A truism: There’s no shortage of tabloids and gossip sites reporting that Kate Middleton “may be” pregnant with another baby — or even twins at this time.
As of this writing, there has been no official word from Buckingham Palace that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have conceived a brother or sister for their firstborn, Prince George.
Undoubtedly, this would be the best-case scenario for journalists, bloggers, and lookie-loos; the conversation would then morph into “baby bumps,” “baby names,” succession, morning sickness (hyperemesis gravidarum for my word nerd readers), and Duchess Kate’s choice of maternity fashion.
Business Recorder ran the headline “Kate Middleton pregnant again with her second baby?” which built on buzz from “insiders” who claimed to have firsthand knowledge that Will and Kate were expecting another child.
Various other sources co-signed in unison that the duchess was with child, and a telltale sign supported their suspicions: Middleton’s showed signs of pregnancy when she was spied with a “puffy face” recently at the Tour de France.
And if the ongoing childbearing forensics are not enough, headlines cropped up about (wait for it)… Kate Middleton carrying twins in her third pregnancy — the second allegedly ended in a miscarriage.
So what are the drivers behind this turnstile style of journalism that claims Prince Williams’ wife is gushing over “possibly” being pregnant again? What gives a promulgator of this gossip the expertise to know if a woman has conceived a child — in the absence of objective evidence, and without the royal fashionista having said so?
Perhaps, it’s the pressures placed on ambitious writers who strive to be de facto paragons of principled probity. Just picture how DC Comics’ diminutive cub reporter, Jimmy Olsen, was constantly threatened with pink slips by his quick-tempered boss, Perry White (“Great Caesar’s ghost”). The Daily Planet Editor-in-Chief was a browbeat for pushing Olsen for leads to a hot story and obtaining photos to back it up. Got the vision?
Have traditional publishing mores been replaced by quests to be the first source to pump up the public with sensational and emotive headlines that lack substance, yet offer shock and awe? Thankfully, the majority of news outlets eschew crystal ball-style reporting, conform to the former, and create mission statements around getting the facts out even at the expense of getting the silver — or even that obligatory bronze metal.
Maybe Kate Middleton is pregnant — or not. That said, based on the laws of averages — and maybe the power of intention — the Duchess of Cambridge and her prince will welcome more babies into the royal family.
However, it won’t be because adherents to schmaltzy headlines willed them to.
[Image via Reuters]