As a deep believer in 1776, the subject of the ups and downs of British royalty leaves me neutral.
They are hard to avoid in the media, but that has always been true. It comes with the territory. In the current day, I must say I have nothing but admiration for the 94-year-old Queen Elizabeth. I was literally a year old when she became Queen. She is the very embodiment of duty to country.
In the current Prince Harry/Meghan Markle dustup, however, something other than royal devotion to duty has surfaced amid Meghan and Harry’s charges of racism in the royal family.
In a much publicized moment, long-time British journalist and fierce royalist Piers Morgan, in a heated on-air moment with a colleague on the set of Good Morning Britain, jumped up and walked out. His co-host was defending Markle, while Morgan was severely critical of her. There was resistance to Morgan’s right to speak his mind. In the middle of the controversy with Harry, Meghan, and the royals over the Oprah interview, lots of Brits were furious at Morgan for his sharp criticism of Markle.
As reported in the New York Times, this was the story:
Mr. Morgan’s vociferous criticism of Meghan and her husband, Prince Harry, who Mr. Morgan said had orchestrated a “two-hour trash-a-thon of our royal family” in their interview, drew more than 41,000 complaints to Ofcom, Britain’s communications regulatory authority. The agency announced on Tuesday that it had opened an investigation into Mr. Morgan’s comments under its “harm and offence” rules.
Stop right there.
I have no inclination to get in the middle of a Brits-versus-Brits argument over the young, expatriate Harry and Meghan and the rest of Harry’s family. As I say, there was that 1776 moment.
But let it not be forgot that that 1776 moment was about Americans standing up for freedom — free speech specifically included. So staunch was the American support for free speech that it resulted in, of course, the First Amendment to the new American Constitution.
Morgan gets free speech to his core. In the aftermath of his departure from ITV, he tweeted out this:
On Monday, I said I didn’t believe Meghan Markle in her Oprah interview. I’ve had time to reflect on this opinion, and I still don’t. If you did, OK. Freedom of speech is a hill I’m happy to die on. Thanks for all the love, and hate. I’m off to spend more time with my opinions. pic.twitter.com/bv6zpz4Roe
— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) March 10, 2021
Whatever else this squabble has become, Piers Morgan’s standing up for free speech is important — very important. And not just in Britain, but in America as well.
Americans don’t have to look across the pond to see the problem right here in the good ole USA.
The other day Bari Weiss, the voluntarily departed New York Times writer who could no longer abide the cancel culture smothering the paper, had a lengthy piece in City Journal. The title:
The Miseducation of America’s Elites
Affluent parents, terrified of running afoul of the new orthodoxy in their children’s private schools, organize in secret.
The subject: the woke supremacy (to borrow from South Carolina GOP Sen. Tim Scott) that has made schools for the kids of monied elites into schools mandating fascist-style repressions of free speech. Here’s an excerpt from Weiss:
The dissidents use pseudonyms and turn off their videos when they meet for clandestine Zoom calls. They are usually coordinating soccer practices and carpools, but now they come together to strategize. They say that they could face profound repercussions if anyone knew they were talking.
But the situation of late has become too egregious for emails or complaining on conference calls. So one recent weekend, on a leafy street in West Los Angeles, they gathered in person and invited me to join.
In a backyard behind a four-bedroom home, ten people sat in a circle of plastic Adirondack chairs, eating bags of Skinny Pop. These are the rebels: well-off Los Angeles parents who send their children to Harvard-Westlake, the most prestigious private school in the city.
By normal American standards, they are quite wealthy. By the standards of Harvard-Westlake, they are average. These are two-career couples who credit their own success not to family connections or inherited wealth but to their own education. So it strikes them as something more than ironic that a school that costs more than $40,000 a year—a school with Charlie Munger, Warren Buffett’s right hand, and Sarah Murdoch, wife of Lachlan and Rupert’s daughter-in-law, on its board—is teaching students that capitalism is evil.
For most parents, the demonization of capitalism is the least of it. They say that their children tell them they’re afraid to speak up in class. Most of all, they worry that the school’s new plan to become an “anti-racist institution”—unveiled this July, in a 20-page document—is making their kids fixate on race and attach importance to it in ways that strike them as grotesque.
Got that? Wealthy parents, elites one and all, say they are terrified that “they could face profound repercussions if anyone knew they were talking.” Talking about how they object to all the woke leftism that has invaded and taken control of their kids’ posh private schools.
Add in to this the cancellation of Dr. Seuss books, Big Tech’s shutdown of James O’Keefe’s Project Veritas, and Google pulling the pro-life LifeSite News. Add in the ongoing attempts to silence Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity, and Laura Ingraham, not to mention remove Fox News, Newsmax, and One America News off of cable completely — and oh so much more — and what one has is a serious war on free speech.
Tucker Carlson said this on a recent show:
In the last several weeks, and particularly in the last 24 hours, the call to take this show off the air by groups funded — for real — by the Ford Foundation, or by George Soros, by Michael Bloomberg, by Jeff Bezos, has become deafening, going after our advertisers, going after the companies that carry our signal into your home.
Tucker also noted this:
The moment they took power, Democrats began a kind of Counter-Reformation against the free Internet. They started the most sweeping mass censorship campaign in the history of this country.
To sum up: The real subject over there in Britain, as it is here, is not Prince Harry, Meghan Markle, or the royal family.
The real subject, precisely as Piers Morgan has identified, is free speech. And in his case, it’s a flat-out attempt to silence him — an attempt that, news stories now report, the American Ms. Markle joined in by filing a formal on Morgan with ITV bosses. It is beyond shameful that a one-time American actress whose very career was dependent on free speech would move to silence the free speech of Morgan or anyone else.
It is crystal clear that hell will freeze over before anyone silences Morgan.
So three cheers for Piers Morgan and his willingness to stand up for free speech.