How many great politicians have not run for public office because of the uncharitable scrutiny they face? How many books are not written because of the celebrity well known authors enjoy or because they might end up on someone's hit list? How many who have been excoriated by tabloid journalism give up on new work, new discoveries, maybe on humanity itself?

The tabloid frenzy over President Clinton’s indiscretion caused his impeachment. A president was impeached for behavior in his private life. And a beloved president of history was again exposed for private liaisons while in office. Is that our business? These kinds of “exposures” take down good men. Clinton subsequently has marshaled global humanitarian efforts responsible for saving the lives of millions. Had he been humiliated beyond repair and faded into obscurity because of a human failing what would we have lost?

Do you remember Vince Foster? Vince Foster was the Deputy White House Counsel for the Clintons who investigated the Travel office corruption charges on behalf of Hillary Clinton. He became so despondent over the affair that he committed suicide. His suicide resignation note read “I was not meant for the job or the spotlight of public life in Washington. Here ruining people is considered sport.”

Lady Diana was a favorite target of the tabloid press that insisted on focusing their spotlight on rumors of anorexia, bulimia and depression instead of her humanitarian work with children and eliminating land mines. And all this yellow press, while she was trying to hold together a marriage to a royal husband who was carrying a torch for someone else! What young new bride would navigate all that well? The Paparazzi haunted Diana endlessly and hunted her down on the night she died. Her driver had been drinking and certainly alcohol contributed to the accident. But the driver would not have been speeding if the Paparazzi had not been stalking and chasing Diana. And after the accident they helped to cause, they continued snapping pictures as she lay dying in the back seat.

And then there’s the most recent and visible casualty of the tabloid press: Michael Jackson. Deeply traumatized by the events of his life, by relentless exploitation by tabloid America, by rabid officials who anticipated their own fame in taking down a famous celebrity, dispirited by the treatment of his face, skin color, his home, his work, his life and even his innocence, Michael had trouble sleeping at night. The two cases brought against Michael alleging impropriety with children brought the tabloids down on a gentle humanitarian whose life was about saving and healing children. A man who was singing “Heal the World” in Super Bowl performances and promoting peace in his concerts.

At his 2005 trial, hundreds of reporters drooling over anticipated juicy headlines, descended on the courthouse periphery. For five months they circled like vultures waiting to pick the bones from the carcass of his life served up in a trial with charges that never should have been brought. Michael simply wasn’t guilty.

Prison for someone like Michael Jackson would have been a death sentence. He lived month after month with that threat while the media conveniently left out newsworthy trial developments proving his innocence. Jermaine Jackson, Michael’s brother says he watched the light gradually go out of Michael’s eyes during the trial. A bone-weary, dispirited and traumatized father took his children and left his homeland, leaving behind a grueling trial, a justice system that failed to protect him from extortion, a media that impaled him and left him hanging exposed despite his innocence. He lost a home he cherished and shared for joy because he could no longer live there, the closeness to his beloved Jackson family, and his country. A family with a history of extortion of other celebrities had targeted Michael and law enforcement with the media as accomplice, seduced by the allure of celebrity, played life and death games for sport.

How many Vince Fosters are there? What did we lose when we lost Diana and Michael? The loss is incalculable. Diana was the people’s princess and Michael was the most famous humanitarian in the world. They both were devoted to human welfare and social reform especially for children. Their work on this planet is legion and legendary as is their support of charities and generous philanthropy. Neither one had to, but they used their fame for all of humanity, for the elimination of pain, misery and suffering. And how did we thank these global messengers? We killed them.

 

Early Warning System

Yellow press and you know who you are: here is your WMD Early Warning: More and more people are waking up on this planet. More humans are courting their own spirituality and enlightenment. Put your finger on that pulse because that heartbeat of humanity is our future. And I guarantee that you will not be here then. Unless you change your methods and reinvent your genre, you will be irrelevant. I promise you we, humanity, are far more than your narrow definition could ever imagine. We are tired of low slung dramas that don't work, a higher game awaits us and viewed from here, it sparkles.

Your imaginings are wrong; we are better than that! It’s sad enough that pain and misery visits every single life on this planet. We no longer wish to deliberately inflict it. Not for sport. You want to keep us down and drinking your Kool-Aid? You want us obedient to your doctrine? You think that is really going to work? We want to change. We are growing up and we don't want publications and media that slay people for fun. We are tired of the doom and gloom of people’s wounded humanity; we would like to hear about their brilliance. It's time. We want to applaud human contributions to art and life. We want to respect public figures more and be mature enough to allow them some dignity and privacy.

