Jude Collins

Thursday, 15 March 2012

That tweet: a station stands accused

Oh dear. If you're to believe the Irish Times this morning, RTÉ has got its knickers in a fearful twist about that tweet. You remember, the one that purported to come from Sinn Féin during the famous presidential Frontline  debate - or that was announced as same by Pat Kenny. You can get the timeline for what happened that night, you can get what Sean Gallagher says and said - you can get just about anything on the topic, because RTÉ and its critics believe this tweet puts the station's reputation on the line.

I'm amazed. Well no, half-amazed. Half of me is impressed by the thoroughness of this tweet investigation, suggesting the determination of the station and everyone else to locate fault, if fault there be, and act accordingly. The other half of me is amazed - AMAZED - that nobody in RTÉ or, it seems, anywhere in the south thinks that RTÉ treated Martin McGuinness in a lop-sided fashion during the campaign. Given that I don't think I'm the only one north of the border who thinks this way, you'd imagine the Irish Times would have the odd irate letter. Not so, to the best of my knowledge. So the state and the station are aghast at a tweet being attributed to Sinn Féin when it wasn't, but have made no effort to see what balance there was between questions put to McGuinness  during the campaign about his actions from, say, the past twenty years and his actions in the twenty years preceding that. Was it because talk of people being killed - by the IRA, of course - made for better television than questions about working for the creation of the Good Friday Agreement and the crushing work  of keeping it in place in the years that followed? Was it that RTÉ and the state genuinely feared that the forces of law-and-order would break into Áras an Uachtaráin half-way through a McGuinness term as president and arrest him for war crimes? No, no, no. RTÉ and the state establishment were simply determined that no damned northern Shinner was going to come down and by his presence in the Áras accuse them daily of platitudes about partition. They didn't feel abashed about their partisan questioning of McGuinness - they gloried in it. They didn't feel embarrassed about the absence of questions about McGuinness's political career - they prided themselves on just that. Pssst, guys: little secret. Sometimes sins of omission are graver than those of commission.


  1. Nothing surprises me about the free state"media"having listened to their pro american take on the russian presidential elections, with accusations a fraud and people being denied a vote,the last point being unbelievable in its irony. Russians in South Africa, Canada, the USA, London etc had the right to vote in the election and here is me an irishman born and reared holding an irish passport only 100 miles from the capital and i am not allowed to vote for my president.

  2. Jude, have you still not got over the defeat of Martin in the Presidential election?To his credit I think Martin has and is even now apparently considering meeting the Queen!You really will have to curb your obvious disappointment.

  3. Anon 06:18 - you're quite right, I was disappointed that McGuinness didn't win the presidential race. But wouldn't you say you're playing the ball rather than the man? Look at my argument and criticise that. It's what grown-ups try to do.

  4. You seem a bit touchy with Anon 06:18 above.I assume that many people who share your views do not read the Irish Times and are therefore less likely to write letters to that paper.Most are more likely to read, dare we say, the Irish News.Can we presume that you are a daily reader of the I T and have penned a letter outlining your concerns?It may be that many others are just not that bothered and have moved on with their lives.

  5. I dont get it regardless of the tweets content it showed Gallagher up for what he was
    - strong historic links to dodgy FF
    - Collecting money for FF, dodgy! - How much does it cost to see Berie dodgy!
    - Inability to cope under pressure - What ever you do dont mention brown envelope - oops too late!
    This guy was going to win the election and quite frankly he represented everything that was wrong with Ireland with its cronyism and gombeen politicians. Im not saying Higgins is perfect but in comparison to some wheeler dealer he really is presidential material. The tweet was the best thing that happened Im just amazed the general public needed it to wake up and vote sensibly!