George Hook

At Noon.

George Hook’s High Noon show on Newstalk…

“I want to start the programme with a profound apology. On Friday, September 8, I made comments about rape on the programme which were totally inappropriate and unacceptable and I should never have made them.”

“I realise that those comments spread widespread hurt and offence and, for this too, I am truly sorry.”

“I would particularly like to apologise to all victims of rape, their families, the representatives of organisations who work day and night to reduce the stigma around rape.”

“And also for those who try and increase reporting of crimes involving sexual violence against men and women.”

“It was wrong of me to suggest that any blame could be attributed to those victims or that they bear any responsibility in the crimes committed against them. By doing that, I played a part in perpetuating the stigma and I unreservedly apologise for doing so.”

“Everybody has the right to enjoy themselves without fear of being attacked and, as a society, we have a duty to our daughters and granddaughters to protect that right.”

“On Friday, I failed in that duty of care, a failure I deeply regret and, for which, I am truly sorry.”

Listen back in full here

George Hook apologises for “totally inappropriate and unacceptable” comments (Newstalk)

Earlier: A Limerick A Day

Leon Farrell/Rollingnews

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125 thoughts on “Soz

  1. Brother Barnabas

    Trumped-up windbag with notions – must gall him horribly to have to kowtow to the “liberal lefties” he hates so much.

    Now it’s time to fupp off, George.

    1. realPolithicks

      100% correct, he believes everything he said on Friday….these “apologies” are just an attempt at spin control and appeasing the skitish program sponsors.

  2. MoyestWithExcitement

    Friday; ‘Rape victims must stop behaving irresponsibly’
    Saturday ‘Sorry if anyone got offended by what I said’
    Monday Morning; Large sponsor pulls advertising revenue because of comments
    Monday afternoon; ‘I’m so sorry. I should never have said it’.

  3. Daisy Chainsaw

    I am sorry I have to apologise but the bosses are making me do it because they’ll lose money. I feel so violated that I have to backtrack on my deeply held beliefs!

  4. postmanpat

    “for what?” , “for all that stuff you said on Friday” “but I’m not sorry” “we don’t care if your sorry, Clayton Hotels has used it as an opportunity to pull their advertising in a pubic display of free PR virtue signaling” ” Clayton? who cares? they knew what I was like when they started with us. Don’t you have another sponsor? ” “Of course we have another sponsor and we will bill Clayon for the breach in contract when this all dies down but you have to read this out on Monday, (hands George a statement written by PR firm) , and try to sound sincere”

  5. ahjayzis

    …we have a duty to our daughters and granddaughters to protect that right.

    Women and girls. You don’t need to conjure up some direct kinship with a woman every time you speak about 50% of the population, it’s not the place to define 50% of the population solely by their relationship to a man/men.

    1. Brother Barnabas

      Yeah, and he seems to equate “we in society” with men/ patriarchs. The man can’t help it – just not that clever.

    2. Cian

      I’m bemused by this. Do women not have daughters and granddaughters? or is in only men? I think you are reading too much into his comment.

      1. MoyestWithExcitement

        He’s saying that, in order to have empathy with women, you need to think of your daughters, you’re not doing very well. It is assumed emotionally well adjusted women will have empathy for other women.

        1. Cian

          I’ll tell you what. I’ll base my comments on what he actually wrote.

          You can base yours on what *you* think his motivation was when he wrote it, and how *you* think emotionally well adjusted women feel.

          1. MoyestWithExcitement

            Yes, you go on taking everything at face value and not trying to understand why anything happens or what anything means. You’re mainly right wing conservative, aren’t you? Of course.

  6. ahjayzis

    I read a paragraph from his autobiography this morning about going on a date with a women who he defined as a “fallen woman” because she drank gin and tonic. He goes on to recall how he stuck to soft drinks and plied her with as much gin as he could.

    Horrible old lecher.

    1. Brain warp

      You shouldn’t read things too literally. Seems he practices what he preaches where abusing drink is concerned I wish there were more like him.

    2. MoyestWithExcitement

      And he says this openly in a book, obviously thinking there’s nothing wrong with it while well educated and “respectable” friends of mine say there’s no need for feminism and fragile little man children whinge about consent classes being offered in universities.

    1. Brother Barnabas

      He’s about as far from being a “real man” as can be – not just last week’s comment; he regularly makes disparaging, offensive and misogynistic comments about women. He’s a poo.

