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Friday, February 08, 2008

Poison Pens - Irish media nonsense exposed

Obviously every single day you can pick up an Irish newspaper, any of them really, and roll your eyes in horror at the errors, misspellings, pretensions, outrageous opinion masquerading as objectivity, and blatant spin.

So I'm going to reserve this occasional series for serial offenders and major errors of fact.

In the first category is long-time frustrated poet, Irish Independent sports writer Vincent Hogan, whose airbrushed, outdated 'matinee idol' byline picture is only matched by his fondness for prose more purple than a crate of Ribena.

Maybe you were busy Wednesday night, and didn't catch the Ireland V Brazil game? Thought you'd pick up the Indo on Thursday and read all about it? Vince has other plans for you.

From the casual racism of the opening line - 'It was settled by the deftness of a street thief" - you knew this was going to be vintage Hogan balls.

There's the one word sentences, the irrelevant multi-paragraph digressions, and the errors of fact that make you think he wasn't at the game at all. (On this occasion, the suggestion that the Brazilians were singing Ole. Ole is a Spanish word, associated in South America with Brazil's bitter rivals Argentina. It was the Irish fans chanting Ole, Vince.)

Receiving my inaugural 'Liam Lawler's Hooker' award for getting their facts completely wrong in an Irish newspaper is inevitably the Daily Mail, who've never enjoyed the closest relationship with factuality.

In a heavily topspun and overwritten article about the British Embassy employment dispute (with inevitable tired references to Ferrero Rocher and ironing newspapers), the offending scribe Lucie van den Berg manages a whopping error in her opening paragraph. See if you can spot it:

"It had all the appearances of the final days of the Raj. The last bastion of the Perfidious Albion's Imperialism in Ireland - or the British Embassy as we now call it - was the site of outrage among what Edmund Burke called 'the swinish multitude' yesterday."

It's got everything, hasn't it? The ridiculous analogy with the Raj is a nice starter, followed by a main course of ungrammatical factual error. Last bastion of English imperialism in Ireland? Erm, try 70 miles north of Dublin, love. And for desert, a sickly sweet pointless quotation culled no doubt from www.findmeaquotetomakemesoundsmart.com.

The story itself, you ask? There isn't one, really. Some people at the British Embassy were laid off, and their mates took a two hour picket action in sympathy.

Congrats to Vincent and Lucie, penning Irish media drivel at its finest.


Informer said...

As you know JC, my belief is that the media sing and dance to the direction of the state they try and represent, and when they don't they must be either true rebels or not getting their cream of the top!

As for spelling and grammer issues, the majority won't spot them anyway, so why rant about 'em!

Missing Neighbour said...

Hilarious stuff JC. Keep up the good work. I am sick to the back teeth of these morons making the news instead of reporting it. They actually think people give a fuck about their personal opinions. And what the fuck is up with all these photos of ugly as sin journos appearing next to the by-line? I couldn't give a toss what they look like (and I suspect the majority of readers agree with me) as long as they do their job right. It seems like every cretin wants to be on X-Factor these days (or should I say. 'You’re a star').
I haven't bought a paper in years because it makes me feel nauseous as soon as I begin reading their poorly researched, (everyone has the internet these days you lazy cunts, they can check facts, so go and do some leg work for a change), badly written opinionated drivel.
It actually beggars belief that they get paid so much for doing so little.

mellobiafra said...

Never mind the hacks...I always new the Knackeraguans were crazy, but this has got to be the most fucked up thing I have ever heard...


mellobiafra said...

Oh! That's real helpful!

Ireland debates switch to right-hand driving...from Reuters

let's try that link over two lines


Missing neighbour said...

Just read that Mello. Typical warped logic there: Foreigners are killing themselves and us on our roads because they fail to adjust to driving on the opposite side of the road. I know lets reverse the trend so that we can now kill foreigners and ourselves on the road because we can't adjust to driving on the opposite side of the road. How fucking dumb are these so called senior politicians? It looks like you need a lobotomy to qualify. What a dipshit.

JC Skinner said...

It's Donie Cassidy, ffs. Known loon of long standing.
Glad y'all enjoyed the poison pens.

JC Skinner said...

Oh, and I agree on the pic bylines on news stories.
If I want to see what a hack looks like, I'll turn on Sky News. Or go boozing down the John Hewitt any lunchtime.
It's cult of personality journalism. I wouldn't mind how ugly they are if they were good, but they often aren't.

Imprinted Pens said...

The demise of the traditional training system may partly explain why credulity and gullibility levels in the media are on the increase. In the past you served your time on a regional paper where a wrong name in a court case or a wrongly attributed sending-off in a GAA match report could prompt mayhem. The material you dealt with may often have been mundane and parochial but at least you learned the hard way that facts are sacrosanct for news reporting. This career path could only engender a healthy dose of cynicism and caution compared to the current system where a lot of reporters graduate to the national media newsdesks straight from journalism college. Newsrooms were never a place for the sensitive soul but in some papers and radio stations they now resemble nothing more than production lines where young reporters are bullied into producing six or seven stories in a shift. Or worse, are forced by editors who should know better to write a story to a pre-ordained headline or angle even if the facts don't add up. So long as the hoax doesn't result in an expensive visit to the Four Courts, who really cares seems to be the prevailing attitude in some papers and radio stations.