RHI Inquiry: “Dr Crawford I’m not inviting a comment from you, thank you.”

Coming back to Slugger (after a few weeks mostly out of the saddle), the most interesting item appears to be the RHI Inquiry. It is clear Sir Patrick Coghlin does not share the view of previous members of the judiciary that Stormont is a delicate flower.

The BBC reports that he…

…cautioned the public that if they heard something “sensational” in media coverage they should seek out the evidence themselves.

He said the inquiry had gone to great lengths to ensure there was a live stream of it.

He said he was not criticising the media but it was difficult to assess a witness’ contribution until they had finished their testimony.

“That’s the only fair way to do it,” he said.

At that point, Andrew Crawford suggested that some elements of the media were being “selective” in their reporting.

Sir Patrick stopped him continuing and said: “Dr Crawford I’m not inviting a comment from you, thank you.”

Quite. There are many threads in this story and it is the judge’s onerous task, alone, to tie them all up at the end. What strikes me in the interim is how far we seem to be from the overheated reporting that helped crash Stormont’s democratic institutions.

I wrote (either here on Slugger or on Twitter) about the time the story broke of the irony in how an environmental policy, an area often subjected to embarrassingly supercilious derision by the DUP, has caused them such deep public embarrassment.

But, rather than paying too much attention to the policy (as alleged in many initial news reports), it looks like DUP spads spent little (or no) time considering the environmental and financial effect of a properly constructed RHI scheme.

Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty