Oprah interview with Meghan Markle and Prince Harry 'misled viewers', claims newspaper group in complaint to CBS

MEGHAN Markle and Prince Harry's interview with Oprah "misled viewers", according to a newspaper group.

Associated Newspapers, which owns the Daily Mail and MailOnline, has complained to American TV network CBS over "deliberate distortion and doctoring" in a video montage.

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It argues a section of the the two-hour tell-all chat designed to demonstrate how the British media's coverage of Meghan may have been racist was "seriously inaccurate and misleading".

The group claims the montage of cuttings were edited or manufactured using selective highlights.

It also said that many of the articles were not from the UK press but from foreign outlets, including US tabloids.

The publisher is now demanding it remove the montage from the ‘Oprah with Meghan and Harry’ broadcast.

In a letter sent to CBS on Friday, Associated Newspapers' legal director, Elizabeth Hartley, said: "As a responsible broadcaster with integrity we believe… that you will deprecate, as we do, the deliberate distortion and doctoring of newspaper headlines in the misleading montage of British newspapers broadcast in ‘Oprah with Meghan and Harry’.

"Many of the headlines have been either taken out of context or deliberately edited and displayed as supporting evidence for the programme’s claim that the Duchess of Sussex was subjected to racist coverage by the British press.

"This editing was not made apparent to viewers and, as a result, this section of the programme is both seriously inaccurate and misleading."

'INACCURATE AND MISLEADING'

Ms Hartley said one of the most "egregious" examples was an article with the headline: "Meghan's seed will taint our Royal Family."

She claimed the headline that appeared on MailOnline made it clear the story was about the suspension of a UKIP party member for making racist comments about Meghan – but this was edited for the Oprah interview.

Ms Hartley said: "It is a thoroughly dishonest misrepresentation of a newspaper headline and article which was the opposite of racist.

"No one viewing the programme would have understood this from the montage."

The letter was sent after the Telegraph and Mail published articles about how some British newspaper headlines had been distorted to demonstrate racism. 

The Telegraph reported that a third of the headlines included in the broadcast were from non-UK gossip magazines.

And 11 were from American and Australian supermarket tabloids, its analysis showed.

The paper also found that some articles were reports exposing racial slurs by others, not racism towards Meghan as suggested by CBS.

Ms Hartley stressed that Associated Newspapers "unquestionably supports freedom of speech and the First Amendment" but said the montage in the programme went against CBS' own commitment to journalistic integrity.

She said: "In conclusion, the programme in its current form, does not comply with the Viacom CBS editorial policies or align with its stated values.

"In terms of both accuracy and integrity, the programme is clearly compromised by the inclusion of this misleading montage. 

"Accordingly, I should be grateful for your urgent confirmation that the offending content will be removed from the programme currently being made available to the public. 

"We also understand that a further broadcast is being planned tonight. The montage should therefore be deleted prior to that broadcast."

CBS has been approached for comment.

Oprah's production company, Harpo Productions, issued a statement to Variety defending its broadcast.

It said: "Prince Harry and Meghan, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, shared in the interview their personal story.

"We stand by the broadcast in its entirety."

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