Andersonstown News Rebellion Shortlived


The Andersonstown News accepts that the tone and the timing of the Squinter article last week during a period of community mourning was inappropriate and unnecessary and apologises to Gerry Adams and our readers for any hurt caused.

“Hold me now.
It’s hard for me to say I’m sorry.
I just want you to know.
Hold me now.
I really want to tell you I’m sorry.
I could never let you go.

After all that we’ve been through,
I will make it up to you. I promise to.
And after all that’s been said and done,
You’re just the part of me I can’t let go.”

  • Has this been some sort of Easter ‘parable’ for a paramilitary, a ‘crucifixion’ followed by a ‘resurrection’? Did Squinter get his 30 cents worth?

    Back at the time of the Cahill funeral I referred to the ‘duck waddle’, the quaint slow stepping march. How long can the PRM’s lame duck President hobble on?

    PS Did anyone else note the curious left foot slapping style at Edendork?

  • URQUHART

    Pathetic. Utterly pathetic.

  • MM

    Rumours going around have Adams on the phone to Livingstone within hours of the paper coming out, demands for a SF meeting with the editorial team the following day and then a follow up of certain West Belfast advertisers threatening they’d be pulling out.

  • Hogan

    It is reassuring to all of us that the ‘normal’ levels of tolerance of criticism and free speech have been resumed by the Provisional movement in the heartlands.

    ‘Move along nothing to see here’.

  • Bohereen

    Thirty pieces of silver, maybe Maundy Money.

    I have this vision that the Last Supper was at Goodfellas and now Judas is being hung(out to dry?)

  • Hogan

    Is it just me or does it strike anyone else as odd that you can’t read about Mairtin’s ‘kick in the balleex’ on BBC online?

  • Shore Road Resident

    Not at all strange. [See Commenting Policy – edited moderator]

  • URQUHART

    Is anyone listenting to Talkback?? This is unbelievable – everyone getting their knickers in a twist because someone dared to write a criticism of Gerry Adams!?

    And by the way, talking about ‘the timing being insensitive’ compounds the shame. And very clearly a line that some bright spark in the press office came up with.

    But then again, using the dead for their own political ends is nothing new in provisional sinn fein circles.

  • “Rumours going around have Adams on the phone to Livingstone within hours of the paper coming out, demands for a SF meeting with the editorial team the following day and then a follow up of certain West Belfast advertisers threatening they’d be pulling out.”

    That’s better the ATN is getting in line with the mainstream media its boss M O’M so much wishes to be a part of. If the paper keeps this up, siding with business and the political elite against the mass of its readership, it can look forward to a whole raft of State advertising coming its way. By the way it would be interesting to know if any of the UK state advertisers were amongst the group who allegedly threatened to withdraw.

    Where does this leave Robin? and what caused his momentary, although brave lapse, as the man had much to loose?

  • Dec

    And by the way, talking about ‘the timing being insensitive’ compounds the shame.

    Yes, it’s pretty insulting (The apology to ‘our readers’ has a tagged-on feel), but this is how Adams has always dealt with ‘internal’ dissent so it should come as no surprise, least of all to the editorial team at the paper.

    The real question still remains: who ‘greenlighted Squinter’s piece in the first place?

  • west belfast resident

    The grovelling apology on the front page was disgusting. Instead of the Andersonstown News backing its journalists, it stabbed them in the back. Shame on them

  • West Belfast

    This changes nothing – the problem remains. SF would have been better advised to have an open letter or an indepth interview with Adams.

    This obvious interference will undermine them even more – the people of WB are many things but stupid is not one of them.

    I think Adams had a point when he argued that SF could not be blamed – read Davy Adams in Irish Times today – but this censorship is unnecessary and ill advised.

  • Grassy Noel

    I see a libel comment on this thread from SRR is allowed to remain.

    I hope Slugger mods don’t consider BBC journalists fair game.

  • Shore Road Resident

    It’s only libel if it’s defamatory.
    Are you saying that it’s defamatory to call someone a Sinn Fein stooge? If so, you may well have to sue yourself.

  • Grassy Noel

    Hogan,

    no, apart from you and unionist crank SRR, no-one else finds it strange. Here, listen and learn, the BBC NI news website didn’t cover Squinter’s piece in the first place, so has no real call to publish a follow-up. Also, why would they even be interested in this piece as newsworthy item when it didn’t even make the Belly Tele.

    Are you really SRR teeing up questions for yourself and then answering?

    If so, being a crank is the least of your worries.

