Something Went Wrong


Colum Kenny

On Wednesday, a commentary piece by media analyst Colum Kenny about the Irish press, Charlottesville and Donald Trump was posted on The Irish Times website.

It was trending for a time.

Then it was taken down.

Without explanation.

Colum Kenny wrote:

Speaking in New York, at a combative press conference where he controversially renewed his claim that there was wrong on both sides involved in a street fight about a civil war statue of a Confederate general on a high horse at Charlottesville, Virginia, Trump was asked about chief executive officers leaving his advisory manufacturing council in protest.

He slammed them, saying, “they’re not taking their jobs seriously as it pertains to this country . . . If you look at Merck as an example, take a look at where their product is made. It’s made outside of our country. We want products made in the country . . . You can’t do it necessarily in Ireland and all of these other places. You have to bring this work back to this country.”

That a president of the US is singling out Ireland in response to lost US jobs is bad news. And it matters a lot more to Ireland than the details of a street fight in middle America. You would not think so from the relative media coverage here.

That street fight provides good self-righteous TV footage, easily and cheaply available, with cardboard cut-out bad guys in the form of Nazis and Ku Klux Klan members. Trump makes good copy.

He equivocated when it came to condemning those who perpetrated the worst violence at Charlottesville, but he voiced the reservations of many Americans when he claimed there had been violence on the other side, from a small number who reportedly came with baseball bats to confront a lawful, if odious, right-wing demonstration against the removal of a statue.

Trump is a sometimes odious and frightening president, but he was elected fairly under the American system.

Irish fascination with his antics is tinged by a certain air of superiority that leaves us open to accusations of hypocrisy.

We have, after all, attracted US jobs offshore by means of incentives that seem to have come to have no social bottom line.

We hide behind the shield of Nato without paying a penny for it, and cutely let the US buy facilities at Shannon while we take the neutral high ground.

And what of our own Civil War monuments?

We jettisoned various statues of Queen Victoria after independence, but what if we were to tear down monuments to those who rejected democracy in 1922 when most people accepted the Treaty, or various unofficial memorials to the later IRA? Would those opposing such iconography be dismissed as fascists?

Donald Trump has no monopoly on ambivalence.


The commentary piece can be read in full here

Pics; Irish Times

64 thoughts on “Something Went Wrong

    1. Murtles

      I hear ya but “People trying to start a civil war over statutes of people who started a civil war” is too long a name for it. Acronym is a killer too.

    2. Andrew

      That’s what it was. A very small but vocal group of facists and anti-facists taht have been chasing each other aroundthe country and posting you tube videos.
      Idendity politics taken to its pitiful limits.

  1. General Henry Lee Woods

    I live in a world where 1800’s Confederates and 1930’s Nazis are the modern day bad guys.

    1. bisted

      …don’t worry Henry…I know the very place for you…where a 17th century Dutch Prince is the good guy…

      1. shitferbrains

        Jews AND Protestants ! You’re as busy as a one-legged man in an ass kicking contest aren’t Ya !

        1. Janet, I ate my avatar

          that Sir is a great expression
          I also like
          up and down like a fiddler’s elbow

    1. Robert

      Yeah I’m inclined to agree. But I guess the snowflake IT readers just can’t handle discomfort.

      1. Robert

        Sorry, having read the actual article, as opposed to the soundbites posted here on broadsheet I can conclude it’s “actually” utter horse-do

  2. Nigel

    What is it about centrist types who as an aside agree that Trump and Nazis are bad but spend the rest of the time accusing people who criticise Trump and actively oppose Nazis bad hypocrisy without actually identifying any hypocrisy but seem to think they have sounded a note of caution about them? Baseball bats? The Nazis had an armed militia lining the street for them!

    1. MoyestWithExcitement

      Probably the same reasons that other centrists insist that poor people *have* to be prosecuted for *something* after they shouted at a government minister sitting in a car surrounded by the police.

        1. MoyestWithExcitement

          Nah, I wouldn’t want to infringe on your copyright. No Clamps to keep you busy with a 12 hour argument about something you’ve argued about 100 times before today, no?

          1. Nigel

            I prefer to think of them less as arguments and more as surrounding each other’s cars pounding on the window screaming insults.

          2. MoyestWithExcitement

            And those nazis in america were just walking on a road with a permit before being physically attacked. You’re an authority loving centrist. Embrace it.

          3. MoyestWithExcitement

            In fairness though, I’m seeing lots of high profile centrists who used to describe the left as “alt left” in an attempt to equate them with the nazis now describe *themselves* as alt left so I guess you’re only following a trend. A weasely trend but a trend.

