Prince Harry has sparked outrage after describing the First Amendment as ‘bonkers’.
Harry appeared on Dax Shepard’s podcast on Thursday, where he appeared to criticize one of America’s founding principles; the freedom of speech.
The backlash was swift, with many quick to point out that Harry is a guest in his newly adopted country – and is free to return to the UK if he doesn’t like it in the US.
‘Don’t let the door knob hit you, Windsor,’ conservative TV host Laura Ingraham tweeted Sunday.
Republican Texas congressman and former Navy SEAL joked Dan Crenshaw: ‘Well I just doubled the size of my Independence Day party.’
‘For Prince Harry to condemn the USA’s First Amendment shows he has lost the plot. Soon he will not be wanted on either side of the pond,’ wrote former politician and leader of the UK Independence Party, Nigel Farage.
Harry appeared to be confused by the First Amendment which provides for freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, the right to assemble, and the right to petition the government.
‘I’ve got so much I want to say about the First Amendment as I sort of understand it, but it is bonkers,’ he said during the podcast last week.
‘I don’t want to start going down the First Amendment route because that’s a huge subject and one which I don’t understand because I’ve only been here a short time, but you can find a loophole in anything.
‘You can capitalize or exploit what’s not said rather than uphold what is said.’
Prince Harry is pictured with Dax Shepard (left) and his co-host Monica Padman (center)
‘This is why July 4th is referred to as Losers Day in your homeland,’ added Managing Editor of the Washington Examiner, Jay Caruso.
‘Prince Harry is attacking America’s First Amendment Tells you everything you need to know,’ tweeted Veteran Navy Intel officer Jack Posobiec.
‘Prince Harry having strong opinions on the First Amendment without understanding it or informing himself about it shows how well he is assimilating here,’ wrote Twitter user Popehat.
‘He’s such a tiresome flog. Shut up, Harry,’ demanded Australian newspaper columnist Rita Panahi.
‘Hey, go home! We fought a war to get rid of Royals on our soil No need to understand anything we do. Bye!!’ said Twitter user Diane.
There was no shortage of people on Twitter who were ready to take Harry to task
‘His family is one of the world’s largest welfare recipients (sovereign grants) of all time with no real jobs and set no policy which he benefited from for years. That is bonkers,’ said another Twitter user.
‘Well, here in America he has the right to say stupid things,’ wrote Larry Keane.
‘It is quite literally the best thing any country has and this guy says it’s bonkers. Holy s***.’ said another.
‘I’ll fly to his house right f***ing now just to dump a box of Tetley in his pool if he keeps running his mouth like this’, joked one user with a sense of humor.
Prince Harry’s comments come two months after he was named to a left-leaning panel to ‘combat misinformation’ in the media.
The 36-year-old appeared on Dax Shepard’s Armchair Expert, to discuss mental health, his family, life in Los Angeles and his future projects.
America’s founding principle: The First Amendment
‘Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.’
United States Bill of Rights, December 15, 1791
The First Amendment protects several basic freedoms in the United States including freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, the right to assemble, and the right to petition the government.
It was part of the Bill of Rights that was added to the Constitution on December 15, 1791.
Freedom of Religion
Freedom of religion is the first freedom mentioned in the Bill of Rights. Many of the first people who came to America make the journey in order to have religious freedom and they did not want the new government to take this freedom away. The First Amendment allows people to believe and practice whatever religion they want. They can also choose not to follow any religion.
Freedom of Speech
The Founding Fathers did not want the new government to keep people from speaking up about issues and concerns they had with the government. This particular freedom prevents the government from punishing people for expressing their opinions. But it does not protect them from repercussions that may result from voicing their opinions.
Freedom of the Press
This freedom allows people to publish their opinions and information without the government stopping them. It covers all media including newspapers, radio, television and online. The freedom does not cover defamatory statements or plagiarism.
Right to Assemble
People have the right to gather in groups as long as they are peaceful. The government has to allow people to gather on public property. It allows for people to hold protests and rallies against the government calling for change. The government may sometimes become involved for the safety of citizens. Permits may also be required if a large protest is to be held.
Right to Petition the Government
The Founding Fathers wanted a way for people to officially bring issues to the government. The right allows individuals or special interest groups to lobby the government and to sue the government if they feel they have been wronged.
Prince Harry speaks at the Global Citizen: VAX Live concert on May 8, 2021
Prince Harry has announced another new job in March – joining Aspen Institute’s new Commission on Information Disorder
The Aspen Institute is one of America’s best known, and best funded think tanks, drawing cash from rich donors and big businesses, including Facebook. The organization’s HQ is a few blocks from the White House
He expressed shock at how much attention he received while living at film producer Tyler Perry’s mansion in Beverly Hills, and complained of the media ‘feeding frenzy’.
Harry was appointed to sit on The Aspen Institute panel which is funded by a grant from Craigslist founder Craig Newmark.