      1. Brain warp

        Does he now? I’m not as avid a listener as you clearly are. Maybe you could provide some examples instead of resorting to the type of vacuous windbaggery you deign to deplore?

    2. mildred st. meadowlark

      You seem to be rather keen on playing staunch defender of George Hook.

      Just seems to be a running theme to your comments…

      1. Brain warp

        Not particularly Mildred. I wouldn’t confuse being objective and retaining an open mind with the alternative reality you’re perceiving. And even if I was a staunch supporter ( which I’m not) – what of it? Are you afraid of being dissented with by someone with their own mind on things?

        1. mildred st. meadowlark

          I believe that a bit if perspective and rationality is needed (what’s that I hear you ask?) – and when it comes to George Hook I feel that he is entirely in the wrong here.

          To give you an example: When I was younger, and first started going out with my friends at night we were warned: watch your drinks, keep an eye on each other and don’t walk home alone. And we did those things. We watched out for one another. We were vigilant. We took personal responsibility for ourselves.

          It didn’t stop some pig from raping one of my friends. None of us were drunk, but he was.

          So I’m curious why George Hook feels that it’s the fault of women like my friend for being raped – for not taking personal responsibility.

          I don’t know any woman who wasn’t told these things growing up. And it’s really offensive to people like my friend, who did as she was told,who took care, to hear that great fool pontificating.

          He may have had good intentions. I can’t speak for him. But he made a serious error of judgement in what he said last week, and he pissed off a lot of women who would know a lot more about taking responsibility for themselves than he would.

    1. TheRealJane

      Clarify what you understand as his point and how you understand it to be correct. I’m a woman, my ladybrain requires details. Please explain, carefully, what you and Hooky think and how it applies to women, but not, crucially, to men.

    2. ahjayzis

      I mean, you realise you’ve just outed yourself as a danger to women, right?

      Assuming you think the sight of female skin turns otherwise decent men into uncontrollable sex criminals with diminished responsibility, I’m assuming it’s because you feel that way?

      Your way of thinking isn’t unique though – in Saudi Arabia they punish the victim often more harshly than the perpetrator. All those mini-skirts in the desert, am I right?

      Is it the child or the parent who’s responsible for sexing up their kids when said kid is raped by an adult? Just curious.

    3. ahjayzis

      Although I do admit I am partially responsible for my house being burgled. I shouldn’t have nice things people want to steal. Silly me.

    4. Milo

      The point being valid is self explanatory, but the making of the point however is unacceptable. Its like pointing out that some Travellers have certain parts of their culture that lead to their own misery, or like that some muslims do terrible damage to their religion by beheading and raping others in the name of that religion, or that those who turn down a social housing offer have added to their own problem of living on the street. We are in that awkward grey area where truth, when uttered becomes unpalatable- it does not lessen the truth of it however. What shouldn’t be so is often so and hence the contradictions in how we think versus what we say.

      1. ahjayzis

        Say it was a bloke and the woman he was with knifed him to death after sex, rather than raped him.

        I really can’t see you big boys saying the man shares responsibility for going home with a strange lady.

        Why is it always sex-based crime where the blame just HAS to be passed on to the woman?

        Women like to fcuk, men like to fcuk – only one is called a whore and that same stigma is driving you kids to point the finger at the victim of an attack.

        Your parents really dropped the ball.

        1. Milo

          Stop using my post to be some kind of knight. If a guy went home with a strange lady- who’s fault would it be? Trumps?

          Deal with the issue and stop trying to use this s situation to make yourself look good. That’s sickening.

          1. ahjayzis

            Why are you going out of your way to look bad?

            I’m giving you my opinion, thanks for thinking it makes me look good, that’s a hint you’re on the wrong side of this.

          2. Milo

            No. You are trying to ascribe views to me I have never had or written. So go and find some other back to climb on to make yourself look good. Thanks.

        2. Anomanomanom

          Do you really need to ask that. From being on here and reading the comments its clear your no idiot and you make a lot of sense at times but if you really don’t know it would be a bad idea for woman to go home with a stranger, who in most cases will be much stronger, they just met. Its awful some people are scumbags and rape&murder&rob but it happens. I’m just 6 foot& 12stone,so not small, and I wouldn’t go back to a someone’s house who was say 6″5 and 15 stone.

          1. ahjayzis

            Remember the bloke who killed his kids and wife one night?

            Is it 60/40 blame between him and the mother of his kids or what’s the ratio? I mean she had no excuse, she must’ve known what he was like. Has she blood on her hands or what?

