by Shaker Sunburned Counsel
Prince Harry has spent the last 10 weeks serving in Helmand Province in Afghanistan, and the media was asked to maintain a blackout to protect both the prince and the other soldiers serving around him. Yet his deployment appeared Wednesday on the Drudge Report, and the international media subsequently reported it. It appears the info first appeared in the Australian women's magazine New Idea in January, but somehow broke onto the international stage with Drudge.
The BBC coverage is here and AP is here.
Drudge put many, many people in danger for no particular reason. No wrong was righted. No eternal truth was found. It feels like he violated some sort of pirates' code, and it is hard to see that he did it for anything other then his own increased internet hits.
I think there is something to this story about the way blogging as a medium can really change the media landscape, since the whole traditional media agreed to the black-out. Even the frickin' British tabloids. But one post from Drudge, and Prince Harry has to come back to Britain.
I normally see alternative media as a very powerfully positive force, but the egalitarianism here seems sad and hubristic, on a dangerous scale. Is it just that I have a soft spot for the Princes? That I think someone safely in front of their computer should maybe not endanger those who are in war zones? That I kind of just don't like Drudge? That I'm hypocritical and only support freedom of the press when it's critiquing the people I do not like? Is there a power differential at play here? Military and former military Shakers, any thoughts? Or is my initial response sufficient?—Drudge: poor form.