Sean O’Rourke: No bias allowed – except RTEs

Once again we witness a blatant and unprofessional example of bias by RTEs Sean O’Rourke.

Socialist Party TD Paul Murphy was debating the Greek crisis with Suzanne Lynch, Irish Times European Correspondent in Athens.

Murphy was getting the better of Lynch which did not sit well with O’Rourke so he blatantly intervened not just to defend Lynch but to speak on her behalf.

Here’s the relevant section of the debate with my comments.

Paul Murphy: I think Suzanne Lynch’s articles have been consistently biased and taking the side of the so-called creditors. In a recent article she referred to Tspirias as a self-styled Che Guevara figure. That’s not unbiased journalism, it’s taking the line of the establishment and repeating the propaganda here…

…Interrupted by Sean O’Rourke.

O’Rourke: Hold on, before you go any further I want Suzanne Lynch to come back on that if she wishes – Suzanne?

Suzanne Lynch: I think I’ll just leave that actually, Sean.

Murphy continues but is immediately interrupted by Lynch as she thinks of a defence.

Lynch: That was an analysis piece that I wrote and in the Irish Times there’s a strong division between news and analysis and I’m not going to get into a defence of my work with Paul Murphy on radio.

This is a weak and ridiculous defence. Bias can, and frequently does, appear in both news and analysis.

Discussion continues with Paul Murphy tearing strips from both Lynch’s point of view and Juncker’s speech until O’Rourke again interrupts him.

O’Rourke: Come back to the point, you’ve dealt with that now and Juncker’s speech at some length. What about the points Suzanne Lynch made and, by the way, I don’t think it’s right for you to accuse somebody of bias. I think Suzanne Lynch is a professional, honest journalist reporting things as she sees them and by the way to describe your man as a self-styled Che Guevara is a complement.

Clearly, O’Rourke felt that Lynch was not performing well so, abandoning all semblance of professional impartiality, he intervenes, not only to castigate Murphy for accusing Lynch of being biased, but to deliver his personal, glowing assessment of Lynch’s honesty and professionalism.

If Lynch wasn’t in tatters after Murphy’s deconstruction of her arguments then surely she was in the realm of humiliation as she listened to O’Rourke’s well intentioned but utterly patronising and unasked for assistance in arguing her case.

Here’s the truth of the matter.

O’Rourke did not intervene in support of Lynch because he thought it was unfair of Murphy to accuse her of being biased. Accusing somebody of being biased is a common and accepted norm, particularly during political debate.

O’Rourke intervened because he clearly holds the same political views as Lynch and, as Murphy dismantled her arguments brick by brick, he felt compelled to intervene and help her out.

Everybody is biased to one degree or another but professional broadcasters are trained to conduct a debate without listeners ever getting a hint of where they stand on the issue under discussion. This training has just one aim – to maintain the credibility of the broadcasting station.

It is clear from this and previous incidents (here and here) that O’Rourke has permission not only to take sides but to blatantly intervene in support of those who are at one with his views and, presumably, those of RTE management.

Copy to:
Sean O’Rourke/RTE

Posted in Government, Media coverage, RTE | 1 Comment

Journalist Sinead Ryan: Not an informed journalist

Journalist Sinead Ryan writes here about her decision not to join Shane Ross’s political group.

She describes herself as an informed journalist. She is no such thing. Ms. Ryan is a conservative, establishment, living in a bubble of unreality journalist.


Because any objective, properly informed journalist, writing without an agenda (conscious or not) would find it totally impossible to write a 700 word article on Irish politics without referring to the core reason for the catastrophic events of recent years – political corruption.

Posted in Government, Media coverage | Leave a comment

Brian Lenihan documentary: A ruling elite propaganda exercise

I’ve just watched the RTE documentary on the late Brian Lenihan and it was difficult going. It was difficult because the production was little more than a propaganda broadcast on behalf of the Lenihan family and those who see themselves as the ruling elite in Ireland.

On a personal basis Brian Lenihan seems to have been a likeable and intelligent man, an intellectual. But he was also a traitor to his country.

When I say ‘traitor’ I don’t mean in the strong sense as when somebody provides information to an enemy that results in severe and immediate consequences for fellow citizens, including death.

Lenihan was a traitor in the sense that loyalty to his country was the least of his priorities. As a member of the ruling elite his priorities were as follows:

Himself and his family dynasty.
Himself and his social class.
Himself and his political party.
Himself and his country on the condition that the financial and political interests of the above were not in any way undermined.

Lenihan was a leading member of what is, in effect, an Irish aristocracy. Practically all other politicians are either members of this ruling elite, court followers or parasites endlessly kowtowing to their ‘betters’ in the hope of being thrown a few crumbs.

The churches, the legal community, big business and super-rich moguls, among others, support this ruling elite. They are also loyally supported and defended by a disturbingly large percentage of the media.

The first and most important principle of the ruling elite is – loyalty to each other. Severe consequences are imposed on anyone who betrays this principle. Former junior minister Roisin Shortall, for example, was immediately ejected from the club when she had the temerity to put personal integrity before loyalty to the ruling political class.

