We were thrown for a loop in the last few days by two editorial decisions made by the New York Times. In its January 9 issue, despite all that really serious stuff going on about Iran for one thing and the impeachment of a president for another, the Times ran as its sole editorial, which took up the entire left half of the editorial page, a piece entitled “Good for Meghan and Harry.” And the sub-heading read, “The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are right to blaze their own trail.”
Then, in its January 13 issue, after spending almost three years opposing just about every and any policy that bore the imprimatur of President Donald Trump, the Times featured a story on its front page headlined “Iran’s Grim Economy Limits Its Willingness to Confront the US.” A sub-heading read, “Fearful of public anger over a plunging economy, Iran’s leader’s appear to be turning inward pulling back from escalation.”
We will admit that there is a certain allure to the continuing saga of the royal couple and it has certainly been widely reported on, but could the travails of this gilded couple really merit exclusive treatment in what many consider the preeminent opinion space in the world?
Nor does the piece itself provide a clue. Thus, the editorial invoked the theme of a “commoner marrying Prince Charming” and the nasty brouhaha triggered by their decision to quit the royal family. And it went on and on about what Queen Elizabeth thought about it and what the couple faced in the real world without royal backing.
The closest the editorial came to making a point was when it said:
[T]the real value of the royal family has never been in cutting ribbons and proving endless fodder for the tabloids; it has been in the continuing saga of fairy tale kings and queens coming to terms with the world. In this story, Prince Harry and Meghan should not be lamented as defectors from the old order, but celebrated as the heroes of the next installments, as modern royals renouncing some level of privilege to seek their fortune in the real world. May they live happily ever after.
We surely do not wish “Prince Harry and Meghan” ill, but in the final analysis, what difference does it all make in the larger scheme of things? There are really consequential things going on in the world. Their story was not one of them. Perhaps the Times just needed to distract from some emerging contradictions to its relentless anti-Trump narrative.
As for the Times’s Iran article, it would appear to confirm that Trump got it right when he chose “maximum economic pressure” as his policy of choice in dealing with Iran. Isn’t it time that the Democrats and the Times got past their obsessions that Trump is incapable of rational decision-making? The evidence to the contrary can even be found in the New York Times!