• Fortlands

    I’ve often wondered where the online custom of anonymous comment from. Even in the VO the letter-writers usually give their names. What ever happened to balaclava-abandonment?

  • megatron

    I think Roy makes an interesting and important point. I think the most interesting articles are those where it is transparent that that author has a bias rather than some pretend neutrality. This blog could do with more of it. I disagree with almost everything Turgon says but would put his blogs near the top of my reading list.

  • Damian O’Loan

    I’d also recommend using site:sluggerotoole.com as a search engine query, alongside the name/pseudonym in speech marks, e.g. “Mick Fealty” and then the terms you’re interested in, e.g. EU elections. Just in case it helps anyone navigate a little more easily.

    The ability to forget is dead, regardless of rights. Let’s hope the ability to forgive and learn don’t suffer the same fate.

  • Gopher

    Interesting use of language, “the war” and not being transparent. I thought he was talking about The Second World War or Korea. If your partiality is such that you can’t use proper descriptive terms your in serious trouble as a journalist as outside your partiality no one will know what your actually talking about.

  • Granni Trixie

    For good or bad when I read RG remarks and of his support for Downey I was shocked and as I try to unpack that reaction I suppose it’s that I think less of him and wonder is he as well informed as he appears. He also seems insensitive to what we have suffered because of physical force.

  • between the bridges

    “for a long period, during the war, I was not transparent” translates as he secretly wrote for An Phoblacht until he was exposed by a colleague…sometime after the ‘war’ had ended…

  • Gopher

    I believe in his history of “the War” the 6th Army gets arrested at Stalingrad

  • Son of Strongbow

    Whilst on the subject of semantics, is it not a little strange to talk of being “insensitive” and then go on to refer to death and destruction as “physical force”?

  • Delphin

    A recent survey found that only seven per cent of those questioned said they trusted politicians and journalists, while just 11 per cent trusted bankers and estate agents. After sterling service on the red tops, Roy continues to do his bit to keep journalists below bankers and estate agents in public esteem. Fair play to the lad, I say.

  • Barnshee


    was outed some time ago along with fellow travellers


    including the( now deceased) deputy editor of the Guardian G Henry and co

  • Gopher

    At least his students will be well versed in euphemisms, quite handy for a career in journalism in one party states.

  • sean treacy

    Barnshee ,regarding the Glover article you refer us to,perhaps Mr McDonald could enlighten us all sometime about his own membership of a political party with a less than glorious history.

  • Barnshee

    “Barnshee ,regarding the Glover article you refer us to,perhaps Mr McDonald could enlighten us all sometime about his own membership of a political party with a less than glorious history.”

    I presume you refer to McDonald`s association with an ingredient in the mix of republican murder gangs current in N Ireland :-

    “McDonald was formerly involved in the Sinn Féin the Workers Party a left republican party that emerged from the Official IRA in the early 1970s”


    And your point is?

  • sean treacy

    My point is that McDonald never wrote anything about the party described by one journalist as”the biggest lie in the history of irish politics” and his association with this party undermines his credibility to a massive extent.

  • Barnshee

    “his association with this party undermines his credibility to a massive extent.”

    Mcdonalds credibility is not at issue he (as far as I am aware) never failed to acknowledge his “connections” On the other hand Greenslade in his own words “for a long period, during the war, was not transparent” In other words a toerag

  • son of sam

    Could Prof Greenslades lack of transparency for a long period have anything to do with the bombings in England ?He may have thought it wise not to publicise his affection for the Republican cause during that period.

  • Delphin

    One would hardly expect Mr Greenslade to come out and say he supported the PIRA campaign until now. He had his career to think about. Being a supporter of an movement killing British soldiers would not go down well with Sun or Mirror readers.
    Now the ‘war’ is over and he is established in academia and the Guardian he can say what he likes. Not a toe-rag just two faced, rather like SF in America and Ireland – say what suits at the time, to hell with principles.

  • sean treacy

    McDonald never highlighted his connections and more importantly never mentioned the existence of group b or their activities which continued for well over 3 decades from when they were supposed to have gone out of business.

  • Seamuscamp

    “For all the claims that others have made for Slugger that it is somehow impartial”
    You’d have to be illiterate to regard Slugger as impartial. Mick, for example, is anything but impartial in respect of SF; and I’d suggest his use of yellow cards also shows bias. But this is all relatively open, and very different from the sort of journalism that presents itself as the purveyor of truth where it actually offers a biased opinion or even an outright lie dressed up as journalistic investigation (Daily Mail exposes leap to mind).

    Personally I don’t know believe neutrality is possible where human emotion is in play; or where the proprietor has an opinion or has affected interests (Barcay Brothers/Richard Desmond/News International); or where the journalist’s own pocket is threatened. Anyway what is great about neutrality?

  • Gopher

    “What did you do in “the war” Daddy?”

    “I bailed someone who was accused of blowing up some Cavalry”

    “Half a league Daddy! You helped Russian who manned the guns at Balaclava?”

    “Not quite son these Calvarymen were blown up in London”

    “So you defended a Luftwaffe Ace who had braved the air defences of the UK and was wrongly accused of war crimes, you put the system on trial Daddy I’m so proud”

    “errr not quite Son this happened in “the war” you know the big one one back in the eighties”

    “I dont remember the Argentinians invading England Daddy”

    “No no son the Battle of Hyde Park”

    “Right daddy lets get this straight you bailed someone who was accused of blowing up some toy soldiers and their horses”


    “Why cant you be a proper journalist like Cronkite or Wilmot daddy?”