Craigslist has been accused of wiping out huge chunks of American newspapers’ revenue by taking away their classified advertising.
Also on the panel, dubbed the Commission on Information Disorder, are 14 others including Kathryn Murdoch, the wife of Rupert Murdoch’s son James, who resigned from his father’s media empire last year.
Meanwhile, his appointment to the six-month commission that could have the federal government ‘promote fact-based information to counter the most dangerous disinformation campaigns,’ according to its founding statement, could heighten concerns about ongoing censorship by ‘Big Tech’ of voices that aren’t in the mainstream.
The appointment to the commission also came after he and his wife Meghan were accused of spreading misinformation about the Royal Family and why they quit in their bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey in March.
In March Harry was given a role at international nonprofit the Aspen Institute, where he serves on Commission on Information Disorder, working on a six-month study on how ‘inaccurate’ information spreads across the country.
Who is on the Aspen panel with Prince Harry
The Commission on Information Disorder at the Aspen Institute in Washington is being led by three co-chairs:
Katie Couric: Journalist and author who was the first woman to anchor a network evening news show by herself. She worked for NBC, CBS and ABC, and co-founded Stand Up To Cancer.
Chris Krebs: Former chief of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency who was fired last November soon after saying the US election, contrary to Donald Trump’s claims, was ‘the most secure’ in US history.
Rashad Robinson: Racial justice leader who is the president of Color Of Change, an organisation credited with getting tech platforms to implement anti-racist initiatives.
There are also 14 commissioners involved in the project in addition to Prince Harry as follows:
Marla Blow: Chief operating officer of the Skoll Foundation which invests in social entrepreneurs. She previously worked on the Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth’s efforts for an inclusive economy.
Aaron Ford: Nevada Attorney General who has served in state and local government for nearly a decade. His recent work includes promoting the state’s 2020 election integrity and the safety of Covid-19 vaccinations.
Sue Gordon: A US national security leader and CIA officer of 30 years specialising in science and technology, who was a key advisor to Donald Trump and the National Security Council.
Yasmin Green: Director of research and development for Jigsaw, a unit within Alphabet Inc, formerly known as Google Ideas, who works in countering online radicalisation.
Will Hurd: Recently stepped down after six years as a congressman, where he focused on cybersecurity and emerging technologies. A former CIA clandestine operations officer.
Jameel Jaffer: An expert in free speech, privacy, and security who is executive director of the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University and used to work for the American Civil Liberties Union.
Garry Kasparov: Russian-born former world chess champion who now lives in New York and is founder of the Renew Democracy Initiative and chairman of the Human Rights Foundation.
Herb Lin: Information warfare expert who is senior research scholar for cyber policy and security at the Center for International Security and Cooperation at Stanford.
Kathryn Murdoch: Climate activist, co-founder of the Quadrivium grant-making foundation and daughter-in-law of Rupert Murdoch through her marriage to his son James Murdoch.
Safiya Umoja Noble: Researcher on the design of digital media platforms and their impact on society, who is co-founder of the UCLA Center for Critical Internet Inquiry.
Deb Roy: Expert in applied machine learning, who is founding director of the MIT Center for Constructive Communication and was formerly chief media scientist for Twitter.
Alex Stamos: A tech security pioneer who is former chief security officer at Facebook, where he helped lead its response to Russia’s attack on the 2016 US election, and at Yahoo.
Kate Starbird: Researcher who looks at how tech and society interact and is associate professor in the Department of Human Centered Design and Engineering at the University of Washington.
Amanda Zamora: News executive who used to work for the Texas Tribune, ProPublica, and the Washington Post. She is now co-founder and publisher of non-profit news group The 19th.
The Aspen Institute is one of America’s best known, and best funded think tanks, drawing cash for research from rich donors and big businesses, including Facebook.
The organization, whose HQ is a few blocks from the White House, looks at all areas of US life and says its mission is to build a ‘free, just, and equitable society’.
But last year it was shamed after it was revealed its bosses accepted more than $8million in federal small-business funds during the pandemic – despite having a board of billionaire trustees and a $115million endowment.
After a period of ‘reflection’, they handed the cash back.
Harry, who blames the press for emigrating to Los Angeles with his wife Meghan and son Archie last year, said in a statement today: ‘As I’ve said, the experience of today’s digital world has us inundated with an avalanche of misinformation, affecting our ability as individuals as well as societies to think clearly and truly understand the world we live in.
‘It’s my belief that this is a humanitarian issue and as such, it demands a multi-stakeholder response from advocacy voices, members of the media, academic researchers, and both government and civil society leaders. I’m eager to join this new Aspen commission and look forward to working on a solution-oriented approach to the information disorder crisis.’
The Sussexes, who have signed deals worth more than $100million with Netflix and Spotify, were accused of making various questionable statements during the Oprah interview, including claims about a secret wedding carried out by the Archbishop of Canterbury three days before the official one at a chapel in the grounds of Windsor Castle.
But their wedding certificate later proved this was a false statement.
Claims about Archie being denied the title of prince and 24/7 security were also inaccurate.
Viacom CBS, who made the Oprah interview, were also accused of mangling and editing UK newspaper headlines to support its disputed claims about racist press coverage.
ITV in the UK edited their version of the show because of accuracy concerns.
Harry’s new role as a ‘philanthropic leader’ is part-time, and will involve regular meetings.
Joining him on the panel will be former Texas congressman Will Hurd, Sue Gordon, the former principal deputy director of national intelligence in the US, and Kathryn Murdoch, the ‘radical centrist’ daughter-in-law of billionaire media mogul Rupert.
The commission is being funded by billionaire entrepreneur Craig Newmark, who founded the Craigslist, a classified adverts website branded a ‘cesspool’ after it emerged hundreds of crimes were facilitated as a result of contact via the site, including women exploited in a growing ‘sex for rent’ scandal during the coronavirus pandemic.
Meanwhile, on the Dax Shepard podcast this week, Harry said that he and Meghan, who are expecting their second child, moved to the millionaires’ enclave of Montecito in California to break the cycle of ‘genetic pain’.
He raised eyebrows back in Britain with a condemnation of his father Prince Charles’ parenting. Some called for the pair to lose their titles as a result.
‘He’s treated me the way that he was treated,’ he said of his father.
‘There’s a lot of genetic pain and suffering that gets passed on anyway. Isn’t life about breaking the cycle? There’s no blame.
‘But certainly when it comes to parenting, if I have experienced some kind of pain or suffering because of the pain or suffering that, perhaps, my father or my parents had suffered, I’m going to make sure I break that cycle so I don’t pass it on.’
Referring to his father’s ‘unhappy’ time at Gordonstoun school in Scotland – which Charles described as ‘Colditz in kilts’ – Harry added: ‘Suddenly I started to piece it all together and go, OK, so this is where he went to school.
‘This is what happened. I know this bit about his life. I also know that’s connected to his parents. So that means that he’s treated me the way that he was treated, which means how can I change that for my own kids?’
He compared life in The Firm to ‘a mixture between The Truman Show and being in a zoo’ – a reference to the 1998 Jim Carrey film about a man who is oblivious to the fact that his entire life is a TV show.
‘I’ve seen behind the curtain,’ he added.
‘I’ve seen the business model. I know how this operation runs… I don’t want to be part of this.’
As for the Aspen panel, in February, Tucker Carlson said a ‘farcical’ study that claimed there is no real censorship of American conservatives on social media could not be taken seriously because it had no ‘reliable evidence to support it’ and came from an organization funded, in part, by the philanthropy of Newmark.
Harry’s newest position comes more than a fortnight after the Sussexes’ bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey, in which the couple both criticized the British media.
Harry said the UK tabloid media was ‘bigoted’ and created a ‘toxic environment’ of ‘control and fear’.
James Murdoch’s wife Kathryn is another famous name on the 15-strong panel with Harry.
She has voiced her agreement that her husband’s family, which owns Fox News, must ‘put their country above their profits’ and disavow President Donald Trump’s claims of widespread voter fraud.
Murdoch, 47, expressed the sentiment in a tweet in November, saying she agreed with CNN host Jake Tapper, who had stated: ‘The Murdochs and the people at Fox have an obligation to put their country above their profits. It is very important that people make it very clear – that there is no credible evidence of widespread fraud.’
Her husband James stepped down from the board of Fox News parent News Corp in July, citing disagreements with some of the company’s editorial content.
James is known as the liberal Murdoch son, while his brother Lachlan’s views seem to be more aligned with those of his conservative father.
Earlier in 2020 Katrhryn spoke out about her ‘radical centrist’ politics in an interview with Politico’s Women Rule podcast.
‘This is the first time where I’ve really decided that I have a voice and I need to try to use it,’ said Kathryn, who has long quietly supported climate change causes after Al Gore convinced her the issue was urgent in a 2006 presentation.
‘The decisions we make in the next few years are going to have an impact on coming generations,’ Kathryn said. ‘I need to know that I’ve done everything that I can possibly do.’
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex wave to the crowds after their wedding in 2018
Craigslist founder Craig Newmark is funding the Aspen Institute’s new Commission on Information Disorder, with Harry its most high-profile member.
Two years ago Newmark announced he was donating $20 million to the City University of New York’s Graduate School of Journalism .
Newmark claimed he was doing it to build a sustainable future for trustworthy journalism.
The New York Times claims that Craigslist put a dent in newspaper classified ads and is often blamed, in part, for the industry’s revenue decline.
Newmark says newspapers started losing circulation and revenue ‘long before Craigslist.’
Craigslist, which is no longer run by Newmark, has been rocked by a series of scandals revealed by investigative journalism.
In January it emerged investors in the US website Craigslist are profiting from the exploitation of vulnerable young British women.