When a member of the elite dies, retires or resigns, all sins, crimes and betrayals are wiped from the record and, with unstinting support from a loyal mainstream media, their political careers are rewritten and manipulated to a point where any questioning of their pedigree is seen as vulgar and extreme.

Bertie Ahern, for example, was forced to resign in disgrace when he was caught lying under oath at the tribunal but the mainstream media rarely mentions this uncomfortable fact. Instead, we are subjected to a constant stream of drivel about the Peace Process and Ahern’s ‘courage’ in returning to the talks after his mother died.

The corrupt politician Haughey is another example. When the criminal died he was given a state funeral at which the liar Ahern told us that Haughey was a patriot to his fingertips. A liar politician stating that a criminal politician is a patriot is not at all seen as bizarre in the insulated bubble inhabited by the ruling elite and their media supporters.

And that’s what the Lenihan documentary was all about. It’s part of the now well-established strategy of rewriting the history of those who gave life-long loyalty to themselves and their class at the expense of Ireland and its people.

Happily, we are living through the dying days of this corrupt ruling elite.

Copy to:

Fianna Fail

Posted in Body Politic, Brian Lenihan, Fianna Fail, Media coverage | Leave a comment

Journalist Gavin Sheridan wins major case against NAMA

Congratulations to journalist Gavin Sheridan and solicitor Fred Logue for their major victory against NAMA in the Supreme Court yesterday.

Gavin and Fred having been working very hard on this case for over five years and their victory deserves the thanks of all those interested in transparency and accountability in government.

Two things about this case.

One: It is a major blow to the most deadly, most utilised weapon of the state – secrecy. The all pervading culture of secrecy, deeply ingrained in all government agencies, is principally responsible for the massive criminality that’s rampant in the financial, property and political sectors, to name but a few.

Two: Unfortunately, Gavin’s professionalism as a journalist, his doggedness in pursuing a story, pursuing an injustice right to the end is not the norm in Irish journalism.

This has to change if secretive state agencies like NAMA are to be successfully challenged.

Posted in Government, NAMA | Leave a comment

Anger is a policy

The economist Colm McCarthy said anger is not a policy – he’s wrong.

Anger is crucial for justice, without justice there is chaos. The level of anger in a community/country is directly related to the level of justice. In today’s Ireland there is little justice and therefore much anger. Anger must be harnessed and controlled otherwise it will be exploited and used as a weapon by those who have betrayed our country.

Anger must be used as the powerful force it is to sweep away the corrupt political system that has destroyed the lives of so many people.

Finally, the energy of anger must be employed as a positive force in the building of a new, truly democratic republic.

Posted in The State | Leave a comment

Berkeley: Time for calmness and measured respect

Ok, somebody has to say it.

The Berkeley deaths were horrific, tragic and the victims and their families deserve a compassionate and appropriate response.

But some of the reaction is over the top and far from appropriate.

Here’s a recent comment:

It’s such a tragedy. It’s not a plane crashing; it’s not something like the guy with the gun in America last week. It’s a tragedy that could have been avoided.

What would the family and friends of the nine people shot to death in Charleston have to say in response to this comment?

What would the family and friends of the 150 people who died in the recent plane crash in the Alps have to say in response to this comment?

There is not the slightest doubt that the person who made the comment did not in any way mean to cause offence.

But the suggestion, and sometimes outright claim, that the Berkeley deaths were somehow more tragic than other horrifying incidents is not only disrespectful of the people involved in those incidents but is also disrespectful of the Berkeley victims and their families.

It’s time for calmness and measured respect.

Posted in Media coverage, The State | Leave a comment

Eoghan Harris: A ‘journalist’ with little integrity

In response to the ongoing Siteserv scandal Sunday Independent columnist Eoghan Harris has effectively admitted that he’s a coward and a man/journalist of little integrity.

On prudent reflection, I decided to take the advice of the Kerry sage, Tommy the “Kaiser” Fitzgerald: Don’t say anything, and don’t write anything, because when you put the black on the white, you are fucked boy.

What a sad end for a man who, wielding a razor sharp brain, used to tear strips from the hypocritical, arrogant and corrupt gangsters who misrule our country.

Now he’s a fully signed up toady of the rotten culture he once so brilliantly challenged. Whatever dulled his rapier like pen over the years has also dulled his mind to a state of stupidity where he effectively admits that he’s an intellectual slave to Denis O’Brien.

At least his many colleagues at ‘Independent’ Newspapers, also toadies to the master, make some effort, no matter how pathetic, at journalistic integrity.

The rest of Harris’ article accurately reflects the only ‘talent’ he still possesses – chief cheerleader for the establishment’s anti-Sinn Fein propaganda campaign. He begins this section of his article with the words:

Let me turn to a safer topic.

Propaganda is, of course, always a safe topic for a journalist because there’s no need for truth or honesty but how sad to witness any journalist actually write, in black and white, the words ‘let me turn to a safer topic’.

