NYT: ‘Going to war with the tabloids’ has not helped Prince Harry’s image in Britain

Did anyone believe that Prince Harry’s testimony in court against the Mirror Group Newspapers would be accurately portrayed within the British media? No, of course not. We’ve seen enough from the British media establishment to understand that they feel like they’re all in this together. The stones it takes for Harry to not only go up against one newspaper, but the entire media landscape, the whole rotten system, is pretty extraordinary. Still, I had hope that the American media would do a more thorough and fair job of covering the events. That… has not been the case. The New York Times had an analysis piece about Harry’s testimony in court and wouldn’t you know, they’re relying more on “wow, Harry is hurting his reputation in Britain!” GMAFB. From Mark Landler and Megan Specia’s reporting for the NYT:

Harry’s declining popularity: For Harry, who now largely supports himself, the litigation has been expensive and time-consuming. People who know him say he did not expect, when he brought the suits, that they would drag on for so many years. Going to war against the tabloids has not helped his image in Britain, where his popularity has already been tarnished by his bitter split with his father and older brother, William.

Peter Hunt’s comments: “He is taking action over alleged illegality, alleged abuse of power,” said Peter Hunt, a former royal correspondent for the BBC. “That is quite a courageous move, which is not an adjective often seen next to the name Harry.” Since Harry left Britain in 2020, he has gone a long way toward taking back control of his narrative from the tabloids. Between his tell-all memoir, “Spare,” and a Netflix documentary with Meghan, Harry will have little new information to disclose on the stand, Mr. Hunt predicted.

Royal watchers claim Harry is polarizing: Some royal watchers said it was a sign of Harry’s polarizing reputation in Britain that the media coverage before the trial focused on whether testifying would diminish his stature rather than on the journalism issues at stake. “The kernel of what he’s trying to do is being watered down,” said Mr. Hunt, the former BBC correspondent. “It’s almost as if phone hacking is priced in,” he said, adding, “it wasn’t priced in if you were the victim.”

[From The NYT]

“Going to war against the tabloids has not helped his image in Britain, where his popularity has already been tarnished by his bitter split with his father and older brother, William.” Ah, yes – the split was so bitter that Charles spent months demanding Harry show up for his coronation. And Harry’s “image” being hurt after he revealed that his brother physically assaulted him in his home says more about Britain than Harry. It continues to fascinate me as we watch the Windsors act as if the tabloids are an extension of the royal family, and the tabloids speak as if they’re part of the family too. What an unholy alliance. Anyway, it’s disgusting that to watch the New York Times once again carry water for the worst people and the most nonsensical arguments in the UK.

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Backgrid.

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90 Responses to “NYT: ‘Going to war with the tabloids’ has not helped Prince Harry’s image in Britain”

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  1. OnThisDay says:

    Courageous isn’t an adjective associated with Harry? Did I read that right? My criticisms of him aside, one thing you can’t doubt is his courage.

    • Lizzie says:

      Well said!

    • tour-malinn says:

      Two tours in Afghanistan, leaving his country and family to protect his wife and children, returning to the UK without proper protection during this turmoil, speaking openly about his mental health struggles and inner feelings. Yeh, I agree these definitely are acts of a coward.
      But hiding in a vast palace (or five), attacking anybody who is under you, and making secret deals with rug writers needs the courage all you can get.

      Besides, Harry does not give a rat’s @ss about his image anywhere. He does care about his wife, his kids, his true friends, and his mission to punish those that hurt his loved ones.

      • Couch Potato says:

        This “royal reporter” conveniently remember what the rags have written about Harry, but not what his actual life has been like. Just like they all do on days ending on y.

    • Nanny to the Rescue says:

      That was such a nasty and unnecessary piece of shade throwing.

    • Becks1 says:

      I kind of thought he was referring to other Harrys?

    • Jais says:

      Not sure but I took that as courageous is not a word associated with Harry by the BM? They are not using that adjective to talk about him and this court case when they should be.

      • Eurydice says:

        Yes, this is how I read it, too.

      • swaz says:

        That’s what I thought too, by the British Media. The British Media is using their same old strategy, distract distract distract but they’re not fooling anyone. Their keyboard warriors are just pretending to be dumb so they can get their daily dose of hating.

