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Mona Elyafi

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Prince Harry's Casino Royale: A Royal Media Indiscrition

Posted: 08/28/2012 4:05 pm

Oh bloody hell!

Prince Harry is yet again inflicting another big headache to Buckingham Palace.

As if it wasn't enough that back in 2009, photographs of the young Royal smoking pot were leaked to the press, now his highness got another Kodak moment caught butt naked while partying in a lavish hotel room in Las Vegas.

Two individual snapshots depicting Prince Harry au natural were sold to and subsequently published by the online tabloid TMZ. Oh shocking!

So what if the third in line to the British throne stripped down to the bare minimum, which in this case would be nothing more than a wristwatch and a necklace.

As Olympia Dukakis said in Steel Magnolias, "The only thing that separates us from the animals is our ability to accessorize."

Big deal! As far as I'm concerned, Prince Harry, who was confined within the private walls of his $8,000-a-night Vegas suite in the company of friends who certainly were sworn to secrecy or at least trusted to respect and honor the prince's hospitality, didn't commit any crime. If anything the only crime he is perhaps guilty of is to party like any other 27-year-old bachelor would when on vacation, especially when said vacation is, of all places, taking place in Sin City.

Evidently whatever happens in Vegas doesn't stay in Vegas! Instead, it gets splattered all over the news and cyberspace faster than Harry probably had time to put his clothes back on.

Now I do understand the duty one has in his position and of his pedigree to maintain a certain public image and reputation in alignment with the prestige and standards of the monarchy, but clearly Prince Harry didn't order a nude photo shoot as part of his room service. It is equally unlikely that as rebellious as he can allegedly be, he has made his life a monument to embarrassing Buckingham Palace not to mention his grandmother, her majesty the Queen. Not so much! Rather that would be the job of TMZ.

I have to say that I am quite surprised that no one has really pointed the finger at the source of the problem, namely the tabloids and their, more often than not, tendency to go beyond the definition of the freedom of the press. Granted this is the old unresolved debate over who is asking for what -- meaning are the tabloids responding to a public demand for sensationalism or are they just imposing it under the guise of it being of public interest? Either way, I personally believe that certain limits and mode of conducts based on ethics and morality should be enforced when a news tip clearly constitutes what qualifies as too much (unnecessary) information.

We're constantly fed too much junk at the detriment of substance, quality and informative news. Not only that, but printing pictures that were obviously taken without the knowledge or consent of the subject is rewarding perpetrators in their quest to make a fast and easy buck, and encouraging invasion of privacy.

In my opinion, we are sending out the wrong message. Whether it's a member of the paparazzi or just a civilian with a greedy motive, the fact is that they are getting away with it without any severe repercussions.

Whoever snapped those salacious shots should be ashamed of himself/herself (and dare I say penalized on some level), but so should TMZ for publishing them. It's no secret TMZ and all the other tabloids successfully thrive on celebrity scandals and exposing public figures in their most embarrassing, vulnerable moments. But this, in my opinion was, for lack of a better term, royal faux pas, not on Harry's part but on TMZ's.

Beside colossally embarrassing the British royal family and raising severe questions over his security, what good did publishing these photos exactly do if not accomplish, in typical ego-centric fashion, media sensationalism? As far as we know, Prince Harry didn't trash the room, didn't assault anyone, and certainly didn't cause any outrageous ruckus. All he did was play a game of strip billiards and that is newsworthy because?

Again I understand we live in a tabloid world where there's a lot of money to be made on celebrity antics at the expense of their own private life. But still there ought to be some kind of value system and limitations on which these celebrity gossip (media) outlets should operate by. Creating a scandal or a media frenzy when there's really none to be had just for the sake of making money and boosting traffic on your website is beyond low and quite simply despicable.

Have we no moral values and professional ethics?

Shouldn't we focus our efforts and energy on something more important than being gratuitously hurtful, vicious and caustic?

Disseminating pictures of Prince Harry showing his royal jewels is essentially creating media hysteria out of what is basically an un-newsworthy event.

Clearly we now all sleep better at night knowing for certain that Prince Harry has one criminally hot body.

 

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