 

Decommissioning the Weapon

We have a request media: We want you to stop inviting us where we don’t belong. We want you to give us the facts without the hype and sensationalism that by someone else’s arrogant determination censors what we are entitled to. We resent being spoon fed untruths so that somebody can sell a vile product and get fat paychecks because we are believed sophomoric. We resent being duped and treated like a commodity: like a consumer pig fattened up with garbage for the purpose of someone else’s slaughter. We are intelligent people; we would really like the facts and to decide for ourselves who and what we value.

Stop belittling us and all of humanity with your de-evolution. And now that we have all allowed the devolved media to destroy people who were national treasures and we have jeopardized a more bedazzled future because of the contributions they can no longer make, we are asking you to please stop killing people on our behalf. No, we are demanding it. We want no part in it. We want to breathe clear air not tainted with the stench of tabloid slaughter. We don't want to sit down to our dinner like Vlad, while tabloid TV shows dangle impaled flailing celebrity bodies in front of us during our meal. We don't want to feel that guilt or shame. We want to be part of creating a world we can live with and we can tell you it's not this one.

 

Peacekeeping Force

We want to create a world where art is esteemed in whatever form, where beauty is a common pleasure, where the human mind and spirit is elevated; no, revered and we want help with that. We want a world where people’s woundedness is cradled with tenderness not exposed with glee. We want you to listen to us, to help us celebrate the human spirit, not feel ashamed of it. We all feel the winds changing and we want you to stop blowing us in the wrong direction. We want you to support us... humanity. We want you to do that by elevating the art of communication back to where it belongs and to feature and be the change we long to see in the world.

We have seen enough of what your weapons of mass destruction can do to a person and a world when they are unleashed. They destroy humanity. Ours. The create vacuums in the future where human treasures might have walked. We are asking you, the media… the latest incarnation of a WMD to decommission your arsenal and help us to make peace with ourselves... with the rest of the members of our human family. And please, help us to close the door on a shadowy era now past. We are ready to be the change we wish to see in the world. We need you now to convey not the darkness of our species, but our brilliance to us.

 

Written by: Barbara Kaufmann, is an award winning writer, peacemaker minister, healer and shaman who “writes to simply change the world.” Her One Wordsmith www.onewordsmith.com website is filled with humanitarian short stories. And her new website Inner Michael www.innermichael.com features her research and writing in tribute to a global humanitarian. It is a metaphysical look at a misunderstood genius and man of our times who, it turns out, was a spiritual messenger hiding in plain sight.

 

The Princess and the Toads: A Fairy Tale.

She lay crumpled and dying in the space behind the front seat of the smoking car, her beautiful face still intact, her injuries hidden, but fatal. Smoke streamed from the wreckage, as undetected, the mangled artery leaked her life force as it began to ebb away. Was there a fleeting moment of awareness as she thought of her young sons, her charmed life, of love lost and dreams delayed? Dazed, she looked around trying to comprehend what had happened. Did she know? She saw the tabloid paparazzi around her and managed to say “leave me alone.” Those were her last words. We are left with one question: Why? Why Diana and why that way? A Camelot story, a Fairy Tale Princess, a queen who collected hearts. How could she die in a senseless car crash in a dark Paris tunnel?

Diana was first the peoples’ princess and then their queen of hearts. Lovely, with an acceptable family name and pedigree approved by the royal family, she was a natural choice for Charles, heir to the throne of Britain. Theirs seemed like a fairy tale love story, he the eligible bachelor and future king and she, the demure and shy school girl who met and fell in love with her “prince charming.”

The royal and opulent wedding was broadcast live on television as hundreds of millions of viewers virtually joined the royals and guests at St. Paul’s Cathedral in London on July 29, 1981. The monarchy, which had settled into an attic dust familiarity with its subjects suddenly found new life, new interest and popularity thanks to Diana who entered fresh faced, shy, charming and restless.

The fairy tale image persisted for awhile as the press respectfully reported news about the couple. A trend soon began though as the press focused more on Diana than the prince. Her every move was reported and the fashion world adopted her as an icon; the kingdom, it seemed, embraced her. Charles made official visits and gave speeches as his role dictated but the press often ignored him in favor of his newsworthy and fashionable bride. The glare of the media and its obvious bias caused problems for the couple.

