A taxonomy of takes Harry and Meghan’s sit-down with Oprah Winfrey has, as it always would, loosed an avalanche of takes:
You guys, I think the royals might actually be a bit problematic? Understandably, the major revelation of the interview — that a “senior royal” had expressed worry to Harry about how dark his son’s skin might be — got the most coverage. Everyone’s first guess, Prince Phillip (because, I mean, come on), has since been ruled out, as has the Queen.
Everyone involved is a hero Maybe it’s the strange fixation on Harry and Meghan as progressive figures (which, compared with the parasitical ruling class they’ve slowly and reluctantly left, I suppose they are), but there was a tone of hero worship in the coverage, as much directed at Oprah as her interview subjects. The New Yorker is only the most florid:
This instantly iconic artifact of pop culture could not have been without Oprah, a truly singular examiner … She is also something of an emissary, a reactive translator of emotion, a master weaver, pulling disparate revelations into a collective portrait that colonizes the mind.
Everyone involved is scum Equally unsurprising was flat-faced child Piers Morgan’s response:
I’m angry to the point of boiling over today. I am sickened by what I’ve just had to watch. This is a two-hour trash-a-thon of our royal family, of the monarchy, of everything the Queen has worked so hard for. And it’s all been done as Prince Philip lies in hospital.
Won’t someone think of the tabloids Bevan Shields, that magnificent conjurer of bad takes, reached into his top pocket and pulled out the following never-ending handkerchief:
Meghan and Harry regularly and wrongly conflate negative press coverage with racism but their latest claims might prompt some internal reflection from media outlets in the highly competitive British market.
It’s not like in my day The Telegraph in London took aim at Harry and Meghan with a more-in-sorrow-than-anger comparison to Wallis and Edward, the last scandalous Anglo-American couple who also scarpered from the royals:
The saddest thing is that Wallis and Edward, despite being banished, were dutiful and patriotic to the end … Meghan and Harry, who took it upon themselves to leave Britain, seem unlikely to display similar loyalty to the Crown on Oprah tonight.
This is a remarkable observation given what we know, or suspect, of Edward, who certainly wasn’t shy of giving Adolf Hitler a quick wave and may have been privy to a Nazi plot to install him as ruler if Germany conquered Britain.
Corporate compassion Ah there’s nothing like a nominally progressive day for brands to come blundering into the conversation, briefly taking time out from playing a huge part in inequality to condemn it. So it was during the remarkable run of rattlingly empty corporate rhetoric during the height of the Black Lives Matter protests last year, and so it is with International Women’s Day.
Our favourite was from Burger King in the UK which tweeted (since deleted) “Women belong in the kitchen” before revealing they meant, like, in a woke way, because there aren’t enough female chefs.
On behalf of feminists everywhere, can I just say: Burger King, thank you.
Keeping on the Tanya train Running parallel to The Australian‘s campaign against Anthony Albanese is the carefully choreographed dance going on between it and Tanya Plibersek. And don’t think the flurry of huge news stories in the past fortnight has slowed that in any way.
Plibersek is an excellent communicator and a confident campaigner. She has a powerful media presence, is skilled enough to capitalise on the 10- to 15-second daily grabs while also capable of encapsulating her message into the other formats. Labor has not had this in a leader for a long time.
Poetic justice? Former finance minister Mathias Cormann has — with no shortage of support from the government — made it to the final two candidates to lead the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
We’ve long kept an eye on how his campaign required him to argue for “a rapid transition to a net-zero carbon economic model”, putting him at direct odds with the government he served in a senior capacity for such a long time.
This morning we found out that might end up being too little, too late. Joe Biden’s climate envoy, John Kerry (and perhaps less significantly, UK Labour’s environment spokesman Matthew Pennycook) have both warned the UK not to back Cormann’s nomination.