FF want RTE’s Head’s head on a plate…

So sorry I did not get to see the offending item (blogged by Kensei) on RTE last night… For Dublin North Fianna Fail TD Michael Kennedy it was the last straw:

“Regardless of who the incumbent is, the position of An Taoiseach deserves respect, especially from our national public service broadcaster.”

“For an item like this to be given so much air time beggars belief and raises serious questions about the agenda at play in the RTE newsroom. It was obviously seen as a piece of entertainment – biased and partisan entertainment. It was the most tasteless item (I will not refer to it as ‘news’ as it clearly wasn’t) I have seen for many years.”

“It is evident that RTE management have long since given way to the celebrity culture where reporters and presenters have been allowed become commentators in constant pursuit of their own ‘celebrity cult’, rather than simply reporting the news in a straight forward manner, without their personal point of view.”

“The incoming RTE Authority should have a hard look at the direction the broadcaster is heading. Maybe a change at the top and a back to basics approach in terms of RTE’s public service remit would be a start,” concluded Deputy Kennedy.

Update: Suzy reports RTE’s apology and the game of constant attrition being waged upon it by Government Press Officers… She suggest tag #picturegate; but I prefer the next suggestion in the comments #cowengate…

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  • Peter Fyfe

    Cheer up Michael, a grand slam and a new world campion on saturday, were these pitures of Biffo during celebrations?

  • Apology broadcast on Nine O’Clock News for offence to office of Taoiseach for the report – not the paintings mind you! Only the latest in litany of Government Press Officers editorial input/disruption in RTE.

  • Mick Fealty

    Any public service broadcaster has to reconcile themselves to this game playing… But…

  • …It’s turning out to be a bit of a one sided marathon…

  • percy

    Crikey some of us recall John Major and the satire of him being presented as wearing of his underpants outside his trousers.


  • joeCanuck

    Satire has always terrified politicians, of all stripes.
    RTE management would appear to have no backbones.

  • KieranJ

    Neither of the last two above posts describe satire. Back to the dictionary boyos.

  • Donnacha

    Given that three of the last four FF taoisigh have been caught out and left in scandal, I’d be very careful about saying the office of taoiseach demands respect, if I was Mr Kennedy. Perhaps he should leave his FF ivory tower for a few hours and have a look at what people on the street think of Biffo.

  • joeCanuck


    I think you do not know what satire is.
    From the Shorter OED:
    Satire: a thing, fact or circumstance that has the effect of making some person or thing ridiculous.

  • Rory Carr

    Good God! Joe, by that very definition you have just satirised our esteemed correspondent, KieranJ.

    I doubt that he will be flattered.

    Any respect that might be due to the office of Taoiseach relies entirely upon the respect earned by the holders of that office. It is the holder of that office therefore who is duty bound to uphold respect for that office by himself acting in such a way as to command broad respect as the holder of that office.

    As Donnacha has rightly pointed out, and no doubt many others will, in recent years the record of incumbents to that office from the ranks of the Fíanna Fáil has done little but besmirch the public’s view of that office. The shame and the blame lies with them and they have their work cut out to restore the public respect that they have destroyed.

    Never mind about images of the Taoiseach with his kecks in his hand, the abiding image of the office of Taoiseach created by FF holders has been of one in a fur coat with his knickers in his hand.

  • Oilifear

    The story was news worthy and is being carried by international organs from the New York Times to the Guardian in London. Interference by the Government party in the editorial decision-making of RTÉ is repulsive. Even the dog in the street now knows they should be spending more time watching the economy and less time in front of goggle box.

    More reason Fianna Fail (no fada deserved) should be ousted. More reason the Emperor should be exposed to be wearing no clothes.

    Out! Out! Out! Get these monkey men OUT!

  • RTE not for me

    What’s all the fuss with FF sure the Provisionals via the elected man who was never in the IRA invited a senior member of RTE to become “special advisor” to the Army Council in 1994
    This persons duties were to envisage media problems and how best to address them to maintain the peace…. oh that’s what they thought the reality was they were to use their position within RTE to ensure awkward commentators or peole who did not sing from the S/F hymn sheet were denied air-time during republican/nationalist issues

  • An fhirinne gharbh

    RTE not for me – are you really suggesting that RTE is pro-Sinner? Do you mind if I ask what colour is the sky in your world?

  • Cowengate – where the full cream splatters the fool monty …

  • I am surprised there has been no update blog about the gross over-reaction of the Irish Government to the action of the artist on Slugger.

    See this

    This artist will now be martyred. His career is set up for life. Cowen should learn the lessons of Irish History and get a sense of humour