SF blacklists Sunday Times and Sunday Tribune

Mick’s thread on candidates in Newry and Armagh is diverging from the topic due to a post-script to an article in the Sunday Tribune – republished by Newshound. But the postscript raises important questions about the relationship between political parties, the press and the public. Additionally, there are, potentially, professional repercussions for individual journalists if a political party blacklists a paper because of something that journalist has written. According to the post-script, and a similar note in the Sunday Times Sue Denham column, Sinn Féin is refusing to co-operate with either paper during the entire election campaign.From the Sunday Times’ Sue Denham column – thanks ‘concerned’

Time was when Sinn Fein’s constant refrain was media censorship – both the refusal of the British and Irish governments to let them on TV and the “insidious self censorship” of newspapers that didn’t interview Shinner spokesmen often enough.

Academic reputations were built on counting how mamy times Sinn Fein was mentioned in various news outlets and how few calls its press office received. Now it is the Shinners who are beating off the media. The Sunday Times and Sunday Tribune have been denied access to candidates during the current Stormont election. Even Martina Anderson, the party’s “outreach officer” who is appealing to unionist to talk to her refuses to speak to either paper about her work or her candidacy in Foyle.

and from the Tribune

Sinn Féin’s viewpoint is absent from this article because it was the only party which refused access to the Sunday Tribune. It said it would not make candidates in any constituency available for interview and it would not cooperate with the newspaper during the entire election campaign. It’s an ironic position for a party which, for decades, complained of media bans and censorship. Sinn Féin is also refusing to co-operate with the Sunday Times.

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  • Jeremy

    Perfectly valid for Sinn Fein to decide whom they talk to. In politics parties decide whom they release their message through. Old hat really.

  • jim

    Political parties have the right to decide who they do & don’t speak too.

  • The Dubliner

    The Sunday Times cannot seriously protest that its commercial product (newspaper) is free from the media bias that PSF accuses it off when it uses the loaded term “Shinner” to refer to PSF members while protesting PSF’s action. That schism is a product of the same duplicitous mentality that would protest, “I’m not racist, you n*gger!”

    Putting manners on the media by controlling access to political figures is a tactic that is used Downing Street and Washington as the norm, and probably by every political party you can name. While the media protests about PSF’s stance by squealing about freedom of the press and elevating itself to lofty status, the reader should keep in mind that most journalists are employees who are paid to proffer whatever messages the publisher pays them to proffers, messages that are in most cases determined by the business interests of the publishers and whatever favourable status is conferred upon them by government. Journalists, despite their risible tendency for self-aggrandisement, serve no higher function in society than people who are paid to clean executive toilets.

    Media is an amalgam of vested business interests and commercial products. Most media is biased towards selling the product to whichever market (section of society) purchases its product, by deploying the rather obvious expedient of selling messages that that market will pay to read. Essentially, its about reinforcing secular prejudices. It isn’t about such lofty ideals as truth, justice and democracy. The reality is than no newspaper in Ireland or the United Kingdom is independent, and most of them have overt political affiliations. So, there is no press that is free and impartial. All of it is partial and partisan, either covertly or overtly. I commend PSF for being upfront about its contempt for the partisan media. Hopefully, this might help to make some people realise how rotten media actually is.

    There is, of course, no equivalence between government censorship of PSF which saw them were banned from the airwaves under Section 31 of the Broadcasting Act (and under the equivalent British law) and a political party’s efforts to put manners on a few journalists (a common practice in media and political relations), but that won’t stop the rotten media from hysterically and fraudulently claiming that there is. Perhaps it would be a better idea for the Sunday Times’ Sue Denham to show respect if she wishes to be shown respect instead of using derogative and loaded slang terms such as “Shinner” and then squealing loudly when the door is slammed in her snout. By the way, the head of the Journalism & Media faculty at Griffith College, Niall Meehan, did a study at DCU’s School of Communications about how “RTE censored its censorship” i.e. not only censored coverage of the north but also censored any mention of its own censorship, keeping the public in a double state of ignorance. No equivalence whatsoever, despite the hysterical propaganda from backhanded media employees.

  • Jill

    Ironic to hear agents of political censorship in Ireland complaining that their victims do not want to talk to them! In the the interest of free speech ? Hilarious!

  • Jim

    Ha Ha. The stalinists of PSF are showing themslves up.

    Ed Maloney could have told them what to expect if they didnt show proper respect to the great bearded one.

    Still could be worse, as others who disrespected Gerry found out.

    Irish censorship 2007 PSF style.

  • borden

    Jim,

    totally agree. Do I detect a bit of anxiety within Provo Sinn Fein ranks?? Worried about Wednesday boys?? Will true republicans in the six counties feel that your strategy/betrayal( delete as necessary) be one act too far. Interesting times.

  • Sean

    And this from the party which tried to foist Daily Ireland on us 🙂 I sincerly hope that they extend ban to RTE as well. Fat chance as rte are giving them a soft ride

    Fact is, PSF cannot handle the hard questions!

  • Roisin

    [i]Irish censorship 2007 PSF style.[/i]

    Jim,

    Declining an interview isn’t censorship, no matter how much you want it to be.

  • Elk

    Ha ha. I should hope so! Good stuff!

  • Jim

    Roisin

    “Declining an interview isn’t censorship”

    Oh yes it is Roisin, when you single out two particular newspapers and refuse to talk to them. PSF have censored their readers !