The media hounded them giving them barely a moment to themselves and little privacy. Diana, unused to the attention tried to cope the best she could but felt unsupported by her mate, who was jealous of the coverage she garnered. The more media attention that focused on her, the more isolated she became and she was later to say, the farther the fall from grace.

Photograph by Kaveeta Kaul

Her pregnancy captured the imagination and attention of Brits as they navigated it with her. The pregnancy was difficult and she contracted post-partum depression afterward. Although a common ailment among new mothers, the tabloids picked up the story of “depression” and ran with it. The tabloids exposed her as depressed and unbalanced as they painted her as a daft and ungrounded young woman.

About the same time, she began her battle with Bulimia and self-injury which provides relief from isolation, self loathing, numbness, and feelings of low self esteem. She later explained that all the self defeating behavior was from feeling inadequate to cope with the intensity and demands of her role in the spotlight, and because she was not given time to acclimate to her life as it turned upside down with one act—that of marriage.

Almost overnight she became the most photographed, hunted and interesting figure in modern society and not just in her own country, but around the world. She had no time to define herself or her direction. Her life felt like a foreign country to her. She didn’t understand the interest and frenzy that swirled around her and she felt her connection to her husband was slipping away because of his unhappiness about her popularity, the stiffness and disapproval of the royal family and her inability to handle the pressures of her position.

As their romance cooled, Charles turned to an old flame and rekindled their relationship. Diana sensed this change in her husband and knew the reason. She was devastated and went deeper into her isolation and despair. The tabloids exploited her circumstances and people bought the tabloids. Diana took to reading them to find out how she was being portrayed in the public eye.

As she learned more about how to navigate her life and its complexities, she felt she had to become adept at courting the media and playing the game of trying to craft and manipulate her own image. She had to get cozy with the tabloid editors in order to manage her own public image and her children’s image. The press was relentless in their pursuit of salacious tidbits of her life. She curried favor with the gutter press often to promote the new and ongoing charity work she was engaged in.

She had, at one time, made a self deprecating comment to a little girl during a photo op saying that she (Diana) was “thick as a plank,” a remark designed to put the child at ease. The tabloids picked it up and forever after painted her as mentally a bit thick, ditsy and unbalanced. She regretted making the remark to the little girl as that comment followed her and colored every feature story that appeared from then on.

The lead characters in the royal marriage that turned out to be anything but fairy tale, were ill suited and their romantic relationship began first turning cool, and then started to unravel. That seemed to signal open season to the tabloids that hunted and hounded Diana as one of the world’s most famous and beloved women only to excoriate and ridicule her in the press.

Diana Spencer, Princess of Wales was a shy and timid beauty when she married Prince Charles but in a few years, had become a sophisticated champion of causes and an admired fashion icon. Diana, the most photographed woman in the world, learned how to leverage her fame and popularity and bend it to her will. Had she lived in another era, she might have been a subject for poets and playwrights but in the modern age, she became a tabloid princess surrounded by not by frogs who were gentlemen-in-disguise, but toads who carried poison ink.

Unused to being in the spotlight, Diana found it hard to cope with the frenzy that followed her and recorded her every move. She and Charles rarely found themselves alone and she icily reminded him of that during a family vacation, was overheard by a tabloid reporter and the Charles and Diana tabloid war began in earnest.

Diana’s first taste of the glare of paparazzi flashbulbs had come when a photographer caught her pose with her skirt backlit from the sun. She was wearing leggings but that did not hide her shapely figure which landed on the front pages of Britain’s gutter press. Her majesty was not pleased and their frosty relationship continued as the tabloids targeted both Diana and Charles and the royal mortification became impassible. It wasn’t until after her death and people all over the world mourned her loss in the streets, that the queen understood that she had captured hearts across the globe. She then agreed to fly the flag at half staff and to join the mourners in a proper funeral for a beloved public figure.

The tabloid industry then was beginning to be dominated by Rupert Murdoch, media magnate who bought up newspapers round the world to build a yellow journalistic empire. Murdoch saw Charles’ return from service in the military and bachelorhood as an exploitable situation, saw the royal family as public property and said, ‘We want to be the first to tell the British public who Prince Charles is going to marry.’ Murdoch wanted his British paper The Sun to be different, upbeat, rebellious and a little bit naughty. He patterned his paper after the Daily Mirror who taunted the royals and chided their members publicly.

