Kavkaz Center – 2008-03-04 00:40:02
CHECHNYA (March 1, 2008) —Prince Harry’s tour of duty in Afghanistan was a “PR stunt” that has not fooled the British people, publicist Max Clifford has said.
He has blasted the Household Cavalry officer’s 10-week deployment to the frontline in Helmand Province as “virtual reality”, claiming Army chiefs would have kept the royal away from real danger.
It will not change public opinion about Harry as people reflect on the thousands of ordinary British troops serving in Afghanistan without receiving the same special treatment, Mr Clifford added.
“To me it’s blatantly obvious. It’s a PR stunt, the whole thing has been put together,” he said.
“The climate when he went out (he) was getting increasing bad publicity from hanging around in clubs and pubs, and coming out drunk.
“It happened immediately after that. I don’t think you’re cynical for saying, ‘hold on a minute’… I think that most discerning people see it as a pure public relations exercise.”
The PR guru continued: “(The press coverage) has been favourable, but I do think that the public are maybe a bit more questioning than the media have been in this instance.
“A lot of people have been saying, if he was Private Harry Smith, would he have been looked after in the same way and how much of this was just a public relations exercise?”
The publicist said Harry was “a brave lad” and the public perception of him was “pretty good generally” but went on: “It just comes across, the whole thing, as a very, very calculated public relations exercise.
“There are, I think, a lot more people out there than the media seem to realise that are saying, ‘hold on a minute, this is virtual reality’…
“I don’t think that they would have dared to put him in real danger.”
Mr Clifford added: “The other aspect of it is he’s been shown firing a machine gun at Muslims. What does that say?
“He becomes a big target. Harry likes to go to clubs and pubs – does that make them targets? It’s not black and white, it’s not a simple situation.”
But the publicist does not think there will be a backlash against the media for keeping news of Harry’s deployment secret.
“That’s easily defused – it would have placed him and others in danger,” he said.
Kavkaz Center (www.kavkazcenter.com) – is Chechen independent international Islamic Internet news agency. Our agency was founded in March of 1999 in the city of Jokhar (Grozny).
Posted in accordance with Title 17, US Code, for noncommercial, educational purposes.