Wednesday, 20 January 2010
You are strident, I am sweet reason...
Yesterday provided a rare sight on TV: a politician not personally under pressure standing up and saying he thought the media, or some sections of same, were reporting an issue in a reprehensible manner. The politician was Martin McGuinness and he made no bones about his opinion of the coverage around the alleged abuse involving Liam Adams, and the efforts being made by some journalists to affect the political process. If you’ve been reading my blog while even semi-awake over recent days and weeks you’ll know that I share that view. So the incident gets reported in today’s Irish News and how do they describe Mr McGuinness? ‘Strident’. I know I shouldn't be shocked that The Irish News don't appear to know the meaning of that word but I am. Do they read their own columnists and reporters? In fact, at 7.10 a.m. today it suddenly struck me what coverage of the Liam Adams/Gerry Adams case by the Irish media in general, north and south, resembles: it’s the response to John Hume meeting with Gerry Adams in the 1990s. That provoked a sustained strident-as-a-train-whistle screeches among the media meisters and so has this. At that time the enemy, as far as the Irish media were concerned was Sinn Fein, and today they remain the target of that same media.
For several reasons I'd rather not be in Liam Adams's shoes these days, but especially if I had been hoping that my trial, in the aftermath of the media barrage, would be a fair one.