          4. MoyestWithExcitement

            Well you rarely have anything non generic to say so I thought I’d help you out what with it being Friday and all.

          5. Nigel

            So annoying when other people don’t follow the script you wrote for them in your head! You have to keep writing the side of the argument you wanted them to write for them! Inconsiderate that’s what it is.

          6. MoyestWithExcitement

            “I prefer to think of them less as arguments and more as surrounding each other’s cars pounding on the window screaming insults.”

            You followed the script perfectly, Nigey.

      1. Robert

        either that, or he’s thinking of ‘left’ and ‘right’ in geometrical terms thus thinking they cancel out

  3. Zuppy International

    A Fair and reasonable article about Donald Trump?

    No wonder the sillypants are triggered.

    Don’t be too smug there Broadsheet. You too are guilty of protecting the groupthink by moderating, censoring and/or altering any comment that fails to uphold the libtard agenda.

      1. Zuppy International

        Not true Bodger.

        Zuppy is never sexist, or racist and only occasionally uses rude words for effect, but yet I’m in permanent moderation for some reason.

        A few weeks ago I wasn’t even allowed to post a definition of the word “pregnant”.

        Unfortunately, these days such sillypants hypocrisy is utterly unrsurprising.

          1. Zuppy International

            Broadsheet still altering my boo boo panties to protect their agenda.

            (You missed one btw).

          2. Nigel

            Stop pinky dinkling Zuppy’s posts Broadsheet!

            (Never stop pinky dinkling Zuppy’s posts Broadsheet.)

        1. scottser

          not sexist my hole – you are a hateful bigot. your views on women are archaic and you’re one of the nastier trolls on here.

          1. Zuppy International

            So anybody who may disagree with scottser is a “hateful bigot”.

            Good to know.

          2. MoyestWithExcitement

            No, he didn’t say *anyone* who *disagrees with him* is a hateful bigot, he said YOU are a hateful bigot because of the views on women you chose to express on a public forum.

          3. Zuppy International

            Give me examples of my views on women that may be deemed offensive.

            Or else refrain from baseless ad hominems.

      2. Anomanomanom

        Thats not true, you have taken comments down that in no way had any of things in it. They just went against your leaning on the subject.

    1. Daisy Chainsaw

      Fupp being “fair and reasonable” about nazis. People did that in the 1930s and look how well that turned out!

  4. EightersGonnaEight

    Too busy publishing identity politics by Una Mullally and avoiding the reality of having provided a platform for the like of Kevin Myers for over quarter of a century – that’s the Irish Times today.

    Desperate for readers – and there’s not enough of them in Ireland – so they milk the Generational Emigration angle.

  5. nellyb

    Tax evasion over nazism. Bravo, Kenny! Should you mom had been a war widow with a bunch of under-aged kids, working her ass off in a factory 10h a day 6 days a week building tractors, so another war widow with a bunch of under-aged kids ploughed the fields around the clock and grew cattle to feed people after the war.
    I thought I’ve heard it all, but no, there is always an asshole that surpasses previous records.
    I would very much like this article to be reinstated. So we all take time to reflect properly.

    1. nellyb

      “Tax evasion over nazism” is reference to Kenny’s priorities list: preservation of low tax regime in Ireland supercedes the tragedy of nazi march.
      Back in 30s there were some among intellectual elites mocking nazis as idiots. But unlike Kenny, they did not have the benefit of hindsight. And what a hindsight.

    1. Zuppy International

      Not true petey.

      The American President is chosen by an electrol college, not by the people in a first past the post system.

      According to the rules, Trump won fair and square.

      Deal with it.

      1. bisted

        …crooked Hillary and the Democratic party, against all the odds, managed to lose the election…by default, Trump became President…

        1. Nigel

          Of course idiots uncritically adopting Trump’s framing of his opponent as ‘Crooked Hilary’ helped a bit.

          1. bisted

            …thanks…I’d like to think I had some influence on the defeat of hawkish Hillary but even I’m not so vain*…crooked Hillary had a nice ring to it…as well as the ring of truth…
            *everyone knows it was Bodger

        2. Nigel

          Nah it’s just there were a lot of people like you who think they’re too smart for Trump but swallowed his lines and parrot his words.

          1. bisted

            …heh…you don’t call me Dan Boyle…I’m in Ireland…I’ve just elected Eoin Murphy…allegedly…ffs

  6. Pat "Connie" Plank

    Keep an eye on the Irish Times archive to see if they start purging articles by Myers, ones on Kate Fitzgerald, etc.

    If they can shred documents in defiance of the court, they can do anything.

Comments are closed.