  • vc

    The Dubliner,

    Excellent post. Though Sue Denham is not a real person but a “clever” play on the word pseudonym. I only know this cos I googled the name as I wanted to put a face to the person who was annoying me week after week. (and I’m not even a ‘shinner’! Though I’m tempted to vote Sinn Fein on wed cos I’m sick to death of the scum media in this country!)

  • susan

    I agree, Roisin, it isn’t censorship, but it is still a lousy precedent. When I think of “Republicans” punishing reporters for not properly spinning party line, I think of 1.) Bush and 2.) Cheney. There’s a difference between favouring certain news outlets and reporters with choice scoops and refusing to acknowledge legitimate questions from veteran reporters.

    Voters who believe a newspaper consistently misrepresents their party or point of view tend not to buy that newspaper, even to wrap fish in. That’s natural. But a political party arbitrarily denying readers of a newspaper access to their politicians or their views, begs the question, “What are they afraid of?”

    Is SF the only party that does this?

  • URQUHART

    This is unbelievable. Who the hell do the provos think they are?

    Although, having seen Brady and Boylan in action, it’s not hard to see why they weren’t allowed to co-operate with this story.

  • SuperSoupy

    Ahh, poor diddums. Will the nasty shinners not play with you? Well once we dry those eyes we can go straight round to tell their mum.

  • Paddy

    I usually vote Sinn Fein. My newspaper of choice is the Sunday Tribune. Why have Sinn Fein now decided that people like me no longer count?

  • Roisin

    [i]Oh yes it is Roisin, when you single out two particular newspapers and refuse to talk to them. PSF have censored their readers ![/i]

    Oh no it’s not, Jim. They can buy another paper and read it there.

    [i]Voters who believe a newspaper consistently misrepresents their party or point of view tend not to buy that newspaper, even to wrap fish in. That’s natural. But a political party arbitrarily denying readers of a newspaper access to their politicians or their views, begs the question, “What are they afraid of?”[/i]

    Doesn’t necessarily mean they’re afraid of anything, Susan. Nor does it even mean their decision was arbitrary. If the two papers in question have consistently misrepresented, the decision to deny them access (I’m assuming the basic premise of the story is true here as the blurb above is all I know about it) is, on the contrary, a judicious one.

  • brendan,belfast

    So VC, you googled Sue Denham in order to put a face to the name? you total clown.

  • susan

    Denying access to reporters displays confidence in neither the electorate nor the candidates. I would like to know, though, if any of the other parties have a history or policy of denying access to specific news outlets.

  • Aquifer

    The Sue Denham column is about funny ironies, so the Shinners will still fill it, boycott or not.

    It’s useful to remind ourselves of the dependent relationship journalists have with politicians though. i.e. Take us seriously or no access.

    Result: A rabble of sectarian supremacists are presented to us as credible candidates for government.

    What a laugh.

    More Spitting Images, more Folks on the Hill, more cartoons please. Much more believable.

  • Henry94

    susan

    The DUP refuses to talk to Sinn Fein who they will be in government with. But that hardly merits a slugger thread does it?

    Far better to get all fired up over the journalistic egos in the Sunday tribune, a paper that only survives to provide the illusion of competition in the market being financially part owned and ideologically completely owned by the Independent Group.

    Roisin’s caveat is well made by the way. We have only one side of this story.

  • Northsider

    I think the DUP refused to co-operate with the Irish News back in the day – but all this weeping and wailing from the Tribune and ST is all a bit rich considering the unremitting hostility from both of them against SF in the past.

    Furthermore, the adoration of the Paisley and the Willie Frazer and the republicans of the Dissident by Breen during her tenure at the Tribune is indicative of a brazen, heavily axe-grindingly, anti-SF agenda that she really has no cause to gurn.

    And as stated by other contributors to this thread, blanking hostile papers is par for the course in the big bad world of politics in the real world.

    Far from it being a sign of SF weakness, I think this stems from a new-fund confidence and strength all of which flows from the recent Ard Fheis on policing – you know the one I’m talking about — where according the Suzanne et al there was to be walkouts, brawls, gunshots, hostages taken etc. etc.

  • Roisin

    [i]Denying access to reporters displays confidence in neither the electorate nor the candidates.[/i]

    That’s an old canard to be trotting out, Susan. It displays nothing of the sort, and is, of course, readily and easily refuted by the fact that they are allowing access to the journalists of other papers.

  • Jim

    Roisin,

    So now Sinn Fein take it upon themselves to deside what papers we can read????

  • Northsider

    So now Sinn Fein take it upon themselves to deside what papers we can read????

    Aye, and they killed Kenny you know!

  • Dec

    So now Sinn Fein take it upon themselves to deside what papers we can read????

    Yes, Jim

    Much like Sam Allardyce decides which TV channels we can watch.

  • George

    Henry,
    “the Sunday tribune, a paper that only survives to provide the illusion of competition in the market being financially part owned and ideologically completely owned by the Independent Group.”

    Very true. It is also there to prevent any vacuum appearing that could then be filled by an opponent.

  • susan

    Henry

    The DUP refuses to talk to Sinn Fein who they will be in government with. But that hardly merits a slugger thread does it?

    Henry, that’s partly what I meant when I said I believe this is a lousy precendent, and poor timing as well. SF will be in government for readers of the Tribune and ST, too. SF criticisms of the DUP ignoring their mandate and their electorate are diluted, not strengthened, by SF refusing to speak to certain news outlets, and thus to their readerships.

