Published July 18, 2013
“The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States.”
-- Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776
Dear American Media:
It’s great that the royal couple is about to have a baby. We share in their joy – constantly – because you are covering the story nonstop.
What next? A baby countdown clock?
Amidst the hoopla, you’ve forgotten something that’s kind of important. We rebelled against the royals a couple hundred years ago.(See attachment.)You must have heard about it. It was in all the papers.
Perhaps a refresher course is in order for those of you who didn't pay attention in school or rely on that J-school degree.
The king systematically took away our rights as citizens until we fought back. Fifty-six members of the Continental Congress signed the Declaration of Independence that complained of “despotism.”
“The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States,” it reads.
The document is filled with the king’s offenses from “imposing Taxes on us without our Consent” to abolishing laws and cutting off trade. “He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people,” goes another charge. He was accused of violence “scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.”
In short, the king was not a nice guy. We fought a long war and won our freedom. A couple decades later, we fought another war with Britain where they burned Washington, D.C. Hardly the kind of thing guests do when they want to be invited back.
Despite all that, we eventually became friends and firm allies. As an avowed Anglophile, I’m happy to celebrate most things British – except the food, which even the English don’t especially celebrate.
But we need to draw the line at royalty. This is America. We spent a lot of time telling off the royals, not kissing up to them. The famed Fighting 69theven refused to march in parade when the Prince of Wales came to visit back in 1861. That’s the American way.
Somewhere some network exec is reading this and saying one word: “Ratings.” That’s why we get CBS’s Elizabeth Palmer telling us “the birth of this baby will be big news.”
In Britain, sure. In America? Snore.
NBC has enjoyed the hype, as well, calling the story “The Great Kate Wait” and “Great Expectations.”
Fox News isn't immune from the allure of the royal baby, either. "America's Newsroom" co-host Martha MacCallum has been anchoring from London this week and reporting on the baby watch, too. Meanwhile, FNC's Shepard Smith admitted Wednesday that he doesn’t give a rat’s butt” about the baby. How's that for Fair & Balanced coverage?
Let’s put that in perspective. According to Nexis, there were more mentions of Kate Middleton’s pregnancy on ABC, CBS and NBC in the last year than mentions of my Super Bowl winning Baltimore Ravens (from the city that beat the British in 1814) and the World Series winning San Francisco Giants.
Did network execs forget that 108 million people watched the Super Bowl? That’s 45 million more than the population of the United Kingdom. Surely, they remember that “we love baseball, hot dogs, apple pie and Chevrolet?”
Even “The Daily Show” chimed in, with temp host John Oliver saying, “Kate Middleton about to give birth to the greatest baby in the history of civilization.”
That’s OK, it was a joke and he’s British, so he’s exempt. Sadly, that humorous hype wasn’t much different from the news coverage.
Those news execs would argue that American women, we are told, are raised from birth to want to be princesses. They get bombarded by images of Disney princesses and allegedly every woman wants to be just like them.
A quick look at what happened to many of the Disney actresses should end that argument. Think Britney Spears, Miley Cyrus and Lindsay Lohan. ‘Nuff said.
Even “Princess Diaries” star Anne Hathaway has had her wardrobe malfunction and sex scenes. Given the way Hollywood is, some of the animated princesses probably went on to do drugs and porn.
Besides, who needs foreign princesses when we have our own right here? Sure, Kate is smart, cute, pretty and classy, but ours are home-grown. We’ve got Hollywood royalty – the Kardashians, Beyonce, and more. They even name their kids truly ridiculous names like North West and Blue Ivy. How’s that for news value?
If none of that sways you, then think of the Founding Fathers. They were the men who took the risks and said “we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.” They wouldn’t find such adoration of royalty to be revolutionary. They’d probably call it revolting.