Rod Dreher

Believe it or not, that haggard woman is Sarah Ferguson, the erstwhile Duchess of York, getting off the plane in L.A. after being hit with a Mack truck of a scandal back home in England. Did you see the video of the undercover sting carried out by a British tabloid, in which Fergie sold access to her ex-husband, Prince Andrew, for $40,000 in cash and 500,000 pounds more, supposedly to be wired into her account. Except the influence-buyer was really a journalist in disguise. Here’s the video, in which the spendthrift former royal complains that “I have not a pot to p*ss in”:Boy, you just don’t recover from that kind of thing, do you? No wonder the Windsors gave her a small settlement when her marriage to Andrew ended. One suspects they accurately took the measure of that woman’s character early on. I told a friend the other day, “This makes me feel sorry for the Windsors,” to which he replied, “Let’s not be hasty.” It must be said, though, that while Fergie is completely responsible for this disaster, the ethics of a newspaper, even a tabloid newspaper, that sets up a woman who no longer has any real power, and who is known to be weak with money, for a fall like this — well, the ethics of the stingers are just about as sick-making as the ethics of the stingee. UPDATE: On the other hand, I can see a case that knowing that someone like Sarah Ferguson, who has extremely rare access to the royal family, though she’s technically no longer a member of it, is going around representing herself as an influence-peddler, would be important information for the public to have, if only to discredit her and thereby stop her in her tracks.

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