  • Roisin

    [i]So now Sinn Fein take it upon themselves to deside what papers we can read????[/i]

    Jim,

    Is this going to be some endless magic roundabout?

  • paul

    The problem that the shinners have primarily is the journalists. Its ironic that Suzanne Breen ended up at the Trib as a result of leaning to heavily on Adams, who many are not aware has or at least had a financial interest in Village magazine. As a result Suzanne got he boot after some serious goings on.

    Much the same with Liam Clarke who is behind alot of Sue Denham copy. Clarke has been probably the most hated journalist by the republican movement for a long long time. Theres more to Clarke than meets the eye ….

  • Jim

    Roisin,

    “Is this going to be some endless magic roundabout?”

    Not really, I just get irritated at the way Sinn Fein are quickly becoming like those they used to oppose. What happen to free expression, open debate etc?

    By the way, I was watching Gerry Adams on the RTE political show tonight. He was gently tore apart by the interviewer on the taxation issue. Gerry was demanding 50% tax on high earners. But despite repeated request for clarification, he was unable to say, even roughly, to what income levels this would apply. Gerry then proceeded to get totally confused on the issue of corporation tax, sounding like Castro on a bad day.

    Might be better for Sinn Fein if RTE refused to talk to Gerry for the next couple of months 🙂

  • Roisin

    [i]Theres more to Clarke than meets the eye ….[/i]

    He spooks me does that one, Paul.

    Jim,

    Misrepresnting people is not open debate, nor is it even free expression. If the two papers are guilty of misrepresentation then they really have no cause to complain

  • susan

    Roisin
    “Misrepresenting people is not open debate, nor is it even free expression.”

    Agreed. So why don’t you spell out exactly what you mean when you say Liam Clarke “spooks” you, Roisin?

  • PeaceandJustice

    Sinn Fein-IRA have their own rules … and then there are the rules for everyone else. They’re a bunch of murderers turned politicans. What else would you expect?

  • Plum Duff

    It’s absolutely amazing. A certain party takes a stance on perceived media bias coming up to an election. Screams of horror and foul play from the usual suspects in certain sections of the press.

    Surprise, surprise, the party is Sinn Fein. Now, for some obscure (hmmm!) reason, this party distrusts the objectivity of a Murdoch-owned Sunday Times and a Tony O’Reilly (Sindo & Indo) controlled tabloid, The Sunday Tribune – possibly caused by continuous and vitriolic attacks in their allegedly ‘thoroughly researched’ articles which are conducted on a daily and weekly basis.

    Why then should any party – in the middle of an election campaign – willingly put its head in a noose offered by a group of vested interests so diametrically opposed to anything that particular party stands for?

    Censorship?? Get a grip. Realisticship, if you ask me.
    +++++++++++++++++++++++
    Susan
    “Denying access to reporters displays confidence in neither the electorate nor the candidates. I would like to know, though, if any of the other parties have a history or policy of denying access to specific news outlets”.

    In 1970, Reggie Maudling, then Home Secretary, banned *ALL* Irish journalists from a press conference. Not a whisper of ‘censorship’ from the British fourth estate at the time while the Irish press slunk away, silent and humiliated. Maudling’s quote after his first visit to NI, “For God’s sake bring me a large Scotch. What a bloody awful country.” He died in 1979, aged 61, of cirrhosis of the liver.

  • Roisin

    Oh, I thought that was obvious, Susan. It’s my personal opinion that Liam Clarke serves the interests of the British intelligence services. Free expression. Want to debate it?

  • susan

    Plum Duff, thank you for that about Maudling. Of course Maudling’s banning of ALL Irish journalists from a press conference was censorship. I wonder what rationale he used to justify jettisoning a principle?

    Roisin, what people find to be obvious and self-evident truths differ wildly, as contrasting what you find obvious and self-evident with the poster PeaceandJustice finds obvious and self-evident plainly shows.

    So when you say it is your personal opinion that Liam Clarke serves the interests of the British intelligence services, do you mean that you believe he is paid or employed to do so? Given your stated abhorrence of personal misrepresentation, I’m sure you would not want to leave your post open to innuendo or misinterpretation.

  • susan

    I’m not here to defend or debate the relative merits of Breen or Liam Clarke. If candidates are not allowed to talk to reporters from certain news outlets — and I do not know if this is true — it’s a miscalculation and condescending to voters. My main point was the point I made to Henry. I’ll repeat it.

    Henry

    The DUP refuses to talk to Sinn Fein who they will be in government with. But that hardly merits a slugger thread does it?

    Henry, that’s partly what I meant when I said I believe this is a lousy precendent, and poor timing as well. SF will be in government for readers of the Tribune and ST, too. SF criticisms of the DUP ignoring their mandate and their electorate are diluted, not strengthened, by SF refusing to speak to certain news outlets, and thus to their readerships.

  • Roisin

    [i]So when you say it is your personal opinion that Liam Clarke serves the interests of the British intelligence services, do you mean that you believe he is paid or employed to do so? Given your stated abhorrence of personal misrepresentation, I’m sure you would not want to leave your post open to innuendo or misinterpretation.[/i]

    Heaven forbid that should happen, Susan. Payment isn’t something I’ve considered, as lackeys are often happy to serve for free.

  • Aquifer

    ‘serving for free’ eh?

    Does that make the other journo’s agents of PIRA intelligence?

  • Observer

    Any chance of a thread on which politicians refuse to speak with APRN.
    Pete?

