I see the Irish Star wasn’t in your front pages round-up last night. Here it is (above). Apart from it being of dubious taste, would the likes of the Star not be jumping up and down in outrage if a Thai paper had printed a photo of he mangled, bloodied corpse of an Irish woman on its front page? Or is it cool ‘cos she’s just a prostitute? I’m not outraged at it myself, just rather bemused. And slightly queasy.
A prison inmate whose ex became pregnant by another man got pals to throw a horse’s head through his love rival’s window. His cronies blasted the horse with a shotgun – then sawed off its head to use in the sickening attack in Dublin, The Star [not available online] can reveal.
Today’s Irish Star and last night’s Tonight with Vincent Browne.
The boar was no rapist; he was a sweet caring swine who clearly respected the conventions of romantic courtship. Another travesty of justice inter-species breeders everywhere, and spare a thought for the jilted boar.
As for the current investigation, I remain baffled as to how INM [Independent News and Media] remained in ignorance of the editor’s decision to publish.
The day before publication, Mike O’Kane [Irish Daily Star editor] gave a radio interview in which he announced his intentions. After publication and the subsequent row, the paper’s former editor, Ger Colleran – now managing director of the INM company that runs the paper, and therefore O’Kane’s immediate boss – trenchantly defended the decision to publish. Did O’Kane really keep him in the dark?
Whatever the case, INM’s management was clearly ineffective, and it is that factor that has surely influenced Desmond.”
Dearbhail McDonald (top left), legal affairs editor of the Irish Independent, and Brenda Power (top right), columnist with the Irish Daily Mail and Sunday Times, and presenter of the RTE Radio One’s The Media Show, were on Frontline last night with Pat Kenny.
They discussed the fallout of the Irish Daily Star re-printing images of a topless Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge. The Irish Independent is a sister paper of the Irish Daily Star.
Pat was in rare form.
Pat Kenny: “Brenda, first of all, to publish or not to publish. If you were in the editor’s chair what would you have done?”
Brenda Power: “Well, personally, I probably wouldn’t have published those pictures, Pat, because I think they’re tasteless and I think they’re unpleasant. And, from a female point of view, it’s embarrassing and you can see it’s embarrassing for a young woman to have those photographs published. However, I would defend to the death Michael O’Kane’s right to publish them, without a threat of redundancy and closure hanging over this newspaper tonight.”
Kenny: “You say ‘publish anyway, irrespective of taste and decency’, is that it?”
Power: “No, but I mean I prefer an editor who was thought, who gave some thought to what his readers wanted, to what his audience wanted, to the sort of products that he was producing, which is a tabloid, than one who is looking over his shoulder to be aware of what his rich proprietor wanted for his agenda, to suit his agenda. And that seems to be the rock that Mick O’Kane [Irish Daily Star editor, now suspended] has perished on. He didn’t do that.”
Kenny: “Now Dearbhail, you’re not going to speak on behalf of Independent News and Media at all.”
Dearbhail McDonald: “Well I think the Independent News and Media has had its say. It had its say in an editorial in the Irish Independent on Saturday, the paper which I write for. And it had its say this evening, when it decided, along with the other joint shareholder, Northern and Shell, to suspend Michael O’Kane, pending a full inquiry. So INM has had its say. For my own part, as a female, as a journalist who believes that there are stories that require breaches of privacy, sometimes gross invasions of privacy, to justify stories. And I say it as someone, you know, who has an ordinary view on it. I think the decision to publish those pictures was wrong. Had I been in the editor’s hot seat, I wouldn’t have published them. I think they breached good taste, decency. And I think they also breached the privacy of that young couple. Separate though, what we’re dealing with, there are two separate issues. One is the decision to publish. The second is the separate, but related, issue of Richard Desmond, a man who has made millions out of such worthy tomes as Horny Housewives, Asian Babes, and whatever else you’re having. What we’re dealing now with is an Irish newspaper and now with Alan Shatter’s absolute outrageous suggestion that he would bring in a Privacy Law on the back of this incident. What we’re now seeing is an Irish paper, in the Irish media industry, possibly becoming collateral damage just because Richard Desmond is protecting his commercial interests. Because this is what, this is the important context. You’re dealing with a post-Leveson landscape in the UK. And you’re also dealing with the fact that his Express newspapers, the core, the key, the jewel in the crown of that, is the Daily Express which is a pro-Royalist, pro-Monarchist newspaper. And I think it would be grossly amiss of any Government, and this is why I don’t believe that Alan Shatter’s views should be tolerated this evening. To allow Irish privacy laws to be determined by the British monarch.”
Kenny: “Come to that in a moment. But the newspapers own code of practice, actually I think it’s 5.5, says that you should not intrude on people in a private space without their express permission, expect where it is in the public interest to do so. So a drug dealer, a paedophile, maybe there are cases where you can make. For a young couple on holiday, there is no case that can be made. Or is there, Brenda?”
Power: “Well, the case that Mick O’Kane made originally was that if a paparazzo could zone in on the future queen of England, then maybe a sniper could do. Very volatile times in the Middle East as we know. The Libyan, or the American ambassador to Libya was assassinated last week and that row over that stupid film has spread to the diplomatic missions for the British and the French.”
McDonald: “So let’s show her breasts in full glory just to prove a point, Brenda?
Power: “No, hang on a second, I know people get annoyed when you make this argument but there are some terms and conditions that come with the role she has. And there is nowhere on earth, and that woman should know it by now, that she can strip down to her knickers in public. She was within full view of a public road, in view of a public road…”