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Spinning Like Mad on Joe Duffy

category dublin | bin tax / household tax / water tax | opinion/analysis author Wednesday October 15, 2003 16:26author by radio listener Report this post to the editors

Surprise surprise, the Joe Duffy show, in its mission to enlighten the unwashed masss of this country, has stooped to a new low trying to discredit the Bin Tax campaign.

Picking up on a Fingal CoCo press release that alleges that two members of the Socialist Party 'intimidated' a bin worker at his home last night. Michael Murhpy, one of the two SP members appeared on the show to defend himself. The bin worker, Benny Farrel(l?) spoke first, and was very angry that they knew his name and address.

As it turns out, this was a simple case of mistaken identity. A woman from the campaign had been approached by a bin worker during yesterdays protest, who wanted to get in contact with the campaign. However, his boss appeared, and obviously fearing the wrath of the CoCo he stopped talking to the campiagner. This campiagner then passed on the information to the FABTC, but she gave the wrong name. She said it was someone called 'Benny'.

In a devious plot, Mr Murphy told his imprisoned wife, Cllr Clare Daly, about the event, and she thought she recognised the name. It turns out that Benny had been in contact with Clare before, via telephone, about a different issue. Putting two and two together, the evil Socialist Party member looked up the name and estate in the electoral register, and obviously anxious to make contact with sympathetic workers, called to his house.

Mr Farrel took this as an affront to his privacy, and felt 'intimidated'. Which is fair enough, each to his own an all that. However, it seems to me that this was a simple mistake on behalf of the FATBC, that has been blown out of all proportion by the CoCo, aided and abetted by the Joe Duffy show.

The facts, undisputed by Mr Farrel on the show, are that the two SP/FABTC members called to his house, introduced themselves as members of the FABTC (NOT as SP members, as claimed in the council Press release), and upon realising their mistake apologised and left immediatley. Hardly controversial stuff. Yet, in the capable hands of Joe Duffy, this small incident managed to take up a whole hour of the program.

As is usual on the JD show, whenever anyone from anti-establishment campaigns are on, there was a flood of 'angry listeners' who disagreed with the campaign. (This was a trend also seen when members of the IAWM were on the show). Some of the claims were simply outrageous, and largely went unchallenged by Duffy (who I assume is meant to give the program a measure of 'balance').

For example, one caller claimed, naturally without any evidence whatsoever, that this was the 'first step in subtle intimidation'. Twice it was claimed that the Socialist Party were Nazis, and once it was insinuated that the Socialist Party were supporters of the Stalinist Eastern block. While not a member of the SP myself, I know some members and I know both these claims are outright lies. However, we can rest assured that if someone appeared on the show and called FF or the PDs (or any other establishment party) Nazis, Duffy would say something like "ah here hang on now, you can't say that. That's a terrible claim, you have no evidence." Of course, being the balanced and fair man that he is, in this case he said... nothing. Duffy then went on to make a snide remark about the "danger of socialists taking power"! Hardly a balanced opinion.

Later still, the show picked up on an article in the Herald, which claimed that two members of the campaign, including one who is in prison, are exempt from charges, and therefore it insinuated 'had no right to protest'! To use just one small example from history, when some South African whites fought alongside black people for their freedom. These white people were obviously not black, therefore not subject to the racism of the SA state. By this logic, they had 'no right' to protest alongside black people in their struggle for freedom!

Anyway, this was also insinuated by Duffy. When Joe Duffy burnt the US Flag in the 1980s, what 'right' did he have to do that? If memory serves, Duffy was also a member of the campaign for gay rights in the 1980s. Again, as he is not gay, what 'right' did he have to get involved in that? You see where I am going with this?

Also, on the 1 O'Clock RTE radio news Minister for the Environemnt Martin Cullen appeared, and made the outrageous claim that he has no time for 'people who break the law'. Really Mr Cullen? What about drink-driving-accident-cauisng GV Wright? Or tax-dodging-until-caught Michael Collins? Or the Ansbacher men and women that still propser in Irish society. Or the use of Shannon in an illegal war? Of course, the presenter just let him continue on his rant largely unchallenged.

Fairness and accuracy in reporting and coverage? You must be joking.

PS The next time an election candidate comes to my house, I must remember to issue a press release, and contact Joe Duffy about the indimidation I have been subject to. I should also add, that I am neither a member of the SP or affilaited with the FABTC. I am from the sticks, but the entire campaign has my full support. Despite what the media would have you believe, many down the country also fully support the campaign.

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author by Very Anonymouspublication date Wed Oct 15, 2003 16:58author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Thanks for posting this - I never get a chance to listen to Joe Duffy or Finucane and the rest of them. Good analysis of the immense bias in the Irish media.


author by Mr McEnroepublication date Wed Oct 15, 2003 17:16author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I sometimes listen when I get the chance at work, but did not today. But anyway it is impossible to take the show as being for serious discussion. Everything is contrived and spiced up to keep up the level of listeners.

