Princess Markle, or whatever her title is, played a supporting role in my July 1, 2020 Taki’s Magazine column “Putting Out Fire with Lighter Fluid:”
After race car driver Bubba Wallace’s NooseCAR debacle last week, it would have taken somebody truly dumb and publicity-crazed to breathe life into this week’s even more absurd hate-crime allegation: biracial 18-year-old Althea Bernstein’s assertion that four “classic Wisconsin frat boys” squirted lighter fluid on her and set her ablaze by tossing a lighter into her car in downtown Madison, Wis., during an Antifa riot.
While nobody in the national press has dared express any skepticism about this hilariously unlikely tale, it hadn’t been getting the giant push that would have been expected if anybody of any importance were convinced this whopper were true.
After all, if Bernstein’s yarn about roving racist frat boys in Hawaiian shirts randomly incinerating a Jewish-Unitarian Woman of Color actually happened, it would be gigantic news, far bigger than, as Joe Biden would say, what’s his name—Pink Floyd? Boy George?—that drugged-up bouncer who wound up dead while resisting arrest and suddenly became history’s greatest saint....
But, c’mon… Frat boys setting a semi-black girl on fire in super-liberal Madison is, obviously, Tawana Brawley/Jackie Coakley-level hate hoaxery, a silly teenager’s attempt to improvise an excuse for being where she shouldn’t have been.
Showing more caution than is typical in these circumstances, the national press reported Bernstein’s claims with a straight face, but then did only the minimum to follow up on them. …
But then, just as the Althea Bernstein story was being allowed to quietly fade away over the weekend, that special someone—Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex, wife of Prince Harry—stepped forward to make a really futile and stupid gesture to keep this latest Hate Hoax from being allowed to be forgotten the way the cooler heads in the media had wished.
On October 1, the Madison Police and the Department of Justice quietly announced there was no evidence that the crime alleged by Ms. Bernstein ever happened and they were closing the case. Her parents thanked the investigators for their efforts.