Word is that the Mahon report is now definitely expected tomorrow and will make uncomfortable reading for Fianna Fáil, particularly for some of the elephants in the room at their recent Ard fheis. The elephant that didn’t arrive in the room in time for the Ard fheis was the actual report from the Mahon Tribunal that, one way or another, Fianna Fáil are going to have to deal with. Michael Martin’s leaders speech included what was presented as an apology:
We were in government and we should have acted differently. We made mistakes. We got things wrong and we are sorry for that. No equivocation. No half-apology, just the plain, unvarnished truth.
Since the Ard fheis there has been a focus among the wider Fianna Fáil retinue on supposed media bias. Sean Gallagher has been claiming that there are “the most fundamental questions about the trustworthiness and impartiality of our national broadcaster” [i.e. RTÉ]. His former flatmate, and Fianna Fáil ingenue, Noel Whelan also has attempted to present an outline of apparent problems in RTÉ’s attitude to accountability and the standards operating within it’s current affairs division. Fianna Fáil has also come directly out and criticised RTÉ via Limerick TD Niall Collins.
So, as the Mahon Report story unfolds, it will be interesting (and revealing) to see if the foregrounding of this concern for balance in media coverage was little more than a preparatory bombardment as Fianna Fáil attempt to interdict Mahon and it’s findings. In short, with no capability to shoot the message since as their leader has said: ‘we made mistakes’, Fianna Fáil’s only tactical option is to shoot the messenger and imply that the public narrative is being generated by a media that lacks balance. Unfortunately for them tomorrow we get some more detail on those ‘mistakes’.
And for a considered look at media bias – have a look at MediaBite’s mediashot.