      • Saucy&Sassy says:

        Peter Hunt isn’t part of that media landscape in the sense that he’s retired. He doesn’t play that media game. I read that as Hunt telling that the bm doesn’t say he’s courageous. If you step back and look at it as if someone is actually reporting from a neutral standpoint, you’ll see what he says differently.

      • Mary Pester says:

        @Jais, exactly, he will not bow down or be beaten by them. He will live his life on HIS terms and if the media don’t like it, they can go swivel. Harry is more courageous than ANY of his family and the hacks who write about him, and he couldn’t give a stuff now ANYONE A IN THE TOXIC UK FEEL ABOUT HIM. He is standing for himself,, Megan and his children

      • Taneesha says:

        Exactly @Jais. What Peter Hunt meant was that: considering everything that has been written and said about prince Harry by the British media, even though Harry has always been and done the exact opposite of what the BM writes and says about him, courageous is an adjective one would never associate with the name prince Harry. In reality however, prince Harry is the most courageous of them all BRF men put together even though the BM would prefer to convince the masses otherwise. THIS was NOT a dig at prince Harry.

    • Christine says:

      My jaw hit the floor when I read that one. My God, these people have actual blinders on, when it comes to Harry.

    • Julie says:

      Peter Hunt is always positive about Harry. I wonder if this is not a typo and if Harry was means to be Royals (who are not very courageous people). Lors of people comment about that on his twitter page. He might respond.

      • Taneesha says:

        770-237-8334No it was not a typo. People are just NOT reading the entire paragraph and are just hang up on one sentence deliberately taking Hunt’s words our of context. Why? Im not sure yet, but i got a hunch given the ” even though i criticise Harry a lot of the time” “even thoughWhen you read in its entirety even just what Kaiser quoted of the NYT article, it says absolutely nothing about Hunt saying prince is a coward.

  2. girl_ninja says:

    Why are we expecting the NYT to be fair and balanced? They haven’t been in many years. This is the same publication that did a fluff piece on Elizabeth Holmes. Trash. Trash. Trash.

    • thaisajs says:

      The NYT is a great newspaper. But like most organizations, it’s not perfect. It publishes stories that are pretty cringe sometimes, usually in the features sections. It’s the features reporters who tend to do the stupidest things, not the foreign policy, business or even political reporters.

      • Dee(2) says:

        I don’t know if I would agree with that final assessment. The political reporters at NYT are FREQUENTLY mocked for their bothsiderism and amplification of nonsense. Did we all forget “clouds and shadows” from 2016? Pretty much anything Maggie Haberman writes, and her constant willingness to downplay Trump’s horribleness for exclusives? Being better than the BM, doesn’t make them great. They’ve had legitimate criticism in the US for at least a decade on their direction. There’s a reason that I’m not even on social media and I know about the NYT pitchbot account.

      • Interested Gawker says:

        NYT constantly laments that the youth vote is stubbornly remaining liberal, encourages transphobia and fascism in their mealy mouth ‘both sides’ coverage, downplays Biden at every opportunity and used the full weight of their editorial board to tell Ukraine to roll over and give Putin what he wants.

        It does not help that American media is only listening to UK H&M coverage with half an ear and what coverage there is poisoned by the same outlets H is suing. Some US outlets are reporting about the Heritage Foundation visa business without any suggestion that their request is erroneous and false on its face. That’s lazy reporting but it’s also a choice.

        I long for the day when someone, anyone makes a serious documentary about the Sussexes with nuance and facts.

      • Flowerlake says:

        A great newspaper?
        I used to think so, but not anymore.

        And I often used to buy the NYT in the stands that have international papers just to support them.

      • WiththeAmericann says:

        Not so much since they dumped the person who was supposed to keep them in touch with the little people.

        Their political coverage is biased and elitist, their journalists sneer at readers who aren’t far right lunatics, and they constantly write news for people summering on their yachts overseas.

        I used to read them daily, but I had to quit because They are part of the Trump problem, just like CNN.

      • bisynaptic says:

        The NYT is an arm of the US policy establishment.

      • kirk says:

        NYT Great Paper?
        Any US-based media that relies on London-based reporters to fashion copy regarding M-H will get a pass from me since I always check the byline. Susanne Craig reporting on donald trump finances is must-read. But Mark Landler on M-H is a never-read.