            If I’m walking down the street at night and I’m mugged, what proportion of the sentence should I serve? If the mugger is the only one at fault, how is it different if a woman is walking down that same street at night and gets raped? Should she be indoors and I not because I’m a man?

          2. Anomanomanom

            Are seriously using/arguing as a point that a women and kids being murdered by their husband/father who the women would have known extremely well before marrying and having kids as being the same as one of encounter with someone you just met. Wtf is wrong with. And as for your mugging theory, its always the muggers fault but if I was to walk home through certain areas because its shorter but I know its dangerous and I get mugged I’m responsible for putting myself in that more dangerous area

          3. ahjayzis

            Well exactly – she knew him extremely well. Was she not a negligent mother for not spotting that he was a monster?

            I’m just really curious to see your metric for blaming women for the crimes of their sexual partners.

            If it’s a second date does the woman’s responsibility for her own rape diminish by a set factor?

            Is marital rape the wife’s fault, or not, because she’s married and knows him or?

            You’re writing the rules on how a victim is responsible for her victimhood, I’m just asking for the parameters.

        3. Milo

          My point is rather more nuanced and subtle than your sledgehammer. You could learn from Nigel and Moyest in attributing things one never said and creating diversionary straw men to avoid the issues actually raised.

          1. MoyestWithExcitement

            You are, yeah. Every post of yours is ‘Us men who don’t like wimmin and mooslums are the real victims’.

          2. ahjayzis

            Your point is neither subtle or nuanced. It’s basic tenet is that women should have less freedom than men for their own safety FROM men.

            This is both stupidly unfair and totally unworkable. Saudi Arabia is not rape-free, your way has been tried. Ireland used to imprison ‘fallen’ women – that didn’t work either, it just lead to more abuse. Your way CONTRIBUTES to the problem by making women responsible for the vice and weakness of men, it singles them out for lesser status because of men. Common denominator? Men are the problem, not women.

            How about: we raise boys to not rape, and make lasting examples of anyone who rapes anyone?

          3. Milo

            Whats wrong with providing women with more protection than men? They are physically weaker and less prone to raping. Also whats wrong with advising women to be careful when going out? Ive always seen that done, and its out of concern. Its not the slut shaming you see it as. Its care and is based on fact, not some nonsense ideology.

          4. MoyestWithExcitement

            I do. I regard them as adults equal to me. You think women need to be parented like they’re naive teenagers. I highly doubt you have daughters.

          5. Nigel

            It’s one thing to try to teach people to be sensible and aware of dangers. It’s another thing entirely to police their behaviour and treat being vulnetable because you drank too much as a moral failing. If any of my relatives male or female were victims of a sexual assault I woulld regard any efforts to describe them as responsible for it to any degree as obscene.

          6. Milo

            You would probably refuse to advise them to be safe as well as it would make you patriarchal. Thats how sick society has become. Afraid to do good in case it might make them look bad to the Moyests of the world. Cop on lads.

          7. Nigel

            No. You are not listening. What I would not do is, in the wake of a rape, scrutinise the victim for lapses in responsible behaviour and hold her up as an example and a cautionary tale to others. That is brutality and abuse and victim blaming. Men and women alike I would advise to drink sensibly, avoid hard drugs, stick with friends, don’t leave your drink unattended and always have cab-fare. Then there’s a whole other set of of advice for men on the subject of creepy, harassing behaviour, and consent.

          8. Nigel

            Agreement! Everybody should stay in by the wall and look out for the buses! Good! Now, next step… what George Hook did was wrong because he focused on the behaviour of the victim in such a way as to imply she was at fault in her own rape… yes?

          9. Milo

            George was wrong to attribute any blame to that girl. And it was the assignation of blame that got him into trouble. Thats a no no. However, it is the duty of all of us not to do anything reckless, and the duty of our friends and family to advise and protect us where possible. Anything that would help people being in any more danger than needed should be encouraged.

          10. Nigel

            Not going to argue with any of that, Milo, though let’s not squeeze all the risk and spontaneity out of life for everyone!

      2. dan

        The point’s not valid at all, it’s an utter deflection, it’s vacuous and facile, and serves only to diminish the culpability of the attacker.
        Your advice to women, to prevent their being raped, is, don’t ever put yourself at potential risk for it, which is simply saying, don’t ever be around, or trust, men, or you deserve it.
        That’s not a ‘valid point’ that’s apologising for rape and assault.

        1. Milo

          Why wouldn’t I tell my daughter to not put herself at potential risk? Isn’t that a responsible thing for a friend or parent to do? Like wear a life jacket, stop smoking and lose some weight. Or am I fat shaming? And i need you to rescue me? The fact that I want my daughter to take precautions is a natural thing. But your sick mind turns that into me saying she deserves to get raped. Check yourself and less of the lecturing.

          1. MoyestWithExcitement

            “But your sick mind….Check yourself….less of the lecturing.”

            So what you’re saying is basically ‘I know you are, but am I?’. Magic. Trusting someone not to rape you and not smoking are very different things, little buddy.

          2. MoyestWithExcitement

            Yeah, that’s not what’s happening though. We’re talking about people like you viewing women as children who need to be protected because, as you said yourself, it’s the “gentlemanly thing to do”. That’s a very creepy attitude.

          3. The Ghost of Starina

            what about the girl who was raped at the comiccon? was it her fault for being in a room by herself?

          4. Milo

            No Im saying we should mind women because we care for them. Your idea of caring for women is to attack men. Rather off the mark old bean, but good for your social standing.

          5. Milo

            Some people here would rather watch a girl get into a dangerous situation rather than warn or help her in case it reflected badly on them. Imagine if we extended this thinking to all sections of society. It would follow the rules but be a horrible place to live, especially for girls.

          6. MoyestWithExcitement

            Some of us think women are adults just like you or I and are aware of the dangers already and don’t need some “gentleman” to patronise them because that’s all the “help” you have to offer.

          7. Milo

            When it comes to rape, women are not adults like you or I. We are men and much less likely to be assaulted or raped. That is the difference. That is why we should not be treated the same. And if you dont realise that then you are a huge part of the problem.

          8. dan

            When you’re giving general advice, sure tell her that.
            After she’s been raped? No.
            And that’s exactly what you’re arguing here, that a specific girl who’s been raped, is to blame for it, to a degree that’s in some way comparable to the rapist’s culpability.
            That’s not my sick mind, that’s what you’re arguing for, literally, that, after a rape, the victim be blamed. Blame is Hook’s word not mine.
            ‘Check myself’ lol, grow up, I’ll take you at your word and criticise you as I see fit on the basis of what you’ve said. Check what you write, because my responses have been accurate snowflake.

          9. MoyestWithExcitement

            “That is why we should not be treated the same.”

            Ok, fella. What exactly are you proposing other than writing patronising posts telling women what they already know?

    5. AssPants

      Such a shame you can’t hear yourself Paul…..

      Should any female in your family be subject to the torture of rape/sexual assault, will you be explaining to them well your 50% to blame……..

  7. TheRealJane

    Hello Everyone, I am sorry I said what I think on Friday because some pc gone mad so-called “wimmin” didn’t like it. The tems of my employment dictate that I read the following apology in which I clumsily make it clear that I don’t really understand what the problem with saying that the lovely ladies should keep the possessions of their male guardians pure by due vigilance and care.

    Women who don’t have men who care about them? Well who could possibly care about those losers?

  8. A snowflake's chance in hell

    Brilliant play for the extra ratings, bravo Sir George, all the usual twitterati fell for it (again)

  9. commentating guy

    ah ha ha i knew even in his apology, some part of his antiquated perspective would shine through.

    “as a society, we have a duty to our daughters and granddaughters to protect that right.”

    that’s right, ol’ George. For society is men. And when addressing society (men), we must identify women by their genealogical link to men. ya know.. to make them relevant.

      1. ahjayzis

        I just think it’s hilarious you people with your stupid buzzwords like snowflake think the people who stand up for women are somehow weak or less than a man, you spin what it really means to be a man into something weak to be mocked.

        Was your dad a total deadbeat or what? Do you hate your mother? How were you raised to be such a pussy?

        But it’s okay, we still love you. We accept that you’re a weak little boy lashing out at the things you think oppress you – like no female wanting to touch you.

        1. Milo

          Standing up for women included protecting them when needed. The same as they would do for you. I dont think you should not protect a woman just because it might be seen as patronising or condescending by people like yourself. It was once called the gentlemanly thing to do.

          1. MoyestWithExcitement

            “It was once called the gentlemanly thing to do.”

            There we go. You really are like one of those Muslim Brotherhood lads who see women as beneath you.

          2. ahjayzis

            That sentence could be written by a member of the religious police in Saudi. I’ve heard wahabbists talk exactly like that.

            We love our women, it’s why their male relative must at all times be with her / she must never go out alone. Love, love love. Just lock your daughter in a basement, because boys will be boys and there’s nothing we can do to change that.

          3. Milo

            Are you high? Or just cruel. Why would you lock your daughter in a basement? Thats kidnapping. And why would you not let her out alone? The Travellers do advocate that a member of the family accompany all unmarried girls at all times. Ive seen many sacrifice good opportunities to keep that rule.

            As for your mates the Saudis, they advocate the stoning of women. Are you into that too?

          4. MoyestWithExcitement

            “Why would you lock your daughter in a basement?”

            See what he did there? He took the question you sarcastically asked him to illustrate the stupidity in his comments and he implied that it’s YOU who does that *literally*. That’s a really clever debating trick and it means he won and it’s perfectly ok for him to talk down to women and treat them as children so he can feel like a Big Man.

          5. Milo

            Moyest- now you see what you and Nigel do all the time. :-). Why none of you will admit that you would care for women and warn them of danger is beyond me.

            Ahjaysis, your need to win is making you reach for extremes and exaggerate in absurdum. Calm down and ask yourself if you would like to see women safer, and how you could help them be safer. And now try to do this without depending on all men to be perfect examples of gentlemen, because you know they are not.

          6. MoyestWithExcitement

            “Moyest- now you see what you and Nigel do all the time.”

            No actually, but if you said it, you must have got me, you diabolical genius.

            “Ahjaysis, your need to win is making you reach for extremes and exaggerate in absurdum. Calm down…”

            You just accused him of locking his daughter in a basement because of your desperate need to win but do go on telling someone to calm down and how they desperately need to win.

            “And now try to do this without depending on all men to be perfect examples of gentlemen, because you know they are not.”

            Right, Case in point; you.

          7. ahjayzis

            “And now try to do this without depending on all men to be perfect examples of gentlemen, because you know they are not.”

            It is not ungentlemanly to rape someone. It is a barbaric attack. This is where we disagree. It’s not some slip-up, a moment of weakness. The line between consenting and not consenting is a steel wall, not a mark in the sand.

            You do it by eradicating attitudes like yours. No other crime bar sex crimes are treated as an unchanging fact of human nature we just have to adapt to and live with.

          8. Milo

            And is it not possible to help women while you wait for the “eradicating of minds like yours”. Or will women have to suffer until the nature of man changes. Like Evolution? Well done Darwin. Your selfishness is quite sicking.

    1. Cian

      @commentating guy
      ‘“as a society, we have a duty to our daughters and granddaughters to protect that right.”

      that’s right, ol’ George. For society is men’

      Why do you assume “society is men”? Do women not also have daughters and granddaughters?

  10. SydneyT

    I understood Hooks comments to mean:
    A) The man was 100% to blame
    B) The girl shouldn’t have put herself in that situation. Ie – she shouldn’t have got as drunk as she did and gone to a strangers house in that condition.
    Perhaps the people she was with should have looked after her better too.
    I believe the man is 100% to blame.
    But I truly hope my daughters will never put themselves in that situation.
    If I had a son/s I would do the same.

    I have put myself in situations’ when I was younger where I was that drunk and passed out. I was robbed of all possessions on one occasion. Much worse could have happened. I should have taken better care of myself. I don’t think there could be any arguments made against that.

    1. jonnyboydub

      [i]”I understood Hooks comments to mean”[/i]

      It’s not what you understood him to mean, which may have been a well thought out, well meaning arguement. It’s what he actually said that’s the problem. I understand the arguement that everyone (not just girls), needs to control their drinking as they can end up in dangerous situations but if your going to make that arguement then you should pick the right time and pick the right words.

      re-read over what he actually said and think about why people found it problematic.

      1. SydneyT

        He phrased it shockingly bad but I believe that is what he meant.
        If not and if I have misread the situation then I am certainly not trying to defend him.
        If he made a mess of the wording of his argument on live radio then I would find that forgivable. Not saying that it wouldn’t indicate that maybe he is not the right person for his job but I don’t think it makes him a monster.

    2. Nigel

      Interesting that after a horrible crime so.much time and effort is spent on the behaviour of the victim and what she should and could have done differently and feck all on the behaviout of the rapist who is the person who actually did somerhing wrong and by interesting I mean fecking typical .

