Posted by antonvowl
June 9th, 2009
Look at this. Just look at it. Look!
It’s from today’s Mail, and online it looks like this
Reading that caption, it’s a funny old definition of ’squeezed in alongside’, isn’t it. What kind of strange vehicles are Prince Harry’s friends driving nowadays? For that photo to be accurate, it would need to be virtually at a right-angle. And then there’s the amazing transparent headrest which disappears at the first sight of a minor celebrity TV presenter. Can you get those as options when you buy a new car nowadays?
Apart from all that, how on earth can the two of them possibly hope to hold down a relationship when his head is frighteningly about three times the size of hers? Aargh! Imagine his giant three-times-the-size-of-yours face looming down on you while you tried to squirm away from him in his mate’s L-shaped car! That wouldn’t be fun, would it? Can you imagine? Eek.
Now I don’t claim to be Captain Photoshop but I’m guessing there were originally two photographs. And rather than simply showing you those two photos to show the TV person and Harry’s mate in the car, and then a separate picture of Harry to show that he was in the car as well, the Mail or its friends at the photo agency decided it would be much better if they just cack-handedly smeared it all together, hoping that people were too thick to notice.
There’s another odd thing about this, which is the bizarro headline:
Who’s that hiding in the back of the car Harry? Could it be new ‘friend’, Miss Caroline Flack?
Come again? She doesn’t exactly look like she’s hiding, does she? And is it her or not? If it is, why the coyness? And the snotty inverted commas around friend? And where the jiminy does ‘Miss Caroline Flack’ come from – is that something out of one of her TV programmes? If not, it appears to be homage to Fall Out Boy lyrics, which is pretty leftfield even for the Mail. If you know where it does come from, then let us know in the comments. I must admit to having a bit of a blind spot where some minor celebrities are concerned, even if they are mates with royalty.
It’s all wrapped up with this drivel:
Clarence House declined to comment, as did Miss Flack’s spokesman. Sources revealed, however, that the pair are close friends. ’It isn’t surprising to see them together as they have a lot of mutual friends and are out on the same social scene when Harry is in London,’ said one. Another added: ‘Harry thinks she is cute and the feeling is mutual.’
Thank goodness for sources like those. I’m sure they’re not made up at all!
UPDATE (27 Jul)
Clearly we were not the only ones to notice the wonderous headrest. One Mr Oliver Bonner of Cambridge complained to the PCC, who said:
The complaint was resolved when the newspaper – which believed that readers would have recognised that the photograph was a composite of the two images – separated the two photographs on the online version of the piece to make the distinction clearer, as it had done in the print version of the article.
(You can read the details of the case here)
So the online version now looks like this:
Now, relying on readers to notice the obvious doesn’t always work with regards to the Mail… epecially when separating the images is all that has been done to the article. If we return to the article, you will note that none of the wording has changed. The Mail makes no mention in its response to the PCC case of the suggestion that they were not in the same car. This is reflected in the article, where the caption to what is now two pictures still says:
Quick exit: Miss Flack, is spotted in the back seat, left, while Prince Harry squeezed in alongside he, right
Lets also note this quote from the article:
“The prince and Mr Dyer walked out together and got into a car driven by a Scotland Yard bodyguard, while Miss Flack tactfully lagged behind. But just as the car was about to drive off, she hopped into the back seat.”
The first photo would certainly suggest that, as we have Harry next to Dyer, on his left. Later, they allege they get a photo of Flack in the same car… and this picture would show Dyer on her right.
If we’re to believe the Mail’s account, it would appear that these pictures were not only taken at different times, but also presented to edit out Dyer (who they also claim was a fleeting chaperone at best). Is it really the Mail’s contention that they took two photos including My Dyer and then edited him out of the scene? Did they feel justified in doing this because of their unnamed witness claiming that Dyer later exited the car? Perhaps it was mere accident; an unfortunate side-effect of the ‘composite’ process?
There are also several other minor points to pique the interest. For example, if Harry and Flack were “cosied up in the back” as the Mail suggests, why is it that neither of them are looking at each other in the pictures? Flack is staring straight ahead and Harry is looking out of the window. Of course, one could argue that they were looking out for the paparazzi on leaving the club; but that didn’t seem to be a concern by the time they reached Clarence House.
The Mail appear to have satisfied the PCC, but there are still many questions about whether Harry and Caroline Flack were really in the same car. There are even serious questions that remain if they were. Separating the pictures doesn’t seem to have cleared up very much.