    Those that cant teach is that not what the old adage says

  • Turgon

    To go back to the headline in the opening post: In journalism “claims towards neutrality and impartiality and objectivity are bogus.”

    This may well be true though one can strive for the above and for balance. As Mick says character and flavour and indeed consistency are important: the utility of slugger’s archive. On these scores Prof Greensdale does not do especially well. Whilst using a pen name is fine using it to propagate views diametrically opposed to many which one’s public work supposedly adheres to looks rather like hypocrisy.

    Ruth Dudley Edwards may not be the most neutral, impartial or objective but her assessment of his positions seems pretty accurate.

  • IrelandNorth

    Whatever about being old enough and wise enough, some of us are cynical enough and sceptical enough as to consider most mainstream journalism, most places, as little better than designer propaganda at best to be read with considerable discrimination. Most perniciously, in use of selective article accompanying photographing angles. Two cases in particular struck the present author most forcefully in a quality Irish broadsheet. A picture over the shoulder of an Irish Defence Force officer reading the Proclamation outside the General Post Office (GPO), but excluding the Irish tricolour in favour of the EU flag atop. More recently, a photgraph blurring the Sinn Fein President at Wexford Operan Hse podium in favour of background clarity of Pearse Doherty and Mary Lou McDonald, the preferred future leadership of the editorial board concerned. And given that a picture paints a thousand words, think of the word count and journalistic fees saved in favour of a cued photographer.

  • Harry Flashman

    I had a quiet chuckle at the thought that Roy Greenslade somehow hid his political sympathies, if he was hiding them I have to say he didn’t do a very good job of it.

    However I am in agreement with him, journalists should be more open about their political positions and should stop pretending they are neutral. Christine Amampour is showing her complete lack of balance on CNN currently getting very emotional about the situation in Crimea, that’s fine, it’s refreshing it’s good to know where journalists really stand so that we can take a line through what they say on one issue and compare it to another.

    One of the best news programmes in the UK is Channel 4 News, it’s intelligent and they don’t try to hide their liberal/left bias in the way the BBC does and that’s good.

    That’s why I have to smile when people get all hot and bothered about FOX News, it’s a minor, subscription only cable news network catering to a self-selecting viewership but because it dares to be honest about its political standpoint as opposed to the mainstream media which likes to pretend they’re neutral it drives lefties insane.

    To hell with that, let all the journos be honest, state their opinions freely and let the viewers decide what they want to believe. Stop treating audiences like children that need to have the news edited “correctly” before it is served up to them.

  • Son of Strongbow

    Channel 4 ‘news’ is always good for a laugh. At times it comes across as one of those leftie ‘satirical’ comedy shows so beloved of the BBC; check out the ‘News Quiz’ on Radio 4 as a typical example.

    Jon Snow and the gang were recently caught out badly by their shenanigans when the presented a vox pop about community attitudes to the London Met in light of accusations of police malpractice in relation to the Steven Lawrence investigations.

    The ‘random street’ interviewees, all showing a very negative or anti-police attitude, were later exposed as members of the same pressure group, leading to Jon Snow giving an on-air apology for the ‘mistake’.

    However you’ve got to feel a little sorry for Mr Snow. Much like the late Tony Benn, the product of a privileged upper middle class background, he struggles against his patrician antecedents to get down with the proles. The results are at times pure comedy gold.

  • Mick Fealty

    Accuracy is important, but so too is accountability. Archives make bloggers accountable. I may proceed with certain notions that I have always been consistently this or that but the archive is a thick evidential trail that Mick Fealty is either x or y.

    It’s a trick Glover pulls on Roy by accessing the great utility of blogs: accountability. It’s a concept that has yet to penetrate most of MSM journalism, who have behaved on occasions behaved as though only politicians are accountable.

    I found out at Oxford last Friday that the NUJ now have flacks as well as hacks on their books. My best guess is that that’s a result of the migration of so many of their colleagues to the dark side of corporate comms.

    It raises an interesting reflection on Roy’s belated confession of SF affiliation. When is a hack a hack, and when are they flacking for someone else?

    We have accepted for years that columnists fly kites for their favoured parties. Hell some of them even got their jobs because they are still politically active.

    And that’s a good thing in and of itself most of the time. We need to know what comes if not from the horses mouth then its brain. And we need to hear from people who understand the doing of politics, not just the talking or thinking of it.

    I’m slightly less keen on the ‘journalism of attachment’ idea. It’s not that I think cannot be done, but it raises tensions and can affect fine judgements about when when not to speak truth to power especially if you are already committed to embedding that power within the institutions that be.

    Seamus, I don’t have a record of Yellows awarded (they are only a warning and fade within 24 hours), but I’ll try and dig out a shortlist of recent Reds and Blacks, and we can take it in from there.

  • Mick Fealty

    As a quick addendum, I’ve linked Roy down the years when he has written good stuff. For me its the quality of the material that matters, not whether someone has a view I may or may not agree with. That’s a front door route into propaganda. And in this flat earth news world we all need our bullsh!t detectors.