  • Norm dePlumb

    It is obvious, given their long term campaign of vilification of the two journalists, as we have seen in action here on Slugger (and which has resulted in the sort of comments made on this thread about Clarke, an old rumour that was started from the SF camp years ago), that Sinn Fein want rid of Breen and Clarke. Vilification has not worked, so now they are upping the ante and attempting to get the two fired by denying them access and therefore limiting their ability to report/get stories/do their job.

    It is also obvious that the reason SF do not like Breen and Clarke is that they are two journalists who do not write puff pieces about them. They are not afraid to write hard stories, which is a service to the reader, not a dis-service, no matter how much Sinn Fein does not like it. Would we, the reader, be better off not knowing what Sinn Fein does not want us to know? If so, then we should be rid of the likes of Breen and Clarke.

    If that sort of idea makes you uncomfortable, that a political party can dictate (or attempt to dictate by denying access to journalists who are not arsekissers) who will work for the press and who won’t, then this action by Sinn Fein should concern you. Especially given they are attempting to deny you information about themselves while at the same time asking you to vote for them.

    If Michael McDowell, for example, were to deny access to, say, Vincent Browne, because of Browne’s articles, would you support that? Why is it acceptable for Sinn Fein to do it to journalists who don’t fawn over them?

  • Nevin

    I suppose it’s all part of the censorship control exercised by Sinner HQ.

    It seems that Philip McGuigan was either a loose cannon or getting too big for his boots. His last press release on the local party website was on July 6 last year and he was ‘dropped’ from the MLA team in favour of Daithi McKay. In the 2005 local council elections McGuigan got 1062 votes and McKay 689. McGuigan had helped build the SF vote from 12.8% in 1997 to 33.7% in 2005.

  • lies, damned lies

    “I think this stems from a new-found confidence and strength all of which flows from the recent Ard Fheis on policing”

    Literally LOL.
    In the same way that massive MI5 base in North Down is being built to oversee withdrawal. You’re truly delusional.

  • The Dubliner

    “Though Sue Denham is not a real person but a “clever” play on the word pseudonym.” – VC

    Damn, it’s a bit obvious when it’s pointed out! I don’t read the Oirish edition of the Sunday Times. The only Sunday paper worth reading is the Sunday Business Post – and only for Vincent Browne and Tom McGurk.

    “Especially given they are attempting to deny you information about themselves while at the same time asking you to vote for them.” – Norm dePlumb

    What information are they “attempting to deny” the public by ignoring the impudent hacks in question? Do you have access to this information or are you just throwing out wild conjectures in the hope something wholly imaginary will stick?

    “Why is it acceptable for Sinn Fein to do it to journalists who don’t fawn over them?” – Norm dePlumb

    Why do hacks think that they have an automatic right of access to politicians, when the actual position is that politicians can choose who they wish to give access to? Show me the law that says all hacks must be tolerated, irrespective to how personally abusive, unprofessional or politically partisan they are. I’ll think you’ll find that there isn’t any such requirement, despite your special pleading.

  • Bemused

    Oh dear. And the point is?

    Plainly people can talk to or not talk to whatever paper/radio station/television station they like. It’s called freedom of choice in a democratic state. Personally I would have no truck with Tool FM, Shitty Beat or Radio UDA. Does that render me some sort of bullying racist pariah? In the minds of some posters here – probably, yes.

    Anyway – the Sunday Times is a comic book for dim-wits. Ever notice how at least three of it’s main stories concern some sort of improbable sensationalist nonsense such as “Scientists discover how to cure blindness using baked beans”, or “World War II bomber found on moon” etc. At least three of it’s other main stories are accompanied by a descriptive comic strip for those who like their words accompanied by pictures. O.K. – A.A. Gill and Michael Winner are superb, but other than that it’s a rag. Susan Denham comes across as an odious little snob (who in reality has very little to feel superior about) while Liam Clarke has had a clear spin to his articles for years.

  • Norm dePlumb

    To the Dubliner

    So you would support Michael McDowell’s denying access to Vincent Browne because he doesn’t like his articles?

    I take it you would be supportive of McDowell’s Press Council, and other media related legislation?

    Is this the sort of thing Sinn Fein hopes to push through when/if they achieve power – using that power to restrict rather than expand the media?

    The measure of a politician is their ability to take a rough ride from ‘impudent hacks’ (your words) and stay on their political mount. That Sinn Fein is demanding only docile, broken horses to ride says more about them than it does the about the ‘impudent hacks’. Sinn Fein would prefer Daily Ireland to the Sunday Times and the Sunday Tribune. That certainly shows a lot of weakness about Sinn Fein, that they are afraid of dealing with the Times and Tribune.

    Sinn Fein are attempting to deny information in the run up to the election by refusing to speak to certain reporters. They are afraid of what those reporters will write. So they will not speak to them.

    ‘Impudent hacks’ are a measure of impudent voters, in a sense. The electorate is better for them, although politicians may not be. Would there were more ‘impudent hacks’ getting uppity with the powers that be, rather than less.

    Journalists don’t have an automatic right of access to anyone. But it shows, especially so in election time, the childishness and weakness of Sinn Fein — not their strength — that they are playing a game of favourites with reporters.

    Good on the Times and Tribune for exposing it.

