By Marty Russell
In the wake of all the hacking scandals recently in the British press, there has been a lot of discussion of implementing some form of regulation of the media in the UK. Now normally most journalists, including myself, would rise up in righteous indignation over even the suggestion of some form of government control over the press. But I’m inclined to look the other way in certain cases, most notably when it comes to coverage of the Royal Family.
Now, unless you’ve been on Mars trying to figure out what NASA promised would be a history-making find by its latest rover, you’ve heard the news by now that Catherine Middleton, better known simply as Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, is preggers. Stop the bloody presses! No, really. Stop, please.
Do you think that if NASA had announced this week that the rover Curiosity had found a living Martian who had an unlimited supply of Twinkies and the winning Powerball ticket that would have bumped Kate’s bump off the front pages? I doubt it.
So now we’re to be subjected to nine months of royal baby coverage starting with Kate’s trip to the hospital to be treated for morning sickness. They even gave it a fancy scientific-sounding name – hyperemesis gravidarium. C’mon, it’s just plain old morning sickness. A friend of mine who is also pregnant had it too, so badly that she trusted me to sit with her 8-year-old twins while she went to the hospital to get re-hydrated. Where was the press then (not that someone had morning sickness but that someone would trust me to watch their kids)?
Now that Kate’s secret is out of the bag we can expect the same overkill by the press that we saw for the royal wedding. Expect every detail of her pregnancy to be reported from whose maternity clothes she is wearing to whether she craves pickles or Pop Tarts. I suppose for some people that beats reading about how this country is poised to do a Thelma and Louise off the fiscal cliff but, in the bigger scheme of things, is it really news? Most of us will be long dead before the kid ever ascends to the throne.
Already the speculation over the baby’s name has begun. Odds-makers are betting on Elizabeth if it’s a girl, Charles if it’s a boy. Apparently the British royal family doesn’t have much in the way of imagination. They should look to their American cousins for ideas, like the recent report of the first baby born in this country to be named Hashtag. Might I suggest Bea if it’s a girl and Kong if it’s a boy? Then when they ascend to the throne, as they eventually will, they’ll either be Queen Bea or King Kong. Hey, who says you have to be stuffy to be the ruler?
So we might as well brace ourselves. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I feel some hypermesis gravidarium coming on.
Marty Russell writes a Wednesday column for the Daily Journal. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.