Upcoming Events

National | Arts and Media

no events match your query!

New Events


no events posted in last week

Blog Feeds

Spirit of Contradiction

offsite link The Party and the Ballot Box Sun Jul 14, 2019 22:24 | Gavin Mendel-Gleason

offsite link On The Decline and Fall of The American Empire and Socialism Sat Jan 26, 2019 01:52 | S. Duncan

offsite link What is Dogmatism and Why Does It Matter? Wed Mar 21, 2018 08:10 | Sylvia Smith

offsite link The Case of Comrade Dallas Mon Mar 19, 2018 19:44 | Sylvia Smith

offsite link Review: Do Religions Evolve? Mon Aug 14, 2017 19:54 | Dara McHugh

Spirit of Contradiction >>

Dublin Opinion
Life should be full of strangeness, like a rich painting

offsite link Some Thoughts on the Brexit Joint Report 11:50 Sat Dec 09, 2017


offsite link Notes for a Book on Money and the Irish State - The Marshall Aid Program 15:10 Sat Apr 02, 2016

offsite link The Financial Crisis:What Have We Learnt? 19:58 Sat Aug 29, 2015

offsite link Money in 35,000 Words or Less 21:34 Sat Aug 22, 2015

Dublin Opinion >>

NAMA Wine Lake

offsite link Test ? 12 November 2018 Mon Nov 12, 2018 14:28 | namawinelake

offsite link Farewell from NWL Sun May 19, 2013 14:00 | namawinelake

offsite link Happy 70th Birthday, Michael Sun May 19, 2013 14:00 | namawinelake

offsite link Of the Week? Sat May 18, 2013 00:02 | namawinelake

offsite link Noonan denies IBRC legal fees loan approval to Paddy McKillen was in breach of E... Fri May 17, 2013 14:23 | namawinelake

NAMA Wine Lake >>

Why did the media focus on the Greens?

category national | arts and media | opinion/analysis author Monday February 22, 2010 13:54author by Joe Galvin - Politico.ieauthor email josephtgalvin at gmail dot comauthor phone 087 6449366 Report this post to the editors

A strange desire to shift the focus from Fianna Fáil

The resignation of Willie O'Dea has again led to criticism of the Green Party, despite it being another failure on the side of Fianna Fáil (FF).

The Green Party has come in for major criticism over the past week for its response to Williegate, putting further pressure on a party still reeling from the resignation of Senator Deirdre de Búrca. There is no doubt that much of this criticism is justified.

The Greens response was disjointed and unprofessional. They lacked focus and initiative and their response, when it did come, was too little, too late. All of this is undoubtedly true. Why, however, has that been the main focus of many media commentators?

Noel Whelan, for example, placed equal culpability for the fiasco on the Greens in his Irish Times column, stating the coalition "cannot survive if internal Green Party tensions...are vented on op-ed pages or all over Twitter". In the Independent, Daniel McConnell stated somewhat bizarrely that John Gormley must be feeling "a bit sleazy...it hasn't been the best few days for the Greens, even if they did get their pound of flesh."

In the Sunday Independent, Colum Kenny followed a similar line, saying it was "too late for the Greens to salvage any political capital from their subsequent knifing of O'Dea in the back". This trend was followed by many media commentators, including the state broadcaster RTÉ, with Stephen Collins in the Irish Times perhaps being the most notable exception.

The fact remains, however, that this failure belonged to FF. O'Dea's nasty, childish smear is the latest in a long line of ethical failures from within FF and typifies that party's arrogance and lack of intergrity. However, little focus was placed upon the Fianna Fáil party as a whole across the media. Why?

Perhaps it is because, following O'Donoghuegate, Bertiegate, the Flynngates and Haugheygate, O'Dea was just a gate too far. Perhaps there was a feeling of ambivalence, that this issue just didn't measure up to previous Fianna Fáil scandals. A general feeling of "Why bother?"

There may be elements of truth in the above. A more likely explanation, however, is that FF managed to spin their way out of culpability. When John Gormley fails, it becomes a failure of the Green party and their lack of political experience shows when they allow this to happen. When FF fail, individuals take the heat. It happened with John O'Donoghue, with Bertie, with the Flynns and, now, it has happened with poor old Willie.

Some carefully chosen media soundbites from FF helped put the focus on the Green party, and that subtle agenda was bought into by many of the media outlets across the country. Cowen and O'Dea both spoke to the press, magnanimously absolving the Greens for their part in O'Dea's resignation. As well they might, as the Greens, despite acting late, were merely taking the correct and prudent approach in calling for O'Dea's head.

However, FF benevolence in denying they blamed the Greens served but one purpose; to shift the focus away from the party and O'Dea and on to the Greens. It was a wonderfully slick piece of political spin, and once again, FF emerged from the fiasco with their reputation less damaged than their coalition partners.

Were the Greens less than competent in their response to the situtation? Absolutely, and their slow, disjointed response will undoubtedly cost them. However, what is worse? O'Dea's wilful smear against Cllr. Maurice Quinlivan or the Greens slow response to the situation?

The focus must be placed upon FF once more. This is another failure of ethics from our largest party that cannot be forgotten. Our national media, however, seems to have done just that.

author by Rational Ecologistpublication date Mon Feb 22, 2010 17:49author address author phone Report this post to the editors

While you rightly criticised the media framing of the story as a failure of the Green Party and not that of FF, you commit the error of political naivety. Do you really expect insightful comment from the Noel Whelans of this world? These are all second rate journalists, who are very much part of the cosy-consensus. Just listen to Radio 1 at any time and the lens is narrowed and the debate is limited.
The Greens made the mistake of going in to Govt with FF, in the first instance.
FF are a pseudo-poiltical organisation, they are more akin to a social phenomenon, in fact they are a glorified Mafia. This is a party that is corrupt, arrogant, complacent, smug, wholly without a moral or ethical compass.
If we do in fact get the Government we deserve, what does that say about us as a people? Don't forget that the Greens only have six seats. The depressing fact is that anyone votes for FF.
I am not seeking to defend the Greens, however, to expect insightful, independent journalism is futile.
FF keeps getting in to Govt, what does that say about us? Is there something in the national psyche that identifies with their way of operating? Is it Post-Colonialism.
I'm searching for hope, however, I am increasingly feeling hopeless.

author by Joe Galvin - Politico.iepublication date Mon Feb 22, 2010 21:35author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Perhaps not from Noel Whelan, but I feel it is a real shame that our national media has become so one-dimensional and cosy with the political elites. I write a bit more about it below, specifically in relation to George Lee's resignation. To be honest, I expect very little for our national media. And they consistently deliver, god bless 'em.


Related Link: http://politico.ie/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=6250:george-lee-exemplifies-the-symbiosis-of-media-and-politics&c...d=877
© 2001-2019 Independent Media Centre Ireland. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by Independent Media Centre Ireland. Disclaimer | Privacy