By Anthony Sheridan
The RTE scandal continues to unfold at the Oireachtas where some questions have been asked about RTE ‘stars’ working for non RTE media outlets.
On 23 September 2020 I responded to an article written by RTE News and Current Affairs presenter, Sarah McInerney in The Times newspaper in which she expressed strong political support for then Taoiseach, Michael Martin.
At the time Martin was taking a lot of flack from his Parliamentary Party over his leadership style. Not only did McInerney defend the Fianna Fail leader but gave him strong advice on how to deal with those challenging his leadership.
Her advice could have come from the mouth of the Taoiseach’s most loyal advisor:
You have to play the political game, no matter how distasteful it may be. If Martin wants to survive two years as Taoiseach, with his party still intact, it’s time for a mini makeover. No more Mr Nice Guy.
Remember, this is one of the most prominent Current Affairs presenters in RTE whose guidelines on impartiality are crystal clear: [Section 8.4 Impartiality]
Our audiences should not be able to tell from our output the personal views of our journalists or news and current affairs presenters on matters of public policy, political or industrial controversy, or on ‘controversial subjects’ in any other area.
And McInerney is not alone. It is clear when listening to RTEs News and Current Affairs presenters/journalists that professional standards of objectivity and integrity have been abandoned, particularly when interviewing left wing or anti-establishment politicians.