  • Oilibhear Chromaill

    It’s truly ironic to see Slugger leap to the defence of the Sunday Times and the Sunday Tribune to claim that they’re being censored by SF. When I posted info on slugger on Saturday regarding the outstanding sales of Belfast’s fastest growing media group, Nuachtáin, which comprises the Andersonstown News, the South Belfast News and the North Belfast News, and the decline of the Irish News, the Telegraph and the Newsletter, all of whom showed declining sales in the recent ABC listings, I was surprised to see the post withdrawn by Slugger.
    The reason for my surprise was the morbid fascination slugger commenters had with Daily Ireland when it was on the go and the eagerness with which they beavered in order to hasten its demise.
    I thought these were people interested in the media but no, they’ve a very tinted view of the media. And it doesn’t like uppity community newspapers who shake the establishment tree.

    So forgive me if my heart doesn’t bleed in concert with Pete’s and his fellow travellers for the travails of the Sunday Times and Tribune…..

  • Norm dePlumb

    Oilibhear, what planet are you on?

    the outstanding sales of Belfast’s fastest growing media group, Nuachtáin, which comprises the Andersonstown News, the South Belfast News and the North Belfast News, and the decline of the Irish News, the Telegraph and the Newsletter, all of whom showed declining sales in the recent ABC listings

    Nuachtáin total sales (in the last measured period): 27,762
    Irish News: 48,711 (average net circulation per issue)(Oct 2005 the figure was 48401)
    Belfast Telegraph: 90,285 (per issue)
    Andersonstown News: 8,228 (per issue)
    North Belfast News: 5,434 (per issue)
    South Belfast News: 2,042 (per issue)

    As for “it doesn’t like uppity community newspapers who shake the establishment tree”, that appears to be Sinn Fein’s position on Breen & Clarke.

  • Oilibhear Chromaill

    Ah yes, Norm, it seems that the Irish News did increase a few copies on its October 2005 rating but that’s not the figure that’s important. The most recent comparison is Jan/Jun 2006 and that figure is 49,272 to 48,711 (July-December 2006), a fall of 1.1 per cent. Also down were the Belfast Telegraph, which suffered a fall of six per cent, and News Letter where sales have dropped to 27,205.

    As for Breen and Clarke, I have nothing to say except that SF is wrong to blacklist them. They’re no more or no less biased than any other journalist working for the mainstream media though I have to admit that I find Breen’s regular puff pieces of Willie Frazer stomach churning. The piece de resistance was the time she asked Willie for his opinion on Paul Berry getting legal representation from Madden and Finucane in his action to stay in the DUP. The gist of Willie’s remark, given prominent coverage in the Tribune, was that Paul’s sexual actions didn’t matter but he shouldn’t come around the good people of South Armagh looking for votes if he was to be represented by an “IRA firm’. As if. Madden and Finucane are probably one of the best legal firms in the north and the fact that the Sunday Tribune saw fit to to set them up in this way, especially in light of the murder of Pat Finucane following the House of Commons ranting of Douglas Hogg, was reprehensible. I wouldn’t censor them, no, as I think that happens only to quality journalism and you won’t find that in the Sunday Times or the Sunday Tribune (apart from Mick Clifford).

  • Norm dePlumb

    Oilibhear

    I do not have access to the historical data so I will go on your figures. I guess it is all how you read them, as the Irish News last week reported they were up in sales, quote, “More readers are turning to The Irish News. Latest sales figures show the paper outperformed rivals in Britain and Ireland, selling more papers in the last six months of 2006. Figures from the Audit Bureau of Circulations (ABC) show average daily sales from Monday to Saturday were up 195 on a year earlier to 48,518.”

    The Andersonstown News stable has been able to maintain its place, it has done no better nor worse than usual. ‘Outstanding’ is superlative.

    At least we agree on Sinn Fein’s blacklisting of journalists – that it is wrong to do. They should be made of stronger stuff than that.

  • padraig

    Shame it was just the Sunday Time/Tribune… The less we have to read of their drivvel the better!

    This is clearly just another cheap stunt. Is anyone running a book on how long it wil be before they come running back, overloading the editors INBOX wth shit and drivvel again?

    Like a dog that runs away, it will be back when it’s hungry!

  • carlosblancos

    Sindo gives them death coverage, and they’re ‘not co-operating’ with the Sunday Times or Tribune leaving them with only the SBP (sales a paltry 45,000) as well as the tabloids. Not sensible.

    They’ll have to change this approaching the Southern election. Sunday papers have a higher readership/sales ratio than dailies and also tend to hang about the house for longer, probably the most important subsection of the newspaper market.

    Liam and Suzanne have nothing to worry about.

  • confused

    It is said that Andersonstown News and the rest of the stable are increasing readership but it must be remembered how much it took from the Brits by way of money which makes me think there is no such thing as a free lunch.
    This ties in with the control the Brits have over Sinn Fein and if the newspaper is really independent because it never questions the leadership.

  • Observer

    Double standards of behalf of Sinn Fein.

    It shows them up for who they really are. A Marxist/Communist party seeking a totalitarian state, which includes a police state.

    The only thing has changed is that they have many elected reconstructed terrorists in their wings who have constituency offices and fixed addresses instead of being gunners, bombers and murders while running from the police and rule of law.

    Although one cud argue that they still do run from the police and rule of law.

  • The Devil

    Oh what fun this thread is going to be…… now where shall I start

  • mickhall

    When-ever politicians wish to ban or exclude, nine times out of ten if will be a sign of weakness. This exclusion is without doubt an attempt to pressure these newspapers to remove Breen and Clarke and thus should be resisted, and it is not the first time SF have brought presure to bear on a paper over a columist. [I can assure you;). For SF to complain about about misrepresenting people [or ideas] is a bit much, as there hacks and rumor mongers are past masters at this.

