Saturday, January 30, 2010

Foul Play, Wide Angle

I've just been reading a document by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) which found that broadcaster Newstalk was guilty of biased coverage of the Lisbon treaty debate.

Three complaints were upheld against Newstalk's "Wide Angle" program. Anyone who regularly listens to this political panel show will already know that its pugnacious presenter, Karen "Karnage" Coleman, is utterly incapable of facilitating a fair and balanced debate. In common with other Newstalk presenters such as Gargoyle Hook, Ivan The Terrible Yates and Claire Third Degree Byrne, Karnage Coleman generally insures that Newstalk continues to act as the social and political megaphone of its owner - Darth Denis O'Brien.

Whenever a big topic has to be debated on the Wide Angle the panel is loaded with toadies, hacks and spin doctors who all agree with the views of Newstalk's Dark Overlord. A token simpleton may be included to supply an opposing view - but Karnage will ensure that they are given little time to pose their side of the story. After Karnage ballyrags them with a volley of neoliberal blueshirt abuse the hapless victim won't have the time or energy to try to defend the onslaught of a panel loaded with opponents.

The BAI decisions against Newstalk are pretty damning for a show that claims to provide " entertaining cocktail of intelligent talk shaken up with first-class analysis..."

A summary of the BAI findings:
  • "It was evident on hearing the broadcast that all the contributors in this discussion bar one were pro-Lisbon."
  • "The Yes side was given prominence. The broadcast treatment of the Treaty in this broadcast was one-sided and not fair to all interests concerned"
  • "The Committee was of the view that the content of the discussion amounted to a one-sided viewpoint on the Lisbon Treaty Referendum. The Yes side was given prominence."
  • "The Committee was of the view the programme-makers and the presenter did not take sufficient action to mitigate the views and opinions expressed by the panel, which was overwhelmingly for a Yes vote."
  • The report also highlights Karnage's failure to provide any sufficient challenge to pro-Treaty contributors.

You would think that such findings against a national news broadcaster would have been widely reported by our esteemed press corps. But oh no.... the hacks and toadies in the Irish journo fraternity don't have the balls or the integrity to criticise one of their own. They'd much rather go after the easy target and emphasise the sharp practices of a late night quiz program which appears to have cheated a hoard of imbeciles out of some money.

Surely the Irish Times, the self styled "Paper of Record", would be outraged that the key journalistic pillar of impartiality was being demolished by Newstalk. The Times devoted considerable coverage to RTE's humiliating apology to Brian Clown after they ran a story about nude portraits of him. You would expect Newstalk's disgracefully one sided Lisbon coverage to be met with equal levels of outrage by Ireland's finest correspondents. WRONG. That horror show Madam Editor of the Irish Times is of the same fascist ilk as Newstalk's Dark Overlord. She couldn't allow any criticism of Karnage or her Nazi panel show.

Irish journalism is clearly in a jocker. Irish journalists present a facade of intelligence and morality. They claim to be doing their best to report impartial news to the poor pixie Irish. However, Irish news reporting is increasingly influenced by politicians and big business. RTE is a politician fearing disgrace and the likes of Newstalk have all the journalistic credibility of FOX News. The proliferation of shows like The Wide Angle and presenters like Karnage Coleman signal the death knell of impartial and trustworthy journalism in this country.

P.S. I've just had a look at Karnage's website. There is a section on it where she whores herself out, "chairing" events and seminars. Some of the testimonials on it are truly gag inducing (yet somewhat entertaining in the light of her recently highlighted shortcomings as a journalist and presenter):
  • "She has a talent for getting to the heart of the matter, asking the right questions, getting the most out of her panel..."
  • "She has a rare ability to bring out many sides of a debate, while cutting directly to the underlying issues..."
  • "Karen was committed to her participation of the event from the outside... to ensure a well balanced discussion was delivered on the day."

Ha ha ha ha ha ha - I wonder if she will be adding the findings of the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland to her testimonials. Unlikely, as anyone who employs her obviously has no time for fairness, respect or impartiality.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Maximum Authority, Minimum Responsibility

So it's not just the economy that's in the shitter now! After a few weeks of bad weather we seem to have experienced a total breakdown in basic public services. Our whole infrastructure seems to have been exposed for the third world shambles it is. Years of bad planning have resulted in thousands of houses being built on flood plains. Our sea and river defences are a disgrace and now we can't endure a few weeks of cold weather without running out of salt to treat the roads or having our water supplies cut.

You would have thought that our politicians would have used these unfortunate circumstances to show a bit of leadership. To take some decisions, allocate some resources and get the show back on the road. Hahahahahaha..... not a snowball's chance in hell! By the time the scumbag millionaires in Kildare Street got their arses into gear it was too late.

The likes of Johan von Gormless proved yet again that they are complete wastes of space. Check out Gormless's interview on RTE - a case study in evasiveness and incompetence. The best bit of the interview was when Miriam O'Callaghan referred to him as "The Minister for Snow" - a remark which went down like a bucket of hot sick with the king of the tree huggers! Gormless is a classic case of a dead man walking. He has proved that his sanctimonious sermonising while in opposition was just rhetoric. He has wasted his chance to provide any real leadership. Rather than sorting out our problems he favours introducing carbon taxes and spouting crap about "climate change". Would it be too much to ask for him to step back into the real world and sort out the mess this country is in before tackling such expensive myths? I wonder what he'll do after he loses his seat in the next election - I'm sure his mates will sort him out with a seat in the Seanad.

So Johan von Gormless couldn't or wouldn't sort out the problems caused by the "Big Freeze". Surely one of his experienced counterparts in Fianna Fool was ready to step up and lead us out of the yellow snow! With the country's transport network in a jocker maybe it was time for Noel "Toilet Roll" Dempsey to justify his massive salary. Alas, Toilet Roll was on holidays in Malta and couldn't have been arsed coming back to try and lead the poor Pixie Irish out of our arctic nightmare. Toilet Roll Dempsey arrogantly proclaimed "...I think I'm entitled -- I think people are entitled to a holiday." Eh no Toilet Roll, you are not entitled to work on your tan while your country freezes over. You are paid a massive salary with extravagant expenses and benefits so when something goes wrong WE OWN YOU. That's the way it works at senior levels of successful companies and that's the way it should work here. But Toilet Roll Dempsey felt that his presence wasn't required: "I can't think of one other item that could have been done if I was in the country which hasn't been done over the last four or five days." So what the hell have we been paying him for? The muppet probably only flew back here to submit his latest batch of dodgy expense claims. Well we can't expect him to pay for his own holiday!

Toilet Roll Dempsey and Johan von Gormless are the new poster boys of what politicians in this country actually represent. They take the nice important title, the huge salary, the government limousine and the unvouched expenses. However, when it comes to providing any leadership or making some brave decisions they shift the burden of competence onto some poor civil servant. At the end of the day politicians pretend to represent us. They pretend to govern us. They pretend to care about us. What they actually do is concentrate on emphasising their own importance and screwing as much money out of us as possible in return for their ineffectual "leadership". They do nothing yet control everything....maximum authority with minimum responsibility!