Diana cited the tabloid press as guilty of contributing to the demise of her marriage. She and Charles were quite literally never alone; she was perpetually stalked by paparazzi and gutter press. Often a drawback of the curtains revealed perhaps 20 media vans or more at any given time outside their residence. Even their marriage itself was conscripted by the tabloids who reported so much about Diana and Charles that the press felt they had license to ask on their front pages if Charles was going to marry her. The wedding came about when Charles had no answer for them because he had no reason to not marry the young woman. The newspapers chose Charles’ mate for him and since there was no reason to dispute them, he agreed.

Rupert Murdoch, being colonial, didn't want to kowtow to the Royal Family so his instructions through the Editor Kevin McKenzie, were: 'look, stop worshipping these people, stop treating them as gods. They're ordinary human beings and they will help sell newspapers. Let's go out there and get the real stories.’ The competition between Royal Correspondents in those days was ferocious, absolutely savage. The pressure was unbearable at times because if a rival broke a new story about Charles and Diana, a reporter somewhere got a late night phone call with orders to find a story to match or surpass it and it had better be sensational. McKenzie would never hold back on a story. He wasn’t ruffled if the story was never checked out. He didn’t care if feelings were trampled, or if the story had only one source and was uncorroborated or if the story harmed reputations. He was considered reckless and cruel by colleagues. His philosophy: he had to fill pages, he wanted stories about royals that were sensational and he didn’t care it if wasn’t true.

Private Eye was the United Kingdom’s number one best-selling news and current affairs magazine that used humor, satire, social and political observations and investigative journalism to publish the magazine read by more than 700,000 Brits. Its editor Ian Hislop, was the most sued man in English legal history and he reigned during the Charles and Diana royal era. Private Eye is still published and popular today and still investigates and exposes subjects caught in the sights of its lenses. Richard Ingrams, Editor of Private Eye is known for his particularly caustic brand of journalism as he targeted Jewish writers and the pro-Israel Jewish lobby, homosexuals and Tony Blair supporters during his tenure from 1963 to 1986.

After Diana’s marriage was over the press continued to stalk her looking for the latest sensational story. Her attempts at having relationships with other men made headlines all over the tabloids of the world and bled into the regular press. The appetite for Diana news looked insatiable. The decoy tactics to avoid press were employed regularly as getaway routes changed last minute. One of those decoy tactics and unscheduled routes ended in an early grave for Lady Di. The official investigation cited the driver’s intoxication as the cause but a parallel later investigation found the paparazzi culpable.


Tabloid Editors Admit Culpability

The editors of the three biggest selling tabloid newspapers at the time of the death of Diana, Princess of Wales had disclosed for the first time their own share of guilt over the accident that killed her.

“The editors of The Sun, Daily Mirror and News of the World have conceded that they had helped create an atmosphere in which the paparazzi, who were chasing Diana when her car crashed in a Paris underpass, were out of control.

Phil Hall, who was editor of the News of the World, said it was a circle of culpability involving the readers who demanded more photographs, the photographers who chased her and the newspapers that published the pictures. "A big Diana story could add 150,000 sales. So we were all responsible," he said.

Mr. Hall, speaking on the ITV1 documentary Diana’s Last Summer, said: "I felt huge responsibility for what happened and I think everyone in the media did. If the paparazzi hadn’t been following her the car wouldn’t have been speeding and, you know, the accident may never have happened."

The Sunday Mirror bought the paparazzi pictures, published three weeks before the princess’s death, which first showed the seriousness of her liaison with Dodi Fayed and encouraged the Paris chase.

Stuart Higgins, who edited The Sun, told The Daily Telegraph: "The death of Princess Diana was the most tragic story during my period as editor. I have often questioned my role, the paper’s role and the media’s role generally in her death and the events leading up to it. The tabloids created a frenzy and appetite around Diana.”

They agreed to not publish the photographs of her taken as she lay dying in the car.

In the period following her death that remorse caused them to admit their complicity and their responsibility in her death but that remorse was and has been short lived.

During the heyday of Princess, and then Lady Diana, Harry Arnold, royal reporter for The Sun from 1976 to 1990 was in charge of getting the latest scoops on Charles and Diana for The Sun said in an interview with PBS Frontline:

“It was the advent of Private Eye which people overlooked that I think was very influential. Private Eye was in a sense saying things about people that nobody else was saying and I've always accepted - and Richard Ingrams I know agrees with me - that Private Eye was a big factor in getting newspapers not to be more intrusive but to be more candid if you like about people."