    I find it interesting that it is Clarke and Breen who are under attack, as one has a reasonable professional relationship with Republican dissidents, and the other has contacts amongst that group of the security services, past and present, who could themselves be described as dissidents. It should not be over looked that they are both home based journalists and not members of the group who come over from London or up from Dublin at times of crises or elections etc.

    Never the less SF can talk to who they choose, but that is a double edged sword as so can Clarke and Breen and if they cannot get the truth from the horses mouth, then SF can hardly complain if what they write becomes increasingly subjective.

    By the way why is using the term shinner regarded as an insult, I can understand Mr Adams not liking it in his new Nationalist Party finery, but as to the word being on par with a racist term, how so?

  • The Devil

    Northsider,

    you write, “you know the one I’m talking about—where according the Suzanne et al there was to be walkouts, brawls, gunshots, hostages taken etc. etc”. Where did you get this crap? It’s pure invention. Courtesy of Nuzhound, I’ve found Suzanne Breen’s special ardfheis preview on January 28 2007, and it says nothing of the sort.

    In fact, Breen predicts virtually no trouble for the SF leadership. She writes: “Today, when Gerry Adams addresses the special ard fheis, he’s unlikely to face such fierce criticism. The outcome of the vote isn’t in doubt: the only question is how great his margin of victory will be. Sources predict over 70%, with some forecasting support as high as 80-90%. Anti-PSNI speakers are likely to be confined to the lower ranks – some Southerners and Ogra Sinn Féin. At worst for the leadership, a handful of Northern councillors might oppose the motion or walk out. Senior DUP figures, like Jim Allister MEP, have challenged the Rev Ian Paisley. There is no Sinn Féin equivalent.”

    Nor does the article play up dissident strength. Again, Breen writes: “In contrast, Liam Hannaway, a relative of Adams’ currently facing dissident paramilitary charges, was disgusted. No republican could support the PSNI. “Every man, woman and child has the right to bear arms while the British remain in Ireland,” he said, to applause. But the reception for Adams was louder when he said “there is only one IRA” and noted that other republican groups had killed only civilians and not “one member of British crown forces”.

    So, YOU are obviously making it up as you go along, Northsider. Now stop inventing lies about newspaper coverage as a fig leaf for SF’s censorship. And, hey, who else used to make up lies to cover their ass and justify censorship? Oh yes, I remember . . . the Brits.

  • The Devil

    Roisin,

    You say: “If the two papers are guilty of misrepresentation then they really have no cause to complain.” Maybe you, or Sinn Fein, should spell out the details of that misrepresentation by the Sunday Times and Sunday Tribune.

    In such situations, I find it’s always better to deal with facts, i.e: ‘on this date in this newspaper this journalist wrote blah, blah, blah, and here is proof that this journalist lied . . . ‘ Such detail would really strengthen your case and that of Sinn Fein. It is always specifics that win an argument. I’m sure if Sinn Fein have taken such a drastic step as to blacklist these two newspapers, they have a dossier of such material they can provide to allow us to make up our own minds.

    In terms of the Sunday Times, I’m not a fan of its generally right-wing global outlook but, I’d have to say, I find it’s Northern Ireland coverage fairly accurate, as Slab did to his cost. You or I mightn’t like what was written, but it was proved in court that Slab wasn’t libelled. Liam Clarke’s reputation remained intact. Look, everybody in South Armagh/North Louth knows the craic with Slab.

    In terms of the Sunday Tribune, It’s left-wing, liberal ethos is opposite to that of the Times so why would different papers be punished the same, is because the papers are different but the reporters the same strong minded honest and accurate!!!
    Suzanne Breen if any of you even bothered to google her would have found out has courageously championed the Robert McCartney case. She has highlighted ‘Big Business IRA’ and the corruption involved. She has written extensively on British/loyalist collusion and also on MI5’s frightening expansion here. What journalism is about don’t you think, if you ask me I wish there was more Clarkes and Breens and less gutless tumble-weeds that blow in and out of journalism here.

  • The Devil

    Paul,

    you wrote this crap, I had to read it four or five times…… classic S/F smear

    ####The problem that the shinners have primarily is the journalists. Its ironic that Suzanne Breen ended up at the Trib as a result of leaning to heavily on Adams, who many are not aware has or at least had a financial interest in Village magazine. As a result Suzanne got he boot after some serious goings on.

    Much the same with Liam Clarke who is behind alot of Sue Denham copy. Clarke has been probably the most hated journalist by the republican movement for a long long time. Theres more to Clarke than meets the eye …. ########

    1) yes there is more to Clarke than meets the eye, he is three dimensional he has a back, you should know this because that’s where you tried to sink your knives, he also has the balls to have opinions of his own not that I would agree with them but hey he probably wouldn’t want me to, but he has them unlike flat-heads like yourself that can only have the thought that is given to them by others.

    2) Village can be phoned, why don’t you phone them and ask them did Breen get the boot or was she sought out by others, surely you wouldn’t mind spending 20pence on a phone call to prove your belief…… oh and while your on why don’t you ask about Adams investment….LOL my god what a goat.

  • Henry94

    mickhall

    SF can hardly complain if what they write becomes increasingly subjective.

    Yeah, like that is a real worry? What Sinn Fein faces in the print media is only constrained by the credulity threshold of the readership.

