The Brian Cowen caricature stunt which started out as a humourous and harmless stunt has evolved into a very serious matter.The artist, I believe, never dreamed that his/her action would expose RTE as a lapdog of the Government.
Discussing the matter on Today with Pat Kenny, Fianna Fail TD, Michael Kennedy said;
“RTE is there to give serious news items. It’s not a comedy piece…I want it to be balanced, I want it to be unbiased and I want it to be newsworthy, not fickle entertainment.”
I want, I want, I want.
So, we’re clear on what Mr. O’Kennedy and the Government wants, we’re also clear that RTE has no problems or scruples in immediately complying with Government demands.
And keep in mind this is just the latest in a number of cases where RTE were happy to cave in the moment they received a phone call from an angry government.
Last November we saw the outspoken government critic, John Crown, banned from appearing on the Late Late Show and more recently we saw the curtailment of references to Cowen on the Gerry Ryan Show.
But RTE cannot escape the consequences of its actions. I, and I’m sure a great many other people, will never again see its news broadcasts in the same light, particularly if the news report concerns any matter that’s sensitive to Government officials or politicians.
The question will always be in the back of my mind – how much of this report is genuine news and how much is government propaganda?
RTEs craven kowtowing to government bullying has seriously damaged its credibility.
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