Tuesday, October 07, 2008
So, you're an Irish tabloid editor and Grainne Seoige has finally managed to have that fella removed from her nice RTE couch and replaced with her own sister.
You run the only evening national paper in the country, so you're guaranteed to have the first review of their new show.
But if it's bad, and you slam it, you'll never get access to either of the photogenic, units-selling sisters again. And if it's bad and you don't slam it, then the readers will see through your vapid puffing of poo.
So, like the RTE producers who gambled on the sister act, you hope and pray it works.
Then it doesn't. It's a car crash, unwatchably bad. How do you review it?
Well, if you're the Evening Herald, you pan it and puff it all at the same time! Genius!
Front page today bills their TV critic Pat Stacey's review inside on page three. And Pat pulls no punches - "one great, big, private joke", "the Seoige sisters absolutely drip with smugness", "like being smothered with a pink blanket at a pyjama party", "a ramshackle mess", "catastrophically bad."
Well, that's the end of the Evening Herald running any 'exclusives' about the Seoige sisters for the next century or so, right?
Wrong. Because thirty pages in is where the Evening Herald destroys its own (admittedly greatly diminished) integrity by hedging the bet.
Their 'columnist' Sinead Ryan is one you can always rely on for vapid girly frothiness. There's not a subject on Earth she can't trivialise with her shallow insights.
And of course, she's got an opinion on the Seoiges that she just has to share with us - "super, sassy and sexy", "a winner", "fab combination", deserving of a "prime time Friday or Saturday night slot."
So, what is the casual reader, who missed the Seoige show, to make of the Evening Herald's reviews?
Is the show catastrophically bad or a fab combination? Is it like being smothered with a pink blanket or deserving a prime time slot? Is it somehow both, in the self-contradictory world of the Evening Herald?
And is the Evening Herald a newspaper with opinions and reviews that can be trusted, or is it a self-contradictory bag of shite?