    • hangonamin says:

      agreed. really only the AP, Reuters are the most neutral in terms of reporting. and this article is “news analysis”…which carries with it a flavor of opinion. honestly, the US has just as much of a press problem as the UK. the problem is the press is held in the hands of those in power, often billionaires with a certain agenda that often run in the same circles as the British monarchy if we are being honest. similarly, this is the case here. i’m not sure what harry is trying to achieve as it seems almost impossible to change this ingrained system, but i applaud him for trying.

      • what's inside says:

        Exactly. People need to think for themselves, not be told what to think by the media. Too much power in the hands of power-mongers.

      • equality says:

        A large part of the US problem is “spillover” where wealthy Brits are the ones buying and controlling US media outlets.

    • Isabella says:

      The Brits and American reporters are part of the same press pool. They hang out together. And it shows.

  3. Flower says:

    LOL – Actually it has been quite the reverse.

    The Netflix show , followed by SPARE then the court cases have flipped A LOT of haters.

  4. Becks1 says:

    At least they’re going to Peter Hunt for some quotes.

    And this – “Between his tell-all memoir, “Spare,” and a Netflix documentary with Meghan, Harry will have little new information to disclose on the stand, Mr. Hunt predicted.”

    I think that was one of the big goals of Spare and the Netflix documentary – to get their side of the story out there, yes, but also to get SO Much out there that the tabloids have little left on Harry himself.

    Also – “the kernel of what he’s trying to do is being watered down” – that is so well put. It is being watered down. But, that’s to be expected from the tabloids.

    Harry is suing the tabloids who control the narrative in the UK, of course they’re going to water down his allegations etc.

    • Tacky says:

      These are not “allegations.” Rupert Murdoch admitted the phones were hacked. I hope Harry gets a such a huge settlement it permanently wipes the smug off Piers Morgan’s face.

      • Becks1 says:

        I mean, okay?

      • Jais says:

        Even if he wins, I’m not sure that he is getting a huge amount, which shows how much the money is not the point for him.

      • Lorelei says:

        But we are talking about this in a legal context— in a court of law, they ARE allegations, so Becks was correct to state it that way. Obviously we all believe it happened.

  5. Well what does that say about Britain? I don’t believe all the people of Britain are ruled by the tabloids but it does sound like some of the government and all of the Royal Cult are. It’s a shame that the one truly good Royal by birth is being ostracized because he wants to be treated fairly and to be able to have a job and do his very good works and marry the person he loves. But the rest of the cult….

  6. Lili says:

    that is utter tosh, so far from what i can see on Twitter the tide has changed in his favor reading comments there are 10 + to 1 – comments. Is NYT trying to change the american public’s mind. In the end this isn’t a popularity contest its a fight for justice and you dont always have everyone behind

    • Polo says:

      Yeah it’s been pretty positive so far from what I can see.
      It helps that major quote from the testimony so far has been what he said about the government and media which is completely true. The British public has seen that play out the last few years and most agree.
      They’re just glad someone with power is saying it out loud.

    • bisynaptic says:

      The NYT’s own comment section is a steaming garbage heap.

  7. Samir says:

    I don’t think this is a bad article considering a couple opinion pieces they’ve had before and especially with Peter hunts comments highlighting that it’s a brave move and how it’s being reported.
    There will always be articles like this. The court cases has affected how the British media reports on him and that in turn pours onto the people sadly. But it hasn’t stopped him so.

    I think they also did an extensive report on the charges and the case in a separate article….

  8. ThatsNotOkay says:

    What is this obsession with popularity? Harry isn’t running for anything. He isn’t vying for the throne. He isn’t in high school. He is avenging his teenaged self, his wife and family, his mother, and countless others abused by the tabloids. What’s popularity got to do with it?

    • theRobinsons says:

      Exactly 💯

    • MF says:

      Seriously. They assume he’s as obsessed with his own popularity as the RF is and the tabloids are.

      He’s not going to war with the tabloids because he’s worried about his popularity. He’s doing it because they are dangerous and he’s trying to protect his family.

      • Sweet Peas says:

        MF-He’s doing it because they are dangerous and he’s trying to protect his family.
        This: if the rf and tabloids would have just left them alone to get on with they’re lives- H&M wouldn’t have done Oprah, an documentary or Spare, they had know choice. The rf and it’s tabloid minions tried to destroy they’re reputations so know one would want to work with them. That included charities.