(Tried to post a similiar message a few mins ago but was unable to connect for some reason)

author by stamp collectorpublication date Wed Oct 15, 2003 17:17author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I know some of the facts, but would be amused, no doubt, by a refresher.Thanks for that piece and analysis. very informative.

author by radio listenerpublication date Wed Oct 15, 2003 18:51author address author phone Report this post to the editors


...Eventually he was allowed to finish his degree, but he had ruffled many feathers in Trinity and in 1992 when the college was celebrating its four hundreth anniversary he was the only student leader not to be invited back to take part in the celebrations.

...In 1984 as president of USI he spent ten days in Mountjoy prison because of an occupation of Eastern Health Board premises in a row over medical cards for students.

...He was offered the chance to become a politician a few years ago but he felt he could achieve more in his broadcasting work. [My EDIT: Fucking right! Far more people listen to his drivel than the drivel coming out of politicans mouths!]

...He finds prayer a great source of comfort in the stresses of modern life; if you see Joe Duffyís lips moving as he drives his car, it isnt the stream of abuse that most of us carry on with, but a litany of Our Fathers that he recites while fingering a little string of finger beads.

(I'm afraid thats all I could find on the web, its basically a haigiography)

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author by stamp collectorpublication date Wed Oct 15, 2003 19:28author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Thanks for that. Any ex-trinity-ites remember anything more specific he said/did that he appears now to be contradicting. I mean he did set a trend. Look who followed in his footsteps... Marty (closet Stalinist, now in FF)Whelan, Mark ( labour youth, tiocfaidh, then _orkers party & RTE _anchor anti-republican anti-left)Little, Ivana Bacik (similar ilk and well on the path...)

author by another duffy listenerpublication date Wed Oct 15, 2003 20:19author address author phone Report this post to the editors

and to me it seemed like the benny guy was a little on the 'strange' side. I don't want to belittle the man, but I always have my doubts about people who refer to themselves in the 3rd person - I paraphrase:

"Benny drives his truck in this estate"

And who overly care by what name they are called:

"My friends call me Benny. People like you should call me Brendan."

Personally, I think that the Fingal Council were simply using him as a pawn, manipulating his (probably) genuine fears to show the campaign in a bad light.

author by Phuq Heddpublication date Wed Oct 15, 2003 20:27author address author phone Report this post to the editors

is reportedly to have started a riot over the quality of the toilet paper in the loos. Reputedly (mythically?) college authorities tried to shut down a sound-system in the front-square while he was haranguing the assembled sons-and-daughters-of-a-little-privilege and getting them worked up over the abuse of their bottoms by the declining quality and increasing roughness of the toilet paper.

The gardai are supposed to have been invited onto college for a good oul' baton charge.

Anyone care to refute?

Anyway, the subject of balance in reporting is an interesting one: the standard liberal model of there being such a thing as a simple way of producing balance by having two sides to a debate and allowing statements of dubious veracity to remain unchallenged obviously fails to get at the truth many times.

But Joe's show (and all media shows) aren't about getting at the truth, they're about attracting a large enough audience so that their ear-time can be sold to advertisers. (Joe and other journalist's personal motives matter little here, what _is_ important is the part they play in the mechanism).

author by duffy's dystopia - the Party partypublication date Wed Oct 15, 2003 23:38author address author phone Report this post to the editors

it was like the socialsit guy was on trial, cept he had to prove his innocence, not vice versa.

author by stop the bin taxpublication date Thu Oct 16, 2003 12:03author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Two points

I find it hard to believe that Benny would be so easily intimidated by a couple of people calling to his house, given his performace yesterday. Smacks of a set-up.

Duffy, the student radical. Has always had a deep hatred of the SP from the "Militant Tendancy" days when they ran against him in TCD elections around 1980. Had very much a republican position and worked in alliance with members of the CPI-ML (Who? - Albania was the greatest country in the world and the IRA (now the C-IRA) were patriotic fighters) as an officer of USI.

author by PKpublication date Thu Oct 16, 2003 12:34author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Following on from the Herald's Sunlike nastiness yesterday - today's Examiner has a pretty odious article by the forementioned person.

They all seem to forget that the rule of law for law applies to the rich as much as to the rest of us. Only difference being, that they make sure it applies to us.

The spin being used about intimidation of workers and the campaing pitting bin workers against the communites there in is complete nonsense. It is obvious that they overwhelmingly support this campaign and that its likely that it will be the union leaders if push comes to shove who will implement council and government policy.

Harney said in the Dail the other night that Parlon had seen the error of his ways, (he of the court order breaking fame) funny I don't remember reading that press statement.

Interesting that the PD's were sent out to bat for most of this debate. Could it be that there are some nervy FFers? OK Cullen has been vocal but sure he's a PDer in his heart. I also wonder how much money has been spent by his department in the past few weeks. The fucker is never off the tv.

To the Greens out there, I hope ye are watching and learning, because ye are next when it comes to incinerators. I'll be fighting against them too, if not shoulder to shoulder with ye.

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author by dufferpublication date Fri Oct 17, 2003 00:06author address author phone Report this post to the editors

It would seem Joe Duffy got some of his tips for SP bashing and creating a storm in a tea cup off this site.

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