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Sunday Independent that defended Bertie Ahern - on anti RTE, President Michael D Higgins, crusade

category national | arts and media | news report author Friday March 23, 2012 12:51author by Jim Thompson - News thats fit to print Report this post to the editors

Harrises run riot - turn paper into crude propaganda sheet - like Murdoch's Sunday Times at its worst

The Sunday independent is the paper that defended Bertie Ahern tooth and nail. This is the paper that helped him win the 2007 general election. This is the paper whose jaded star columnist, Eoghan Harris, denounced all and sundry who criticised Ahern and who Ahern appointed a Senator as a reward for his scribblings.

This is the paper that today takes the high moral ground with RTE. This is the paper that covers acres of newsprint with hypocritical calls for the heads of RTE staff and for full disclosure. What about full disclosure of how the Sindo got it wrong on the death of Liam Lawlor, falsly accusing the corrupt politician of being in a car with a prostitute. It is the Sunday Independent that has prostituted itself to power in the name of its own power to destroy reputations.
The story you won't read in Irish Independent on 23 March 2012 - but they know it's true
The story you won't read in Irish Independent on 23 March 2012 - but they know it's true

There were twelve stories on RTE in the Sunday Independent on 18 March 2012 (click on graphic), ably orchestrated by Editor Anne and columnist Eoghan Harris. Plus a story attacking Vincent Browne in TV3 by Harris-clone John Paul McCarthy and one attacking The Guardian's Roy Greenslade by British Establishment favourite Ruth Dudley Edwards. All of the old enemies are named and berated in an extended reactionary slang-fest.

We could imagine what the Sunday Independent would be like, were it to abide by new guidelines on objectivity, impartiality and fairness drawn up by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland? Most of the paper would be blank. The Sunday Independent doesn’t do objectivity and balance. That’s for TV and radio folk - but only if it is Sindo approved 'balance'. A po-faced article by BCI member Colm Kenny on the proposed new BAI guidelines appears in the midst of the shrieking engaged in by other columnists. You would think Kenny might have something to say about it.

RTE has its faults, many, but this reactionary Sunday Independent campaign is designed to destroy critical journalism and to create more than ample space for reactionary views.

Journalists and broadcasters will have to stand up and be counted or watch their profession go down the tubes.

Bullies have to be confronted. How many slaps will broadcasters take before they stand up to an over cautious management, who would sell them down the river, and a hysterical cabal of Sunday Sycophants in the Sunday Independent?

The attacks on President Michael D Higgins, a feature of the paper on 11 and 18 March, are an attempt to undermine a left-wing President. Family Harris hate the man who got rid of Section 31 state censorship in RTE. They feel guilty that Eoghan's go-baldheaded-for-McGuinness-advice destroyed the presidential candidacy of Gay Mitchell, and let in baldy Sean Gallagher through the back door. (See, http://www.indymedia.ie/article/100648 and further links).

'Independent' Fianna Fail 'envelope' candidate Sean Gallagher was Harris’s last hope and it looked like he could pull it off. But the public was becoming more aware of his dodgy Fianna Fail connections. These were finally exposed on RTE's Frontline when Gallagher's line of political snake-oil was exposed by audience members and Martin McGuinness's question. See,

Seán Gallagher exposed on RTE's Frontline

The 'twitter' element, where pat Kenny announced that Gallagher’s accuser would appear at a Sinn Fein press conference the next day, is a minor part of the story - look at the YouTube video. The next day on the Pat Kenny radio show Gallagher attacked Frontline audience member Glenna Lynch for asking him embarrassing questions about his business practices. See,

Sean Gallagher Questionable Accounting

When Gallagher attacked Lynch on the radio show, his credibility was finally shot. See,

Irish people want to move on to tackle the destruction of Irish sovereignty by Sean Gallagher's Fianna Fail friends and their ‘dig-out’ colleagues. This weekly distraction, in the business and political interest of Independent newspapers, is preventing them from focusing on the billions being given to bankers and their rich friends. If the Sunday Independent can keep it up, it will distract from the devastating Mahon Tribunal criticism of Eoghan Harris’s old pal, who made him a senator, former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern.

This fake story is important and is ignored at everyone's peril. It must be exposed. If we can't stand up to this, what can progressive forces stand up to?

See also:
Sean Gallagher's Sunday Independent 'whistle blower' is convicted fraudster

Sindo condemns RTE for taking 'word of a criminal' - then atacked RTE based on... 'word of a criminal'
Sindo condemns RTE for taking 'word of a criminal' - then atacked RTE based on... 'word of a criminal'

11 articles on RTE filling 9 pages in Sunday Indpendent 18 March 2012
11 articles on RTE filling 9 pages in Sunday Indpendent 18 March 2012

Above the Sindo's exclusive (from a con man) an attack on Michael D Higgins for watching a prison play
Above the Sindo's exclusive (from a con man) an attack on Michael D Higgins for watching a prison play

38 years ago RTE was also under attack - the target Eoghan Harris, for producing a brave programme exposing interment without trial in the North - today he would call for himself to be sacked
38 years ago RTE was also under attack - the target Eoghan Harris, for producing a brave programme exposing interment without trial in the North - today he would call for himself to be sacked

Caption: Video Id: pMxLkBF3AiQ Type: Youtube Video
Eoghan Harris defends Ahern on TV3

author by Former comradepublication date Sat Mar 24, 2012 12:36author address author phone Report this post to the editors

That interview (above) with Ursula Halligan on TV3 will haunt Eoghan Harris down the ages, that and his betrayal of all he once stood for, in return for first Rupert Murdoch's and then Tony O'Reilly's shilling.