    • Nanny to the Rescue says:

      Because a big chunk of his income comes from his book, his documentary, the various Netflix projects etc.? Popularity definitively helps with sales numbers.

      Now why would he care about popularity in Britain specifically, is a whole other issue, they are not his main audience anymore. Nor I think he’s unpopular, Spare still sold richly in the UK. I doubt this will actually knock him down. People taking on large corporations are usually applauded. Wait and see him crawl back up on that royals popularity ladder they so like to publish.

      If anything, his popularity will grow.

      • swaz says:

        His popularity will definitely grow that is why they’re pounding in the ears of the public that he is losing popularity 😂they’re trying to make shit happen. Do people really believe that the British tabloid care and want Harry to be popular ???

  9. Amy Bee says:

    The only people who are against what Harry is doing are the press and the royalists. After all that the press and Palace have done to Harry I doubt he cares about his image in the UK . The public and press are still hungry to see him.

  10. Snuffles says:

    Ok, sigh….

    I’m sure everything Harry has done has hurt his popularity with ROYALISTS. I very much doubt it’s killed his reputation throughout the U.K. I’m willing to bet a lot of people admire his fortitude. But those aren’t the people the media are polling.

    That said, they keep hammering on about this point because for the royal family that continue to live off of the taxpayers dime, their popularity within the U.K. is literally their end all be all. The NEED mass popular support so they can keep this grift…err…I mean institution going.

    That’s why I laugh at their articles saying Harry and Meghan aren’t beloved in the US. Because they are operating under the assumption that they require mass support in order to be successful. That’s simply not true. They aren’t politicians or working royals anymore. Even if only 10% of the people in the US are buying what the Sussexes are selling, that still would make them wildly successful. The US is HUGE and incredibly diverse with endless niche markets. For example, I couldn’t give a flying fuck about country music but enough people do to make it a successful business. Not everyone loves rap music, but enough people do to make tons of rappers millionaires.

    Harry is doing what he’s wanted to do for 20 years. What he was DENIED the ability to do while he was still in the institution. And I doubt Harry is surprised at how long the process has taken.

    • Dee(2) says:

      Agreed 1000 percent. If they are popular with just 2% of the US population that’s still six million people to support them and That’s just the US, they still have support in tons of countries around the world. I think the British media is obsessed with popularity, because they only know how to relate to things being done in a royal playbook. That’s why they constantly refer to things that Harry and Meghan do as engagements, and complain about not knowing what’s going on as if they still have a court circular. They don’t know how to relate to them as private citizens and so they don’t realize that the same metrics do not apply.

      • Snuffles says:

        “they only know how to relate to things being done in a royal playbook”

        EXACTLY!! The royal landscape is all they know, but they are loathe to admit that so they keep BSing their Sussex coverage acting like they’re experts in the entertainment industry and philanthropy. How can anyone take them seriously when they can’t even read a map or google how long it takes to drive from Montecito to LA? Why does anyone take them seriously!?

      • swaz says:

        The British Media definitely knows how to relate to them as private citizens, but they don’t want to and they can’t because they need Harry and Meghan on the Royal Circular to create drama and compare Kate to Meghan. Try to imagine the Daily Fail Royal page without Harry and Meghan🙄🙄as Harry said, these pages are real estate and they need to be sold🙄

  11. UNCDancer says:

    Honestly, this feels very on brand for the New York Times. They are very much for the status quo in most things. Fortunately, Prince Harry dgaf.

  12. Noor says:

    What a superficial article from the New York Times. It is no longer the newspaper should I say.

  13. Deepfrieddallasite says:

    Ugh these people. I firmly believe if Harry and Meghan moved to the moon the rota would have a media team up there reporting negativity against them for every perceived slight against the crown.

  14. s808 says:

    Well I’m not surprised the press saying Harry holding the press to account is an issue.

  15. HeyKay says:

    I do not believe that Harry has lost anything.
    The royalists are hanging on by a thread.
    People under 60 are seeing the world change and know that the BRF is an out of date biz.

    Shine a light Harry. Keep up the good work.

    • IRONE says:

      Harry himself said that he lost a lot in this process.

