6:52pm Tuesday 22nd January 2013
By Peter Barron
As I've said a number of times in print, I admire Prince Harry.
I respect the fact that he wants to be a real soldier, serving in war zones alongside other members of the armed forces. And I acknowledge the contribution his sense of fun and down-to-earth personality have made to the resurgence in popularity of the Royal Family.
But I think he's wrong to generalise in his scathing and disappointingly arrogant attack on the "rubbish" British press and to tell the British public that they are all "guilty" of buying papers.
I understand why he feels the way he does. He is understandably bitter about the media's treatment of his mother, he has been on the receiving end of some embarrassing front pages, and he can't go anywhere without being photographed.
At times, that unwelcome publicity has been unjustified. On other occasions, it has resulted from his own misjudgement and he has to accept that his role as a privileged prince comes with responsibility.
There are elements of the British press which are rubbish. But there are also elements of the British press, not least local newspapers, which perform a great public service: exposing wrong-doing; campaigning for communities; fund-raising for charities; championing all kinds of causes.
It would have been nice if Prince Harry had resisted getting out his huge tar brush to blacken the entire British press and acknowledged that there are good and bad in every profession - including the armed forces.
He might also have acknowledged that on more than one occasion, the British press has been asked in its entirety to keep his deployment to Afghanistan secret - and remained water-tight.
Respect has to work both ways.
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