Responding to this article by Anne Harris, editor of The Sunday Independent, which claimed ‘hands-off’ editorial independence during the O’Reilly reign at INM, Vincent Browne writes today:
On March 4th a headline [in the Sunday Independent]: “Bertie sinks as house market goes under.”
… On April 8th: “Ahern missed boat on election” and inside another headline: “Will Bertie’s new Haughey gene cost FF the next election?”
…On April 15th: “Ahern denies air trip with a case of cash”.
But then, suddenly, there was a compete volte-face. And no explanation.
On April 22nd, 2007, there was an exclusive facilitatory interview with Ahern on stamp duty “reform”.
…On May 6th, 2007, a front page story under the headline: “Most voters want Bertie as Taoiseach despite money issues.”
…On May 13th there was another interview with Ahern in which he spoke about his personal finances under the headline: “It’s all related to my judicial separation.” There was no challenge to his claims.
So how come this spectacular turnaround? This could all be a compete coincidence, of course, but during the week that the extraordinary U-turn was undertaken – this was the week beginning April 16th, 2007 – a private undisclosed meeting took place between Tony O’Reilly and Ahern…