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the lies don’t fly in NYC

Two unwelcome imports arrived in New York this week. You may have heard about Harry and Meghan’s big night in the city.

Accounts of their time here differ. 

According to the couple themselves they suffered the ordeal of a two-hour, “near-catastrophic” car-chase with paparazzi tailing them all the way. 

According to other sources (including the NYPD and the driver of the taxi the couple changed into to look humbler) the truth was rather different.

The fact is we didn´t need the authorities to tell us that.  

Every New Yorker knows that any kind of car-chase — let alone a two-hour one — is literally impossible in this city. 

You can sit in traffic for two hours, sure. But actually racing through the city? 

Sorry, but no. Every New Yorker can call that out as BS.

And now we have the footage to prove it. 

Video of the exchange shows that the Sussexes were accompanied by the NYPD and that they moved at no speed at all. 

The Sussexes have been condemned for the exaggeration of their recounting, Douglas Murray writes.
Getty Images Ms. Foundation for Women

In fact they were moving so slowly that their driver got out of the car at one point. 

So why lie?

It is understandable if Harry fears the paparazzi, and car chases in particular.  

But he doesn’t need to invent such things to get sympathy from people over the death of his mother.

But in Harry and Meghan land nothing can be done without drama, exaggeration and lies. 

They are the most privacy-seeking publicity-seekers that even this city has seen.

Yet they chose the wrong place to do it in. One of the greatest things about New York and its inhabitants is that the city is so unimpressible. A prince and a duchess might arrive in the city expecting everyone to stop and gawp, but the city just wants to go about its business. I was passing a hotel in midtown the other week when a small group of people were hanging outside the doorway.  “Who’re they waiting for?” I asked one onlooker.  “Keanu Reeves, apparently” a guy said, shrugged and walked on too.

Naturally it is different in LA. There the town grinds to a stop when a full-wattage mega-star arrives at their favorite restaurant. Paparazzi surround the publicity-hungry celebs. And celebrity-themed buses tour fans around, showing the hedges and gates that surround the famous peoples´ houses.

But in New York that stuff doesn’t fly. Nobody has time for it. We’re too busy. And always in a hurry. When a road gets blocked because some foreign president is in town we don’t think “Wow — I’ll hang out here for a bit and see if I can get a glimpse.” We make a noise, sometimes an expletive, and move on.

So this was the wrong city for Meghan and Harry to set their big scene. Because most likely it was all staged for the next installment of their Netflix series. Meghan seems to be continuing her audition to be acclaimed as the most hard-done-by person on the planet. Whether it is not going to a coronation or not having enough houses, there is no sorrow that is like Meghan’s sorrow.

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry
The Royal Family has not commented on the car chase drama.

Harry, on the other hand, is a man on a campaign. And his campaign is against the press. As readers of his memoir will know, Harry has an almost obsessive hatred of the free press. A serial litigant, he is due to appear in court before the summer to testify in the latest in a string of cases he has brought against a newspaper. But at some point perhaps someone should tell the poor lad the truth.

Not least the fact that his mother was not simply a victim of the media. His mother courted the media. Diana was forever calling journalists, planting stories, alerting them to where she would be and when she might leave. She was a master at manipulating the media and public. It was a talent that Harry did not inherit.

Instead he just has this fuming resentment, blaming everything in his life — including the break-up with his previous girlfriend — on the media. So in his mind the media must pay.

Yet one of the problems of blaming all your problems on someone or something else is that you end up robbing yourself of agency. If there are things in Harry’s life that haven’t gone well he should look to his own behavior.

His fallout with his family is not the fault of the press. His wife’s fallout with her own family and her in-laws is not the fault of the media. It is the fault of the couple themselves, who constantly try to plant stories, make outrageous claims and claim attention, only then to turn around and pretend to be outraged that anyone is paying attention to them.

Well sorry, but the trick doesn’t work anymore. The Sussex show has run out of gas and stalled, somewhere on the Upper East Side.

Ridiculous ‘right to rest’

Talking of imports from California, can I make a plea for something we shouldn’t import?  As homelessness continues to rise in New York, and illegal migrants continue to come up from the southern border, can we please not become California?  On one recent visit there I asked a friend in LA about the tents that spread all over the city — like in San Francisco.

 That was when I was first introduced to the phrase “Right to rest.”

This is what Dems in California now call homelessness — specifically the “right” to pitch a tent anywhere you like and just live there. The “right to rest” includes a right to privacy. As though it is outrageous if someone who plonks a tent in the middle of the sidewalk should have their privacy disturbed.

Migrants at the vacant Hungerforsd School arrived by a NYC Transit bus on May 17, 2023.
New York has seen a surge of migrants from across the border.

This is all the rage in California. And as Governor Hochul asks for federal aid and our city’s shelter facilities continue to sag under the weight of the sheer numbers coming here, let me make a prediction.  

Our politicians will start to adopt the West coast’s new term for being homeless.  After all, when you can’t solve a problem the next best thing is to rename it.

This story originally appeared on NYPost

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