Myers column spiked by Irish Times

The Sunday Independent again. The paper has been making a certain amount of hay at the expense of the Irish Times, and it’s spiking of Kevin Myers’ column two weeks ago, which accused the IRA of being responsible for the Northern Bank raid.

  • Keith M

    There’s no question that under the new regime on D’Olier Street there has been a major swing on the I.T.’s previously balanced coverage of N.I. affairs. The spiking of Myers would not surprise me as he is one of the few respected Irish journalists (outside the Independent group) who has dared question the bona-fides of SF/IRA and the whole “peace process”.

  • George

    Spiked because the Irish Times ran with a denial of IRA involvement from a Republican source on the same day.

    He rejigged it slightly and it was printed
    in the Telegraph.

  • Keith M

    Thanks for the link George. This is an excellent and very brave (considering it came before Orde’s statemment) article. It’s a disgrace that Irish based jounalists are being censored at home and have to go to the UK to get their work published.

  • D’Oracle

    Myers can sometimes be original, often intelligent but you can equally always count on him for a unionist perspective. On some topics at some times this can evidently pose dilemmas for Madam Editor – what her organ’s role as the Republic’s paper of record etc.

    Just think about it -a whole week before Hugh Orde shares his thoughts with the public, this guy decides to call the heist for the Shinners.

    The rest of you -apart from KeIth M that is -just put yourselves behind the editors on the morning in question when friend Myers shuffles up with his latest Diary offering.

    Swings,respected, excellent, brave etc dont come close; premature, rash, impulsive perhaps or embarrassingly good sources “outside the jurisdiction” would be more like it.

  • Henry94

    This was the same Myers who assured us after Castlereagh that the war was over and the IRA had won.

  • Oilbhéar Chromaill

    What a turn up for the books? Journalists having to stand up their opinions? Shock horror whatever next? It’s a pity that the same standards haven’t been in place since Hugh Orde’s ‘verdict’ – that’s what McDowell, the minister for justice called it even though I’m pretty sure that the sham of charges being brought and trial being held have to be gone through before a JURY gives a verdict.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    ‘This is an excellent and very brave (considering it came before Orde’s statemment) article. It’s a disgrace that Irish based jounalists are being censored at home and have to go to the UK to get their work published.’

    Whether it is excellent is a matter for the reader, but brave, don’t make me laugh. Brave journalists are those who put their lives on the line to get at the truth in areas like South America or Africa. The bloated and pickled variety that occupy the print media here should be shame faced in such company.
    Myers was not censored in any way, shape or form. He was told that if he had information on the robbery he could submit the story as a NEWS piece. He failed to do so for reasons that are patently obvious.

  • Mick Fealty

    So far, this discussion has mistaken the trees for the wood. Forgetting personalities and political allegences for a moment, what is the proper role of a columnist? It is certainly not to provide news. Rather it is to provoke.

    Brian Feeney, Jude Collins and Father Des Wilson all say provocative and challenging things on a regular basis. Because that’s what they get paid to do. If it winds up their opponents towards apoplexy, so much the better!

    Even if, as is the case with Myers, he’s effectively a staffer engaged over many years, you are still employing him for his ideas, not the paper’s! Not in a million years would anyone mistake his line for that of the paper’s official stance.

    The only restrictions that should apply to columnists are those dictated by the libel laws. As the modified re-print in the Telegraph demonstrates, it was not beyond the realms of possibility to get it through. In any case, who could possibly have taken the required action?

    I don’t think this issue should be passed over for the sake of political expediency!

  • Oilbhéar Chromaill

    WIth all due respect Mick, I don’t think it matters that he is a columnist in that he was trying on this occasion to use his column to pass off as a fact something which was and remains a matter of speculation – despite Mr Orde’s ‘verdict’. (never has a legal term been so devalued by an officer of the law!).

    In the DT column all he had to rely on as evidence was his own prejudice, no more or no less. That’s not real journalism – that’s yellow journalism in my book. if he were being brave he would have challenged officialdom to come up with something to stand up their off the record behind the door briefings. But that’s too much to expect from Myers and his revisionist fellow travellers.

