By Hillary Busis
Updated August 27, 2012 at 02:02 PM EDT

Turns out what happens in Vegas doesn’t necessarily stay there. Prince Harry has been taking a lot of heat for appearing in a set of nude photos snapped in Sin City last weekend and widely distributed online. Even though the royal’s Little Windsor isn’t visible in the pics, they’re still pretty embarrassing for a family that values tradition and decorum over all else. (Unless we’re talking about Fergie.)

Luckily, the emperor prince with no clothes has one valiant defender: Rupert Murdoch, human embodiment of compassion. “Prince Harry. Give him a break,” the News Corp. CEO tweeted Saturday while slowly stroking a blindingly white Persian Longhair. “He may be on the public payroll one way or another, but the public loves him, even to enjoy Las Vegas.” Murdoch then cheekily advised the prince to “avoid playmates with cameras.”

Aw, how sweet! Except, wait: The “give him a break” tweet came just one day after The Sun, Murdoch’s own tabloid, published the grainy shots of Harry in his altogether. “Hello, kettle? This is Rupert Murdoch. You’re black!

For what it’s worth, Murdoch has also defended The Sun‘s right to publish the photos in the first place. After all, he reasons, they were already online: “Simple equation: free, open uncontrollable Internet versus shackled newspapers equals no newspapers. Let’s get real,” he tweeted Sunday. And Murdoch may not have realized how silly his Prince Harry defense would sound; this is the guy who didn’t see any irony in calling Scientology “something creepy, maybe even evil.”

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