Poynter's Steele Scolds Media Silence, Belittles Prince Harry's Value to Military
Poynter Institute's Scholar for Journalistic Values Bob Steele must not plan on bending an elbow at a British pub anytime soon. Not only did Steele scold the journalists who agreed to keep Prince Harry's Afghanistan deployment secret, he condescendingly dismissed Harry's honorable service to his country (emphasis mine):
But even if one accepts that news reports might heighten a danger, there are other logical challenges to this secrecy about Harry the soldier. To the best of my knowledge, there was no compelling reason for Prince Harry to go to Afghanistan as an army officer. There was nothing essential that he, personally, brought to the battlefield. He had no specific duty or skill that was irreplaceable. Praise him, if you will, for his spirit or his patriotism. But it's certainly not justification for the risks taken or the journalistic principles sacrificed.
Steele went on to call the gentleman's agreement a "conspiratorial cabal" that "delivered a serious hit to the principle of journalistic independence." Of course, it's hard to fathom how great "risks" were taken or "journalistic principles sacrificed" if Harry is just another expendable bloke, to borrow from Chris Cuomo.
(h/t Press Here)
Photo via Steele's profile page at Poynter.org.