  • Shore Road Resident

    The fact that it didn’t follow the piece in the first place is only further evidence of its party bias. Radio Ulster led with the piece and has now led all morning with the retraction.

  • Grassy Noel

    No mate, you are calling into question his professionalism and impartiality. A half-decent trainee solicitor would get a settlement on that basis.

    You’re not too smart, are you?

  • Grassy Noel

    “If so, you may well have to sue yourself.”

    Does Pete Baker live on the Shore Road? Either that or jumping to a conclusion on a person’s political orientation on the basis of a few posts seems ot be catching on this forum.

    Surely it couldn’t be anything more sinister?

  • Shore Road Resident

    Just the facts, ma’am. Just the facts.

  • Hogan

    I can confirm i am not a Shore Road Resident (no offence), but since you have raised the question i may get on my knees and say a Rosary every night to thank our blessed mother Mary Queen of the Gael that i do not reside there.

    As an avid Gerry Anderson fan i heard the story being trailed for talkback during the 11:00 news break.

    Imagine my ‘shock’ when i went to one of the bbc’s main NI news outlets to discover that not even the briefest details of the story were being offered?

    I merely raised the question.

  • Hogan

    “Here, listen and learn, the BBC NI news website didn’t cover Squinter’s piece in the first place, so has no real call to publish a follow-up. Also, why would they even be interested in this piece as newsworthy item when it didn’t even make the Belly Tele.”

    Can someone identify the logic in this argument? Here’s a clue.. it may take a while.

    A little understanding of media is a very dangerous thing indeed.

    Yes if a news outlet does indeed cover a story they may feel an increased duty to follow-up, however it is not the be-all and end-all in the decisions of editors.

    A minor column in a minor newspaper criticising the local MP may well have been minor news, not worthy of comment.

    On your basic understanding of media you may not be aware of this but stories do change.

    The geniuses in SF ensured this.

    Let me spell it out for you, where does every other newspaper normally publish apologies? I don’t know, my best guess is somewhere in the bottom corner of page 36 in between the announcements of marriage for the son of Col. and Mrs Symmington-Smythe of Grove Manor Surrey and someone looking to sell a Ford Fiesta with 72,000 miles on the clock?

    Printing a flagellationary headline the following week after criticism in a newspaper who’s independence from a political movement has long been called into question a week after is a bigger story.

    To emphasise the point, try and think of the last time a paper printed an apology on the front page? Normally it is only after expensive court proceedings, the only one i can think of is the Sun/Hillsborough distaster?

  • CS Parnell

    Nevin,

    I believe they are saying (certianly the chlé bit):

    chlé chlé chlé máirseáil

    (left left left march)

    My Irish isn’t very good so I am not sure about the march bit. It’s the tradition republican style of marching.

    Sombody once told me it was because the British army led their marches with the right foot. But that might be as genuine as the journalistic integrity of the Andytown News.

  • joeCanuck

    Video is no longer available.
    What was in it?

  • susan

    Rusty Nail, your commentary on the nearly beyond parody apology is pitch-perfect. (As are the University of Vermont Top Cats, btw. Can they sing something for all Slugger threads from now on?)

    Anyway, somebody once said, “Freedom of the press is only guaranteed to those who own one.” Whoever said it, seems he or she was unduly optimistic.

  • tienan

    cle cle cle dheis cle

    left left left right left

    march along now….

  • URQUHART

    “Hogan,

    no, apart from you and unionist crank SRR, no-one else finds it strange. Here, listen and learn, the BBC NI news website didn’t cover Squinter’s piece in the first place, so has no real call to publish a follow-up. Also, why would they even be interested in this piece as newsworthy item when it didn’t even make the Belly Tele.”

    Grassy Noel on Mar 27, 2008 @ 02:00 PM

    That’s plane crazy talk. This story was a major item on both Talkback and the Nolan Show. Despite what you clearly would like to think, the online element of the BBC in NI is not the cutting edge news sept. If it was good enough to be a main segment on two of the flagship news / current affairs programmes, it should have been good enough for the bloody website.

    By the way, there is currently a story on there about the dangers facing children’s baby teeth.

  • RepublicanStones

    Ahh foot drill as Gaeilge……need more time square bashing methinks.

  • jake

    so i suppose we can say that squinter blinked.

  • jone

    A quick lesson in how Talk Back and Nolan mesh with BBC news online and other BBC outlets.

