British Broadcasting Company (BBC) and journalist Martin Bashir are officially under fire for lying to Princess Diana in order to secure the controversial and groundbreaking “Panorama Interview,” which resulted in the Queen ordering the Prince and Princess of Wales to divorce. They have officially apologized.
Would Princess Diana still be alive if not for the BBC and Bashir?
That’s what Prince William, and probably Harry, and the Spencer’s are asking after an investigation into the circumstances surrounding Princess Diana’s “Panorama Interview” on the BBC.
At the time it was completely shocking, and gave the public an unparalleled insight into the troubles of the royal family, much like Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s interview almost three decades later. (However, Princess Diana’s comments were mostly based on truth, while her sons’s and his wife’s were mostly self-serving lies.)
It’s now been revealed that Bashir secured the interview by telling the Princess a series of lies, which led to her refusing her Scotland Yard detail. Diana would still be alive today if she had her Royal Protection Officers (RPO).
Some of the lies include that her mail was being opened, her car bugged and that her PRO were reporting on her. In particular, Bashir told her the MI6 agents were being briefed by Prince Charles’ private secretary.
They also showed her falsified bank documents showing that her friends were selling information to the press.
There were also implications that the Spencer family would be ruined and Prince Charles wanted Princess Diana’s sister-in-law Victoria, wife of the Earl of Spencer dead.
In addition, Bashir alleged that the Queen “are for comfort.”
All of these falsehoods are not just a stunning revelation, but demonstrates a shocking lack of journalistic integrity with potential deadly results.
“Panorama” was the catalyst of Diana’s departure from the royal family, and set her on the road to a car tunnel in Paris. The BBC and Bashir have a lot to answer for, and they’ve taken a step towards addressing the issue.
The BBC, at least, has issued an official apology to Princes William and Harry. But Prince William is supposedly still quite angry and uninterested in dealing with the U.K.’s premier news outlet.
In his stated response, “It is my firm view that the ‘Panorama’ program holds no legitimacy and should never be aired again. It effectively established a false narrative which, for over a quarter of a century, has been commercialized by the BBC and others. This settle narrative now needs to be addressed by the BBC and anyone else who has written or intends to write about these events.
“In an era of fake news, public service broadcasting and a free press has never been more important. These failings, identified by investigative journalists, not only let my mother down, and my family down, they let the public down too.”
“Our mother lost her life because of this,” Prince Harry said. “And nothing has changed.
“By protecting her legacy, we protect everyone and uphold the dignity with which she lived her life. Let’s remember who she was and what she stood for.”
In a couple years, it will be interesting to see if Prince Harry feels the same about the Oprah Winfrey interview.
Journalistic integrity when it comes to interviews is important, and hopefully the BBC learns its lessons.
Picture from Digg.