  • Mick Fealty

    I don’t disagree that if Myers’ piece had been carried outside its column space, it would clearly fall into the category of yellow journalism. However, I would argue that there is a general (and unwelcome) elision between journalism, which should be properly subject to certain strictures and values, and the necessarily subjective work of a political columnist.

    This has much to do with economics. Papers are increasingly forced, by unpleasant financial realities, to rely on cheaper columnists than paying journalists to go out and properly research their stories.

    However, it shouldn’t blind us to the fact that columnists (so long as they are clearly marked as such) are paid for their opinion, entertainment and good writing. It may also be that some are good journalists, but their columnist output should not be judged purely by such standards.

    Above all, whilst acknowledging the need for them to remain inside the law, they must also have the freedom to be just plain wrong!

  • peteb

    and, on occasion, right, Mick.

  • Oilbhéar Chromaill

    Kevin Myers, objectionable, distasteful and all as he undoubtedly is, in my opinion, has a right to an opinon of course. But he doesn’t have a right to represent as fact something which is not fact when he and the entire world knows that it is not so. It is only a matter of opinion that the IRA carried out the Northen bank job – it’s like what journalists on Fox get away with – Some People Say……
    I know where Myers is coming from – he’s misrepresented so often and so prodigiously in the past on all sorts of issues that he’s difficult to miss. The emptiest vessel making the most noise kind of thing.

    He may be opinionated. He may be able to complete a sentence – unlike Johnny Adair it seems – but I have no respect for his yellow and orange journalism. If he were a republican journalist with the same modus operandi, I don’t think I would respect him either.

  • Mick Fealty

    Perhaps of only indirect relevance is the Spectator crisis in which the leader was delegated to one of the paper’s sparkier columnists. Shortly after, all hell broke loose.

  • willowfield

    Perhaps Oliver Cromwell could explain why Kevin Myers is “objectionable” and “distasteful”.

  • Davros

    Yellow Journalism, new one to me, splendid.

  • James

    Since I was cunningly steered into the Myers’ Torygraph article by another Slugger topic, I wondered if any of the Sluggettes have noticed that yer man, Mr. Myers, tailors his prose to his audience? Please keep in mind that I would rather gargle with rusty razor blades than weave a path through his specious and consistently untrue prose BUT this guy has a duality only seen when the Tennessee Ernie with the blacked out teeth who sang on Dude Ranch Party morphed into Earnest J. Ford on the news at KFXM in San Bernardino.

    His domestic columns for the Irish Times are rollicking, sarcastic wee tidbits which are intended to be great craic if you don’t let the facts get in the way. This is his Oirish side. When he writes for the Torygraph (yes I have read a couple of his pieces there — consider it self-inflicted wounds) you can just see him clasp his hat in his hand and tug his forelock. The work is professorial, proper and veddy veddy English harking back to the days when he was a presenter of that RTE knock-off of College Bowl.

    Partying on from the only sweat lodge on the rez with a DNS address.

  • Davros

    Erm, can you provide a translation for that James ?

  • James

    “leader was delegated to one of the paper’s sparkier columnists”

    Speaking of The Evil One, Mark Steyn is back in the Irish Times today in the World section with a column on the Saudis with OPINION following the title. He used to be carried without that disclaimer but I noticed that either by summer or fall they still carried him with the legitimate news but with the OPINION label in bold type.

    There was some talk before the election about his not returning if Bush was defeated. He has been absent for several weeks and my hopes were building until the recent column in the World section. Perhaps he just got the news.

    So, wh has the juice at the Irish Times to keep Steyn exiled in the World news section?

  • James

    “Erm, can you provide a translation for that James ?”

    Coyote, the ever present trickster, lured me to the Tangled Web and to the Torygraph web sites this morning by means of cunning, misdirected links and other artifice. I have been performing the ritual cleansing ceremony to ward the body of the reactionary poisons induced by the slightest brush with such odious aforementioned sources of troglodyte invective. We have not had to resort to the sand painting that saved Mulder yet, but you can see from the lingering hyperbole that the crypto-fascist madness has not yet been teased from my system.

  • Davros