Copy to:
Eoghan Harris
Independent Newspapers

Posted in Denis O'Brien, Government, Media coverage | Comments Off on Eoghan Harris: A ‘journalist’ with little integrity

Journalists living in the bubble of the old regime

Sean O’Rourke, Harry McGee and Elaine Byrne are all establishment journalists who have little or no awareness of the extent or source of the ongoing and dramatic shift taking place across the Irish political landscape.

This is clearly evident from the content and tone of their analysis surrounding the emergence of the new political party involving TDs Catherine Murphy, Stephen Donnelly and Roisin Shortall.

Speaking on Today with Sean O’Rourke the journalists wondered who might join the new party, where the party might place itself on the political spectrum. Why, asked O’Rourke, would an independent want to join a political party and lose their appeal as an independent – riveting stuff.

Harry McGee spoke about the dangers of an independent losing status by joining a party. Elaine Byrne spoke about the fragmentation of Irish politics and wondered who would be the leader of the new party – scintillating analysis.

She did mention that Ireland has an unusually high number of independent representatives but she didn’t seem interested in the reason for this phenomenon – the absolute disgust and rejection by ordinary citizens of the politics of corruption that’s rampant within the mainstream parties.

O’Rourke asked his fellow journalists how they thought the independents would get on with each other on a personal basis – I was on the edge of my seat in anticipation as McGee and Byrne responded to this crucial line of analysis.

The entire discusson possessed about as much relevance to reality as three crew members of Titanic discussing the prospect of a pay rise as the ship sank beneath the icy waters of the Atlantic.

None of these establishment journalists seem to be aware that traditional Irish politics has been sinking in credibility and relevance for decades and in particular since the criminal politician Haughey began the process of infecting the body politic with the disease of corruption.

Elaine Byrne in particular, who has actually written a book on political corruption, doesn’t seem to be aware that the electorate is in the midst of a dramatic shift away from the old regime in reaction to the devastating consequences visited upon the country by political corruption.

All three journalists speak and analyse the political scene as if the rise of Sinn Fein, independents and the emergence of new political parties was simply an interesting but minor development within the old corrupt system rather than a force that has risen in response to the corruption of that regime and will almost certainly replace it.

The rise of Sinn Fein, the rise of Independents, the formation of new political parties are all directly related to the betrayal of Ireland and its people by the old, corrupt regime.

The emergence of a new politics is directly related to the fact that the old regime (Fianna Fail, Fine Gael, Labour) has, over many decades, loyally served the corrupt political culture of clientelism, gombeenism and stroke politics rather than building a functional, properly accountable democracy.

It really is fascinating to observe journalists like O’Rourke, McGee and Byrne speak and analyse the current political scene through a mindset that evolved exclusively within the old, dying, political system.

If these journalists were aware of the reality of what’s happening on the ground in politics the conversation would have gone something like the following:

O’Rourke: Harry, what do you make of this latest fragmenation of politics which has obvious connections with political corruption?

McGee: Clearly that’s the case Sean. The global financial crisis of 2008 exposed Ireland for what it is, a backwater republic misgoverned by a mainly corrupt political regime. The proliferation of independents, the rise of Sinn Fein and now the emergence of new political parties are all indications that Irish citizens have at last rejected the old regime and are desperately searching for politicians who will serve the people and the country rather than the interests of bankers, property developers and billionaire moguls.

O’Rourke: Would you go along with that view Elaine?

Byrne: Absolutely. What we are witnessing is the culmination of a long era of corruption that began when Haughey came to power in 1979. This Fine Gael/Labour government is just the latest manifestation of that culture of corruption that has done untold damage to Ireland and its people. We are, I believe, in a transition period between the fall of the old regime and the rise of a genuine, democratic type of politics. Politicians like Roisin Shortall, Catherine Murphy, Stephen Donnelly and indeed Sinn Fein are leading the way in responding to what is, in effect, a rebellion by a large percentage of the people.

Copy to:
Sean O’Rourke, Harry McGee, Elaine Byrne

Posted in Body Politic, Government, Media coverage | Comments Off on Journalists living in the bubble of the old regime

Clearys: Killed off by political corruption

Here’s how the Irish Times described the shock closure of Clerys department store.

It survived the 1916 Easter Rising, two world wars, and major storm damage two years ago but the historic Clerys department store on O’Connell Street in Dublin closed its doors for the final time last night with the loss of 460 jobs.

So, the business survived war and all that nature could throw at it but, in the end, was killed off by the disease of political corruption.

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Reaction to (fake) media legislation

Here’s the reaction of Irish Examiner columnist Alison O’Connor to Communications Minister Alex White’s interview on Drivetime.

It seems absolutely daft that he could keep a straight face during that interview. You know, here’s what we’ll do, here’s how it will be and yet the elephant in the room is the fact that we already have the incredibly dominant force in Irish media in the figure of Denis O’Brien.

O’Connor goes on to make a very relevant point which further confirms the fakery of this legislation.

What’s going to happen when somebody is refused a merger? Surely they’re going to point to the overwhelming percentage of media already held by O’Brien and claim – what about him, look at all the media he’s been allowed to buy up.

Posted in Government, Media coverage | 1 Comment