Friday, September 14, 2012

what is about French "journalists"

and their lack of moral responsibility.  France is said to have one of the most restrictive privacy laws in the world, and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were certainly in a private setting, sunbathing by a pool on a private estate owned by Queen Elizabeth's nephew, Lord Linley.  So why buy photographs that surely invade privacy?

This is not the first time that a French editor/writer/photographer has gotten themselves in serious hot water with inappropriate press coverage regarding a member of the British royal family.   In other words,  the French press-de-le-scume are breaking their own laws. 

We all know what happened in August 1997 when Diana, Princess of Wales and Dodi Fayed faced a press scrum outside their hotel in Paris.  They got into a car, forgot to buckle up, and allowed a drunk driver to drive far too fast to get away from the media. 

Three years earlier, in September 1994,  the "filthy French have struck a new blow," according to The People, a Sunday British newspaper not known for serious journalism, when France Dimanche published five photos of the Prince of Wales, as he peeled off his "powder-blue boxer shots." The article was titled "The Striptease of Prince Charles."

The Prince of Wales, then 45, had been staying at a chateau near Avignon in the south of France.  He was photographed while standing by a window, as he started to undress.  The final of the five shots showed the Prince to be completely naked "with one arm across his stomach and his manhood in full view." .  

The text read:  "Here is Charles as we've never seen him, not in the grand uniform of the guards, nor the Admiral of the Fleet, but completely nude after an innocent and eloquent striptease-ooh-la-la! Only a few women have had the privilege of seeing this -- this mother, his nanny, Diana and the others...?  A handsome man, the future King of England!  Even if his bottom hasn't tanned in the sun, young girls will now dream of courting him."

Several days earlier,the German newspaper, Bild, published a photo of the Prince of Wales, with a towel "draped over his shoulder."

Although the newspaper's editor justified his decision to publish the photographs by saying "You can compare it with the David of Michelangelo.  It is an absolutely perfectly shaped body."

 Buckingham Palace did not see the humor. A spokesman said: "It's completely unjustifiable to inflict this story of intrusion on anyone."

The Chateau was owned by Baroness Louise de Waldner.  French police "strove to prevent peeping tom" photos by the paparazzi, but, as it turns, out, the French police were unsuccessful in keeping the paparazzi at bay.

The Prince of Wales decided not to pursue legal action against the photographer.   Diana, Princess of Wales, dud sue the photographer who snapped photos of her while exercising and Sarah, Duchess of York, received £86,000 pounds as a result of her lawsuit against the publication of photos of her sunbathing topless (in France) and of her "financial adviser," John Bryan "sucking her toes."

 In 1997, Diana won a second lawsuit, this time against the Daily Express, which had claimed she would profit from the auction of her dresses.  The Daily Express "caved in" when it realized it had been a victim of a hoax "involving documents purportedly from Christie's, the auctioneers."

In 1990, Viscount Linley was awarded $68,000 after the Today newspaper "wrongly accused him" of being banned from a Chelsea pub because of "rowdy behavior.

In 2003, Queen Elizabeth II settled her legal action against a reporter who got a job in the Royal Household after he and his newspaper promised "not to disclose any more information he had obtained while working there." The journalist, Ryan Parry and the Daily Mirror agreed to pay £25,000 toward the Queen's legal costs, but "no damages."

In 1911, a French journalist, Edward Mylius was charged with criminal libel after writing an article in a French journal, The Liberator, alleging that George V was a bigamist.

In an article titled "Sanctified Bigamy,"  Mylius wrote: "We are offered the spectacle of the immorality of monarchy in all its sickening beastly monstrosity.In order to obtain a woman of royal blood for his pretended wife (the King) foully abandoned his true wife, the daughter of Sir Michael Culme-Seymour, and entered into a sham and shameful marriage with a daughter of the Duke of Teck. He committed the crime of bigamy .. . with the aid and complicity of the Anglican Church. That is the sickening and disgusting crime committed by the English Church. The daughter of Sir Michael Culme-Seymour, if she still lives, is the rightful Queen of England, and her children are the only rightful heirs to the throne."

When Mylius was called into court he "tried ineffectually for 20 minutes to argue points of law."   The judge took two minutes to find him guilty of libel.  He was sentenced to a year in prison.

Winston Churchill had advised King George V to take action.  The king wanted to take the stand in the lawsuit, and denounce Mylius as a liar, but as the sovereign, he was constitutionally barred from going into his own court.

After the case was settled, King George V wrote in his diary:  "The whole story is a damnable lie and has been in existence now for over twenty years. I trust that this will settle it once and for all."

It is time for the French to get over Agincourt and Waterloo ... but if I were a a member of the British royal family, I would consider a private holiday in Florida. Seriously.

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