    • IRONE says:

      @snuffles He literally said in his interview with Dr. Gabor Maté’s that he’s “lost a lot in this process, but also gained in seeing the kids growing up in California”

      • Snuffles says:


        And what do you assume he meant by that? We can only guess. But, from where I’m sitting, I don’t think he’s pressed about popularity polls.

      • equality says:

        He’s lost the ability to travel easily in his own country of birth. He’s lost contact with some family members. I doubt he was refering to fake YouGov polls for worrying about.

  16. Digital Unicorn says:

    I dunno about that – based on SM he has a lot of support from the public in the UK who see that the media has too much power. The recent Schofield revelations and outraged has shown people see that the media are corrupt and complicit in this type of behaviour.

    But as always these articles always appeal to a certain demographic.

  17. JMmoney says:

    The media will always side with each other. Harry is brave for doing this but even he must know while he could “win” he can also lose. Also who is going to enforce checks and balances against the media if H wins and they lose? Even if Labour wins Keir is in Murdoch’s pocket. I think Harry is more doing this lawsuit to show his kids he lives by his words.

  18. Lizzie says:

    Harry brought the lawsuit despite knowing the press would attack him relentlessly. And that is just one more reason courageous is always associated with Harry.

  19. Ace says:

    I mean, the NYT loooooves Trump so it’s usually a mistake to expect anything better from them.

  20. Chantal says:

    I don’t think what he said about Harry’s popularity is bad or wrong. As evidenced by the constant and bogus YouGov polls, popularity is everything to these people. Operating outside of that concept is alien to them and they obviously have no idea of what it means to be brave. Harry’s recent actions truly baffle them. And they have taken his departure very personally.

    I think Peter Hunt summed it up nicely: “The kernel of what he’s trying to do is being watered down…it’s almost as if the price of phone hacking was being priced in…it wasn’t priced in if you were the victim.” And that’s one of the major issues being sued over and also glossed over by the BM’s coverage-the entitlement of the tabloids to get dirt on people by any means necessary, regardless of legality. Everything else being reported is a diversion from this basic MO and philosophy ingrained in the BM and posing as “business as usual”.

  21. tenzing says:

    could be just me but lets speculate a bit; what if hazza & co actually win this fight and the standards are finally enshrined and upheld following the juris prudence that could be a result of this case and the other ones pending?
    that doesnt only mean that all this wild speculating fluff from the tabloid press but also the more serious newspapers will be held to higher standards and the gossip bonanza days (read income) are over and they actually are held to be responsible for what they have done and still want to write.
    with the internet this also will be a problem because the days of just say anything anonymously will be over sooner than later. the unlimited freedom to spout whatever
    will end i think because we as societies are going to lose out to the corrosive lies not only about celebrities but our societies democratic and scientific structures are beleaguered not only by deluded souls but weaponized by people/states who have no affinity with such values as truthfulnes and ethics and privacy standards.
    i applaud harry and all the others for taking a stand and hope for a ripple effect throughout, we all need to be freed of the malicious drivel, not only from the tabloids but all media. lets lift the standards a bit before we all drown in muck

  22. Eurydice says:

    What does “who now largely supports himself” mean? Who else do they think is supporting him?

    • Jazz Hands says:

      Exactly! I was coming here to say the say thing.

    • Snuffles says:

      Yeah, I noticed that too. I mean, Meghan has her own money which I’m sure she uses to finance their life. But, maybe they mean his inheritance from Diana.

    • equality says:

      Just another way to throw shade without saying anything of substance that is actionable.

  23. tamsin says:

    I don’t have the respect for the NYT that I once did. It has slowly become much more right wing and somewhere along the line, “balance’ overtook critical analysis.

    • Deering24 says:

      Yep. The fact that they keep on right-wing shills like Ross Douthat and David Brooks–and let Maureen Dowd and Maggie Haberman lionize Trump–tells you everything you need to know.

  24. AC says:

    For me, Between the toxic British media and US media, I’ll take the US media any day(even though it’s not perfect). I’ve also seen pro-HM articles as well as anti-HM articles on WaPost/NYT/USA Today. They play both sides still, imo. Compared to the BP, they are completely biased (except probably the Guardian which Ive seen fair articles).
    Just look at how both the US vs UK coverage on how they handled the Spotify podcast division Layoffs. The Fortune article (USA) just said it how it is , they’re cutting people to reorganize/rework the division. However the Telegraph version (UK) blamed it on HM podcast as it failed to boost up profits so they had to layoff 200 people. It’s sooo obvious how the UK media is just super biased and using nasty propaganda to literally brainwash people. Not to mention intentionally exaggerate and Lie to character assassinate HM. Imagine what else they are lying about to the British public.

