As he (and other veteran commenters) often do here, Steve-O-in NJ doesn’t merely comment on the post but elaborate and expand it, for which I am grateful. Literally by chance, my wife was watching a Netflix documentary on the Windsors, a British production that discussed the Bashir interview of the late Princess but spun it as an example of her vindictive and manipulative use of the press to strike back at the Royal Family. The producers did not, when it was written, know that Bashir had deliberately deceived Diana and her brother to provoke her.
One bit of rebuttal to Steve-O is, I think, required. Diana may have been “not too smart, not too stable” as Steve says, but like Donald Trump, who is also described that way by those who underestimate him, she had her own special genius and unique gifts. The most stunning quote in the documentary is Charles’ statement, in a letter to a friend before the wedding, that Diana was going to have a difficult time “always living in his shadow.” I am a stage director who has made a lifetime study of what gives an individual “presence” and star power, but it didn’t take an expert to discern that however young, naive and ignorant she may have seemed, Diana had blinding charisma. People with that particular gift cast shadows, they don’t get covered by them.
Here is Steve-O-in NJ’s Comment of the Day on the post, “Will The BBC’s Princess Diana Scandal Be A Tipping Point For Public Acceptance That The News Media Can’t Be Trusted?”:
So Bashir committed fraud and forgery, there’s no other way to describe it, and the BBC buried it. Generally speaking the elements of fraud are:
1. Misrepresentation of a material fact
2. Knowledge on the part of the accused that they were misrepresenting the fact
3. The misrepresentation was made purposefully, with the intent of fooling the victim
4. The victim believed the misrepresentation and relied upon it
5.The victim suffered damages as a result of the misrepresentation
Elements of forgery are:
1. False making – The person must have taken paper and ink and created a false document from scratch. Forgery is limited to documents. “Writing” includes anything handwritten, typewritten, computer-generated, printed, or engraved.
2 Material alteration – The person must have taken a genuine document and changed it in some significant way. It is intended to cover situations involving false signatures or improperly filling in blanks on a form.
3. Ability to defraud – The document or writing has to look genuine enough to qualify as having the apparent ability to fool most people.
4. Legal efficacy – The document or writing has to have some legal significance affecting another person’s right to something. A writing of social significance cannot be the subject of forgery.
5. Intent to defraud – The specific state of mind for forgery does not require intent to steal, only intent to fool people. The person must have intended that other people regard something false as genuine. A forgery is complete upon having created such a document with this requisite intent.
Sounds like both to me. Bashir should be in jail, but I’m sure the statute of limitations has long run. I’m disgusted reading this. He had written lies mocked up to fool Earl Spencer and Diana into believing that the Royal family was out to get her, to push her into spilling embarrassing facts and nasty attacks on her former in-laws. This would be criminal even if was just an ordinary woman having the ordinary problem of being dissatisfied with her marriage and not getting along with her former in-laws. It should get no pass because the people involved were public figures.