Arnold continues: "I think that probably we have passed a point of good manners. I think intrusion has gone too far. I don't believe there can be a law on privacy for the Royal Family or anybody else because I don't think it's workable. Where I think the weakness is the failure of respected proprietors, not all of whom as I say are British citizens, the failure of proprietors and editors to set a standard for their own newspaper."

Lady Diana, queen of hearts and global humanitarian might agree; a lack of good manners cost her a great deal of suffering during her lifetime and finally, in one dark moment in tabloid history, her life.

 

Discussion Questions

Great Britain does not have a First Amendment as Americans do but they do have codes of ethics. The codes request fair and respectful representation of media subjects. Check the following page for sources of Ethics Codes. Do you think these guidelines were/are followed? Should there be a “first amendment” philosophy of journalism around the world?

  1. What is your personal definition of fair? Do you feel the press was fair to Diana? Why or why not?  What do you believe is fair in journalism?
  2. Should the royals be treated differently in the press? Why or why not?
  3. Do you believe that the tabloids did harm to Diana? Do you believe they were responsible for her death? Why or why not?  Do you believe the paparazzi have responsibility in Diana's death?  How?  Why?
  4. Could this car crash have been prevented? How or why?
  5. Is there a need to change the standards governing media, paparazzi and stories in the press?
  6. Do you believe the media affected this couple? The marriage? How?
  7. Do you personally want to know the details of the personal lives of the famous or celebrities? Why or why not? Do you believe you have a right to know the intimate details of public figures?
  8. Do you believe the media is humane? Do you believe it should be? Would you suggest changes? What changes?
  9. Diana’s death ended all her humanitarian work around the planet. Does that constitute a loss to humanity? How? How does one measure that loss?
  10. If you had the power to make the rules for how journalists and journalism are to behave, what guidelines would you draft? Confer in groups and make a list of guidelines.
  11. As a consumer of the media, do you believe you share the guilt if someone is harmed? As a consumer do you have responsibilities? If so, please list them.

 

Bibliography

The Princess and the Press: Frontline Published Interviews with reporters speaking about Lady Diana:

  • Harry Arnold was royal reporter for The Sun, 1976-1990. He and his partner, photographer Arthur Edwards, were charged with getting the latest scoops on Charles and Diana.

  • Lord W. F. Deedes was editor of the Daily Telegraph (1974-1986) Former Editor and Currently a columnist for the paper.

  • Arthur Edwards: royal photographer for The Sun teamed up with The Sun's royal reporter, Harry Arnold. They were responsible for covering Princess Diana and the Royal Family.

  • Roy Greenslade was editor of The Daily Mirror, 1990-1991 and assistant editor at The Sun for six years.

  • Glenn Harvey: Freelance photographer who covered Princess Diana.

  • Max Hastings: Was editor of The Daily Telegraph, 1986-1995.

  • Anthony Holden: Author of two books on Prince Charles.

  • Simon Jenkins: Former Editor of The Times, 1990-1992.

  • Ken Lennox: Former Royal photographer for The Daily Mirror, 1986-1994.

  • Andrew Morton: Royal reporter who has written several books on the Royal Family, including Diana: Her True Story, on which Princess Diana secretly collaborated.

  • Richard Stott: Former Editor of The Daily Mirror, 1991-1992.

  • James Whitaker: Reported on the Royal Family since the 1960s. He is The Daily Mirror's royal reporter.

  • Sir Peregrine Worsthorne: Columnist for The Sunday Telegraph.

  • Friedman, Roger. Comments quoted from an Interview with Fox News

BBC Panorama Interview Martin Bashir 1995
British Public Broadcasting Company
Harry Arnold PBS Frontline Interview
American Public Broadcasting Company Documentary Films
 
Private Eye British Magazine
British Newspaper and Online Journal

David Rowan, Editor Wired UK, Interview with Richard Ingrams, Blog 2005
British Online Journal Magazine
 
Diana: Editors Admit Guilt over Death by Andrew Pierce Published: 21 Aug 2007
British Newspaper and Online Journal


Text for the article, Discussion Questions and Bibliography were written and prepared by: Reverend Barbara Kaufmann

 

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