Army man Prince Harry has left Afghanistan following Matt Drudge's release of his whereabouts. The British military has decided it was too risky for the spare Prince to stay there with his location known. Predictably, the British blame the American media for our general boorishness.

The British kept the story quiet for ten weeks. The blackout was limited to his military duties, and the press agreed to the keep the story quiet as long as they could continue to write about his other hobbies, like dressing up as a Nazi at costume parties.

American louts, however, are unsatisfied with just drunk pictures of Prince Harry. Chief of the general staff of the army was "very disappointed" with Matt Drudge. "This is in stark contrast to the highly responsible attitude that the whole of the U.K. print and broadcast media." The British are so uptight.

First off, the British press were given special access to the prince in return for the silence. But they probably would have remained silent anyway. The Guardian explains their decision to maintain the blackout with a pat on their back: "It was an extraordinary and rare display of unity for national and regional newspaper and magazine editors and broadcasters not to report the story." An extraordinary display of acting like pussies you mean.

When American media outlets are guilty of this sort of behavior, it's generally either isolated cases of one paper caving to pressure—like the New York Times holding their warrant-less wiretapping expose until after the 2004 elections—or about matters of less newsworthiness. The entire U.S. media did conspire to leave Chelsea Clinton alone during her stint as first daughter, but they certainly would've reported if she'd enlisted and gone to Iraq.

British tabloids are usually much more ruthless than American ones. But ultimately the British really do care about the royals. There's no ironic distance there. And between an asshole in fedora and believing in the Divine Rights of Kings, Matt Drudge wins any day.

"Harry Withdrawn From Afghanistan" [NYT]
"Why We Agreed To A Media Blackout On Harry" [Guardian]