  • The Devil

    Sinn Fein talk to MI6 **** but won’t talk to Breen & Clarke

    Sinn Fein can talk to the PIRA who killed thousands **** but won’t talk to Breen and Clarke

    Sinn Fein talked with the Tory Government responsible for the shoot to kills and the Hunger-strikes **** but won’t talk to Clarke and Breen

    Sinn Fein talk to G.W Bush who is responsible for the deaths of nearly a million people in Iraq alone **** but won’t talk to Clarke and Breen

    Sinn Fein talk to the UVF gunmen and bombers who killed hundreds of Nationalists **** but won’t talk to Breen and Clarke

    Sinn Fein talked to the UFF gunmen and bombers who killed hundreds of Nationalists **** but won’t talk to Breen and Clarke

    Sinn Fein talk to the Andersonstown News who exhonerated Stakeknife **** but won’t talk to Clarke and Breen

    *** IS IT JUST ME OR DOES THE HYPOCRISY GET ANYONE ELSE HERE ***

  • northsider

    Devil,

    is your surname Breen or Clarke. You are becoming quite passionate, calm down dear.

    Also, you label SF’s snub to them as censorship – how do you work that out?

    Hmmm. I think your hooves are showing…

  • The Devil

    Breen broke the story of the “Disappeared” the Shinner leadership denied all knowledge of it claiming she was making up “absolute bullshit” Adams was said to have gone “Ballistic”

    **** we found out who was lying years later ****

    ##################################################

    Breen broke the story massive dissent in South Armagh at a S/F rally Connor Murphys brother slobbered from the podium that the only splits in South Armagh were in Suzanne Breens hair….. “everyone laughed….

    **** we found out who was lying shortly after ****

    When the entire IRA south of the ring of Gullion the “Engineering dept” the “England dept” the “Quartermasters including the Quartermaster General” and 30% of the “Army convention” left the P.I.R.A and Sinn Fein.

    **** pity he didn’t say she was bald, Adams would now be on his own ****

    ###################################################

    Clarke broke the story about Slab being the number 1 fuel smuggler and being worth millions, they said he was playing a “Dangerous game” and living in a “Securocrats fantasy world”

    **** we found out in court who was playing games ****

    #################################################

    If the Shinners don’t like the message they try to kill the messenger, many editors on this island have had the ear whispering in the bar area of social functions that the Shinners “or some middle-class that can relay a message friends are invited to.
    If that dosen’t work then direct phone calls letters and even faxes follow from senior Sinn Fein party members, at this point it would be good if the Slugger readers remember Newton Emerson and how they got him sacked…. fair play to his resolve he came back bigger and stronger but if he didn’t and ended up down and out they would have been ecstatic and we would have lost a talent.

    #################################################

    A well known journalist from the North West felt the ill wind of the Adams led leadership when he reported the abolishment of “Eire Nua” an 8 strong armed I.R.A team led by a household name came up from Belfast barged into his home and tried to interrogate him as to his source.

    ###############################################

    THESE HYPOCRITICAL LYING THUGS HAVE TO BE STOOD UP TO IRRESPECTIVE OF YOUR POLITICAL RELIGOUS OR SOCIAL BACKGROUND

  • peter fallow

    The demise of Daily Ireland gave more people more pleasure than anything in NI media history.
    Still gives me a warm glow.

  • mickhall

    Devil

    Your number 11 is a great post, pomposity firmly punctured me thinks. It really is time the comedians got to grip with Gerry Adams, because he is becoming a laugh a minute of late with rubbish like this.

    Cheers

  • The Devil

    Northsider,

    do you have any documented facts….. no i thought not

    do you even know what you’re talking about….. no i don’t think you do

    so why would you come on to smear…. because you’re another name of the Sinn Fein blogging committee that float this site.

    AND ANYONE ON SLUGGER KNOWS I HATE THEM MORE GOD (Gerry Adams)

  • The Devil

    Pete Baker,

    Pete you’re invited to my fireside for dinner anytime, this is the best fun i’ve had in ages.

    Hat-tip for having the courage to post the thread for discussion but watch the Shinners don’t contact Mick to have you removed for causing them embarrassment.

    Mickhall,

    cheers Mick that’s very nice of you and tell me how’s Sam these days where’s he hanging around now

  • paul

    Devil,

    In reply to your No.9 above you say that what I wrote is classic SF spin, Im confused as are others.

    To a certain extent I was attacking Adams for being behind Breen geting the boot so how you claim this is SF spin is beyond my imagination.

    In relation to Village, Browne or even the receptionist is hardly going to divulge who has a financial interest in the publication. There has been a relationship there for some time which also included Browne giving consultancy for the launch of Daily Ireland in addition to a 2 way advertising contra deal between Daily Ireland and Village.

  • Sean

    How are Sinn Fein censoring anyone? The two mouth pieces are free to write what ever fantasy they can dream up arent they? All they have done is refuse to talk to two journalists they don’t like. well with in the perogative of anyone in a free society. if you dont like your neighbour what do you do? Ignore them and thats all Sinn Fein is doing. Perfectly legal and ethically correct.

  • The Devil

    Paul,

    I never mentioned the word “spin” the word I used was “smear” for that is what it was… innuendo and smear.
    Now if you didn’t mean to smear the two reporters in question I’m sure they’ll be happy to note that, and accept any apology for the misunderstanding.

  • The Devil

    Sean you posted

    “Sinn Fein is doing. Perfectly legal and ethically correct.”