    Both Nolan and Talk Back pursue their own editorial agendas – agendas which are aimed at attracting callers. The vast bulk of the stories which Nolan and Talk Back don’t appear on any other BBC outlet, online or otherwise. It may be that in this case other outlets had decided that a story about a local paper in Belfast, while of enormous interest to sluggerettes wouldn’t necessarily play to a wider audience.

    Furthermore there aren’t that many people on the BBC online team – it’s about two or three hacks a shift so they wouldn’t have the time to sit and transcribe everything on Radio Ulster.

  • johnny

    surely jake can offer a few more words o wisdom?What did you think of squinters article jake?Grow a pair!

  • spiritof07

    What a shame. Even Mairtin must be embarassed by this episode. If the rumour mill has any truth – and in west Belfast the rumours are very strong -that the paper was threatened with withdrawal of advertisements, then the ATN has been hit with tactics it has endorsed in the past.

    Sorry episode indeed.

  • LURIG

    It’s a complete climbdown from the ATN and editorial team and now questions the integrity, independence and reputation of the paper. It’s obvious now who’s the organ grinder and who’s the monkey. As a Nationalist I feel VERY VERY let down by this humiliating grovelling apology and the word PRAVDA comes into mind. It has FURTHER confirmed that this Sinn Fein leadership are PARANOID control freaks straight out of a George Orwell novel growing increasingly alienated from ordinary people. There is absolutely NO debate or discussion within that Movement and it’s run by an elite cartel for an elite cartel. If ANYTHING Adams and Sinn Fein should have taken this on the chin AND apologised to their constituents for having surrendered these areas to the hoods & thugs. Instead they whinged and yapped and no doubt pressure was put on the ATN from somewhere. Robin Livingstone and the ATN now have a DUTY of obligation to their readers, profession and conscience to reveal if they were threatened in ANY way regarding this. In absence of any statement or story rumours and innuendo will continue to flourish and confidence in the paper will ebb away.

  • Making CAPITAL

    Go EASY on tHe CAPITALS, LUrIG.

  • LURIG

    It’s better than SHOUTING!!!!!!

  • Ted

    Is that Robin singing at the Aishling Awards?

  • Grassy Noel

    What Lurig said…

  • Gregory

    “the BBC NI news website didn’t cover Squinter’s piece in the first place, so has no real call to publish a follow-up. Also, why would they even be interested in this piece as newsworthy item when it didn’t even make the Belly Tele. ”

    As soon as the retraction and apology was on the streets the printers had plastic bags put over their heads.

    “I can’t say it enough!
    Be pure!
    Be vigilant!
    Behave!”

    They have loud speakers at the Khmer Media Group now, the Squinter column is beig replaced by a cartoon strip of Torquemada.

    “A true leader is prepared to destroy those he loves for his cause.”

    Great stuff.

    G.

  • Gregory

    “Furthermore there aren’t that many people on the BBC online team – it’s about two or three hacks a shift so they wouldn’t have the time to sit and transcribe everything on Radio Ulster. ”

    It is very easy to manipulate the BBC, for a huge corporation, they have very few primary news generators.

    I can cite you numerous examples of things being kicked into touch by a single phone call from one person or another.

    They will publish complete crap if they’re asked in the right way. I remember once they zilched a UUP broadcast because the PSNI said they had not raided a brothel on Tate’s Ave.

    I’d been woken up that day by a call from Veronica Guerin’s brother. I was then involved on the margins and asked for my take by several people as to what was going on.

    The SBD&VT;initiative (vice squad) was connected to the brothel in Tates Ave. That was the price the PSNI were forced to pay for scammming the BBC.

    Alan Erwin was the only journalist who went ahead and published a reasonable account.

    The only error there was the ‘from England’ part. That was the agreed obfuscation relation to the educational visa abuses.

    Foreign girls in theory at English universities.

    FRIDAY 09/01/2004 14:20:12

    ‘White slavery’ in Belfast brothels

    Eastern European women are being smuggled across the Irish border to work in Belfast brothels, it was claimed today.
    By:Press Association

    In some countries, *all* the educational visas issued by the British were for prostitution.

    G.

  • longlake

    for those of us who have orientation problems or don’t know our dheises from our cles ,let’s go quick march with the simplest option of all, tie a wee bit around your ankle and
    hay, straw, hay, straw, hay, straw…..

  • Gregory

    The main thing is that the anti-Monarchists were crushed, His Sublime Shinnerness, was shaken but not stirred, Squinter was hunted in the hedges, and may he burn like a heretic.