Matt Cooper's 'Who Really Runs Ireland' (Penguin, 2009) deals in some detail with the developing relationship between O'Reilly, Harris and Ahern.

It is a far cry from when Eamon Smullen called O'Reilly a 'leech' in 'O'Reilly's Last Game', published by Sinn Fein the Workers' Party (SFWP) in 1976. It is attached here as a PDF. The pamphlet details how O'Reilly made money by taking over Irish companies with dormant shareholders, who did not realise the asset value of their holdings. O'Reilly's Ftizwilton holding company vehicle engaged in asset stripping that resulted in hundreds of job losses, but that enriched O’Reilly. The SFWP that produced the pamphlet degenerated into The Workers Party and broke up eventually into Democratic Left (that joined the Labour Party), leaving a rump behind. Former members like Harris ended up supporting censorship, internment and the crony capitalism critiqued in 'Tony O'Reilly's Last Game'.

Harris, as an RTE employee, cold not publicly associate himself with authorship of SFWP publications. He was almost sacked in 1974. He later revealed his role in writing most of the party's best known publications, but covered up how his views did a 180 degree turn.

O'Reilly took over Independent newspapers in 1973. That effectively insulated him from critical coverage in Irish media. In the small Irish pool, Journalists in other papers will not write critical things about O’Reilly because they might end up applying to work for one of his newspapers. In Britain, the Guardian critiqued Rupert Murdoch’s News International. In Ireland, there is no equivalent. Great unexpressed hatred, little room. The proprietors would not allow it anyway. They have a mutual interest in not criticising each other. Far better to distract readers by bashing public sector workers and RTE (that the public owns), writing up the world of 'celebrity' and other nonsense.

His holdings allowed O’Reilly to build political-business alliances, in which the Sunday Independent in particular supported O'Reilly's business interests, and his political prejudices, particularly on the North. For this latter work the Harris pair were ideally suited, because they share the same prejudices. The opportunity to engage in continual Provo and northern nationalist bashing is irresistible. It makes their day.

The Harris's have nailed themselves to heir to the throne, Gavin O'Reily's mast, in the shareholder battle with Dennis O'Brien for control of Independent newspapers. O'Reilly the younger will have to work out whether the politically unstable pair are a liability or an asset. He might figure them to be a short-term asset and long-term liability.

Presumably, they will be well paid for their services. Tomorrow’s Sunday Independent will be interesting. I might leaf through its pages, before putting it back neatly in place in its pile.

How Harris's SFWP wrote about Tony ('Sir Anthony) O'Reilly, Harris's boss today, in 1976
How Harris's SFWP wrote about Tony ('Sir Anthony) O'Reilly, Harris's boss today, in 1976

Cover of the SFWP 1976 pamphlet
Cover of the SFWP 1976 pamphlet

PDF Document Tony O'Reilly's Last Game - the pamphlet in full - download here 0.5 Mb

author by The Brady Bunchpublication date Sat Mar 24, 2012 13:46author address author phone Report this post to the editors

How come the BCI complainant below is 'unnamed' - has the BCI been knobbled? Is it intimidated by the Sunday Independent? Kenny had Royston Brady, who was Ahern's FF running mate, and another FF activist on the programme, as well as the author of a book on Ahern. How was Kenny to know that the FFers would be so critical of their former boss?


Pat Kenny aired a 'one-sided' RTE show on Bertie Ahern, finds watchdog
By Anne-Marie Walsh Irish Independent Saturday March 24 2012

PAT KENNY'S radio show has come under fire for broadcasting a "one-sided" show on Bertie Ahern featuring his former party colleague Royston Brady. The Broadcasting Authority of Ireland has taken RTE to task for its "unfair" coverage of the last Taoiseach and his financial affairs on the 'Today with Pat Kenny' show on October 27.

It upheld a complaint, by an unnamed individual, against the show just a day after the Mahon Tribunal condemned Mr Ahern's own account of his finances.

The authority said its Compliance Committee upheld the complaint against the programme that centred on a discussion of Colm Kenna's book, 'Bertie: Power and Money', last year.

It found that Mr Ahern should have been given a right of reply given the allegations were made about his honesty on the programme, which was aired last October.

On the show, Pat Kenny was joined by journalist Colm Kenna, former Fianna Fail Dublin Mayor Royston Brady and Fianna Fail activist Joe Tierney.

During the show, Mr Tierney said Mr Ahern did everything "with a motive for himself". "Fianna Fail owes nothing to Bertie Ahern but Bertie Ahern owes everything to Fianna Fail," he said.

The authority said the person who complained argued that the discussion during the programme on the newly released book was "one-sided".

The person who made the complaint said it "should have contained a balancing voice", but "demonstrated a lack of fairness, objectivity and impartiality".

The broadcasting authority said the focus of the discussion on the political and financial activities of Mr Ahern and criticism of these activities "was a legitimate subject matter" for a news programme.

"However, given the allegations made during the programme as well as the personal remarks about the motivations and honesty of Mr Ahern, the absence during the programme of a right of reply or alternative perspectives on Mr Ahern was considered unfair," said the broadcasting authority. It said the programme was, therefore, in breach of the Broadcasting Act.

The announcement of the authority's decision to uphold the complaint was broadcast on RTE radio yesterday.

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