    Section 31 Perfectly legal and ethically correct

    legal yes, ethically correct is a matter of opinion… you know that thing that people like you in Sinn Fein are not allowed

  • true irishman

    Another botched blunder by the muppets in S/fein what a PR disaster at election time.
    I’m glad they messed up I hope other reporters pick this ball up and run with it

  • Sean

    I am not in Sinn Fein and even if I was I would have opinions because thats who I am. I have opinions on just about everything

    I would say its you little Ian that isnt allowed an opinion you bleat the party line like a good little sheep.

    I believe it is ethically correct, if you do not want to deal with someone you just don’t. They have’nt threatened them or taken action against them they just refused to deal with them! What exactly do you want Sinn Fein to do?

  • Sinn Feiner

    This was undoubtedly a mistake but once the foolhardy person responsible is identified and removed from decision making positions within the party then we can put this behind us and move on.

  • rd65_75

    Lol…….

    The Shinners are like spoilt brats if you don’t agree with us we’re not talking to you

    Like Clarke & Breen are quaking in their boots

  • Bloodline of Carson

    I think the 2 reporters should sue
    What are the Telegraph Newsletter or even the Irish news doing about this.
    These people would be the first to cry foul if the DUP or UUP or SDLP did the same.
    Where are the independent reporters in the BBC or UTV or countless other media outlets in Ulster to expose this hypocrisy

  • StarHound

    The last thing I read in the Tribune by Suzanne Breen was a bizarre, sycophantic bio of Willie Frazer – after 10 years of reading the Tribune I decided to call it a day.

    Suzanne Breen had previously written a series of often obtuse anti-Nationalist and anti-Republican articles. She seemed to be possessed with an almost irrational hatred of Northern Nationalist and Republicans. This, along with a number of other journalists writing in a similar vein had made the Tribune almost indistinguishable from the Independent. The Tribune has increasingly lost it’s own identity and it seems to me to serve only give the illusion of competition in the market.

  • Pat

    Good man Gerry Adams. You have SF as a party speaking with one voice, your voice.

    It was amusing last night to see Gerry splutter on RTE television when the the presenter asked him had he considered handing over to a younger person 🙂

    Shades of a doped Castro last night with Gerry’s 70s populist retoric. Boy, are PSF going to get some unpleasant wake up call on the southern doorsteps.

  • SDLP to the core

    Starhound

    What planet did you descend from the article in question was virtually a Nationalist only piece with the unionists receiving very little space in it, the two people who benifitted most were Sharon Haughey and Davy Hyland both from either a Nationalist or Republican tradition, what a fool you look.

    you said “the illusion of competition in the market”

    Henry94 said page 1 post 20 “only survives to provide the illusion of competition in the market”

    Two great minds…hmm i think not, more likely the same simple mind rambling twice.

  • SDLP to the core

    Tell me this, did all this come about because Breen had the balls to go against the trend and declare that Sharon Haughey would get elected, do SF believe they have the right to say as to who should be tipped for victory.
    What arrogance

  • vc

    Brendan, Belfast,

    Yeah, thats right I didn’t pick up on the pun (like a few others here), I must be a total clown. Be sure to let us all know when you’ve found the cure for Cancer!

  • StarHound

    SDLP to the core – putting your attitude aside, I think that Breen has just honed her tactics here.

    In my opinion Рand it is my own singular opinion, I think she is talking up Haughey to undermine Sinn F̩in, who she clearly sees as the bigger bogeyman.

    And by the way, it is the style of many of of her articles to focus on one individual so I don’t think she was setting out to cover every last candidate.

  • SDLP to the core

    Starhound,

    you said quote “Suzanne Breen had previously written a series of often obtuse anti-Nationalist and anti-Republican articles. She seemed to be possessed with an almost irrational hatred of Northern Nationalist and Republicans”

    I have never seen such an article, the woman is well known to be HARD but FAIR to anyone who engages with her, strange that you didn’t have a problem when she said S.F would win Foyle at the last Westminster elections.

    Now can you quote or link an article to support your theory

  • rd65_75

    SDLP to the Core

    if ur looking the Adamsites to put proof up for anything you’re gonna have one helluva wait.

    I hope Davy Hyland polls heavily

  • Roisin

    The Devil,

    [i]Maybe you, or Sinn Fein, should spell out the details of that misrepresentation by the Sunday Times and Sunday Tribune.[/i]

    I’m not bothered about it. They can write whatever they want. That doesn’t mean those who they write about are under any obligation to give them interviews, and more particularly, nor does it mean that those who decide not to give them interviews are engaging in censorship.

    As for Clarke’s reputation, you have your opinon of it and I have mine.

  • Joe

    Roisin

    Are you on patrol here? Is this your election beat for PSF. Are you on permanent watch here for insults, real and imaginary to whats left of Gerry’s reputation 🙂

  • Roisin

    Joe,

    Are you here as part of the new care-in-the-community programme?

  • Mary L

    Excellent Roisin

    Long may you keep posting. The respect you show to fellow posters is typical of the attitude of a certain kind of Sinn Feiner. Please, please, keep posting.

    Roisin,check the thread concerning last nights spotlight program. Some very disparaging things are being said about Gerry over there. Best get over there quickly Roisin. Somebody needs to defend Gerry and to silence the “non believers”.

  • Roisin

    Why don’t you save me the bother and write them for me, Mary, since you think you know what I’ll have to say.

    *yawn*

  • vc

    Brendan, Belfast.

    Well, we made the Sunday Times! The jokes on me but sure what the hell, I can take it.

    And “Sue”, (if you are reading), you pissed me off again this week…..