    • BeanieBean says:

      Wow, that is some convoluted logic on the part of the Telegraph. Spotify is laying off people because Archetypes didn’t boost their profits enough? Good gad.

    • Surly Gale says:

      “Who largely supports himself” leapt it at me. Is the implication he’s still getting money from Britain? That’s just rude..and a lie.
      I’m visiting my mum in England right now. As I understand things in my family the thinking is the Oprah interview was a big mistake. Mum refuses to read his book though I pointed out over 40 books written about him only one by him. My mum did admit the butterfly is all about Meghan having “some colour” when I said that was disgusting she agreed. There’s a real dichotomy here.

  25. Katya says:

    LOL! Prince Harry is more popular than his Aunt Anne, Edward, Andrew and Sophie. He’s only 4 points away from William. Everyone beats out #QueenSidePiece including Meghan.

  26. Monlette says:

    In other news: the foxes say the chickens are a bunch of drama queens.

  27. AC says:

    Just watching on the other side of the world, Seems like karma is making its way to the BP in the last few weeks(ie Phillip Schofield). Who’s next…

  28. Lee says:

    I support Harry’s court case but of course his reputation in the UK has taken a massive hit, that’s not news. People are either tired of the drama or have been turned against him by the British tabloids

    • Tessa says:

      Harry and Meghan were harassed by the media for years before Oprah and spare. The same peole more or less turned against him for years Harry is doing the right thing by stepping up.

    • Nah, they’ve been turned against him at least since his and Meghan’s engagement if not before that, as I know that’s when I started to notice all of the crazy vitriol aimed at them and wonder WTF is going on here, as I wasn’t paying all that much attention to anything royal related before then.

  29. QuiteContrary says:

    LOL, the NYT correspondent isn’t moving in circles where Harry is popular — he’s moving in the same circles, I’m guessing, as the British journalists Harry is suing.

    Anyway … Harry only cares about doing the right thing. It’s why I admire him. It’s why Meghan loves him. It’s why his mum would be so proud of him.

  30. Well Wisher says:

    It is about self-interest and commonality. They are in the same business; that of news as their counterpart whom is being sued.

    I remember how difficult to find an objective read about Meghan’s lawsuit except for Al Jezerra, so I remain unmoved by this, especially their response to the high speed chase.

    I will read the raw documents, Harry’s statement and available unbiased perspectives that explained the events leading to this case.

    That will have to be enough…….

  31. AC says:

    They just released a poll showing majority of Americans believing HMs version regarding the Paparazzi chase in NYC- with almost 75% of younger Americans under 35 backing HM. What does that tell you about Americans and our own traditional media outlets . And they’re not as bad as the toxic British Press.

  32. Kelly says:

    I don’t think Harry GAF about his “image” in Britain. Which the media can’t understand because how could anybody not care about them??????? *Whine*

  33. FeelingGood says:

    The NY Times is saying that Harry’s white privilege is only meant to benefit and sustain white supremacy. It’s the thinking of all those rotten curs in British media and also Harry’s janky loutish relatives on his Daddy’s side. If he’s not going to be obedient like Willis and Katy, what’s the point?

  34. Amy T says:

    The beauty of this is that Harry is following his own North Star and everything outside of that is noise. I predict that, FWIW, history will remember him fondly. And that is irrelevant for him, but not for his grandchildren ….

  35. Nobody believes this guy who says Prince Harry’s image in Britain is damaged. How they wish! No matter how much devastation the British media did against Harry, a lot of people believe this is brainwashing and manipulation to perpetuate a malicious propaganda to destroy his image. But it’s not working. Every time Harry goes home to the UK it looks like everyone wanted to welcome him with a hug and lots of love. Didn’t we see this in his court appearances just recently? The British people sorely missed him. And this fact gets the ire of the British media and the royal family.

    By the way, there was this recent poll that resulted to Harry being the most favorite/popular royal among Americans. I think his courage and charisma have a wide global reach which no other royal living can beat. He is his mother’s son.