Really Terrible Éxcuses

Browsing the RTÉ website the other day, I happened upon a report (in maddening Realplayer-O-Vision, to which RTÉ cleaves for purely sadistic reasons) filed by Flor McCarthy about the Greek strikes. Now, only the incurably naive would tune in to an RTÉ world news item expecting enlightenment or fresh insight; the bods upstairs long ago came to the (correct) conclusion that Irish viewers get their international fare from real news networks, and don’t particularly want to see it regurgitated by RTÉ. Sure enough, this was a cut-and-paste VT/VO job, but one decidedly designed for domestic consumption.

Events in Greece and Iceland have sent the D4 hive-mind into overdrive. Material evidence that capitulation to the finance sector and decimation of public services is not the only game in town, and moreover can be resisted and even overturned, is not the kind of defeatist thinking one wants dripping down the food chain. Accordingly, McCarthy’s piece dutifully reported the massive and crippling strikes, the occupation of the finance department, and the use of tear gas by police, before wishing them away (over corroboratory and undated VT of a market stall which, admittedly, was not on fire) as “muted.”

This kind of doublespeak has effectively become the house style of RTÉ. In fact, during the public sector strikes here, I wrote to RTÉ to complain that not a single shred of evidence had been produced to support their beloved Newry Exodus thesis. Their response? They did have evidence. Video evidence, at that. Of an anonymous public sector worker admitting it was a fair cop.

One worker. And where was this evidence? Well, unfortunately it wasn’t of broadcast quality and so couldn’t go to air. Funny how these things happen when they’re least convenient…


One Response to “Really Terrible Éxcuses”

  1. C Flower Says:

    Nice post and very true. The Greek events in the international media have been reported for the last year as though crazed anarchists have been burning down the State. The same repeat shots of dodgy looking guys in motorbike helmets or masks breaking a few windows. No footage of vast and well disciplined trade union and CP marches and occupations.

    Will be linking your post on in the hops of some discussion on RTE’s coverage of events in Greece and in Ireland.

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