      1. Milo

        Em, I think you’ll find that when a rapist is convicted they go to jail. In European societies anyway. That says a lot about how we view the behaviour of the rapist. Some other societies based on non-juedo Christian values have other attitudes to rape. These should be condemned utterly.

        1. Nigel

          Long, long journey from crime to jail, including mercilessly judgemental media coverage and public commentary about the behaviour of the victim.

      2. SydneyT

        Nigel, I think most people would agree that the best outcome of this is that it is prevented in as many cases as possible in future.
        Allowing for the fact that some people are inherently bad/evil we know that there will always be people who will do awful things. We all agree that these people are not welcome in society and they should be punished according to the law.
        We should also raise awareness to young people that there are these bad/evil people in society unfortunately and that it is important to look after yourself and to limit one on one situations with such people.
        If it is not talked about then there is no lesson for other young people to avoid finding themselves in a similarly awful situation.

        1. Nigel

          Young men and women need to be instructed about personal safety and responsibility – with a badly needed emphasis for young men on the need to behave in ways that aren’t harassing and which respect consent. The worst, cruelest, most inhumane way to do that is to hold up the behaviour of a rape victim, examine it, disparage them and belittle them and use them to create strident lectures about personal responsibility. That’s bad behaviour in itself, but it’s worse since the whole history of rape has been intrinsically associated with blaming the victim in the most appalling ways.

    3. Brain warp

      That’s exactly what he said.

      However he implied that the woman was immoral and irresponsible in bedding a man she didn’t know well and thus accordingly she had foregone her right to complain about the rape in some way.

  11. Mike Baldwin

    Why do the Gardai continually issue warnings such as ‘leave a light on if away for the night to deter opportunistic thieves’ or ‘please don’t leave valuables in plain view inside your vehicle’? Surely this is pre-emptive victim blaming?

    1. Brother Barnabas

      advising someone on how to mitigate risk is a different thing entirely than telling them it’s their own fault for being burgled on account of not leaving a light on

      light on or not, you shouldn’t be robbed

    2. The Real Jane

      Do you think women are things you have to break into to steal sex from their male relatives or people with thoughts, feelings and rights independent of owners?

  12. ReproBertie

    George Hook didn’t tell anyone to mind themselves.

    Instead he asked “Is there no blame now to the person who puts themselves in danger?”

    That’s him promoting blaming the victim, not promoting people look after themselves or each other.

  13. painkiller

    Tragic is the situation that in our society a young woman’s personal safety cannot be taken for granted but realistically this has to be taken as a given (until progress is made) and any parent would be wise to tell their teenage daughters to be responsible for their personal safety when out. Similarly, a parent would tell their sons to try to stay out of harms way – get a taxi, don’t walk careful of the company you keep etc. This is solid parental guidance to young people who don’t have the lived experience to know otherwise.

    If a girl is unfortunate enough to be taken advantage of, the parent repeating their warning would be insensitive “victim-blaming” but if a guy got savagely beaten or mugged at knife-point walking home through a dodgy area, the reflex response from everyone and their dog would be, “what on earth were you doing walking there anyways? you are lucky to have come out no worse that you did – feckin eigit.” – yet somehow, this is a perfectly acceptable and logical response, and has never been called victim-blaming.

    I can’t help but feel identity politics underlies all this.

    Some people seem to think every man should be an activist – walk into the roughest bars in Ireland and pontificate about rape culture or compromise personal safety by getting involved in a dispute between a couple. Anything less is not opposition to the rape culture, therefore indifferent to it. Men are not a monolith – some act brave, some use judgement, some are less equipped to get involved and a smaller number are the vile perpetrators. It is ridiculous and disingenuous to suggest that the average man is indifferent to the welfare and safety of women in our society.

    I am not sure George needed to apologise for his views – some clarification should have been adequate. But he did apologise and that should be acknowledged – particularly by the likes of Una Mullally.

  14. A snowflake's chance in hell

    Fintan O’Toole: Why I will not appear on Newstalk again
    George Hook’s rape comments are the result of the station’s flagrantly sexist strategy

    about 5 hours ago Updated: 4 minutes ago
    Fintan O’Toole
    Play Video
    Broadcaster George Hook says he is “truly sorry” for comments he made about rape on his radio show, “High Noon.” Audio: Newstalk

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    What I have to say is of no consequence. The organisation against which it is aimed will be no more conscious of it than a speeding car is of a fly mashed into the corner of its windscreen. But here it is anyway: from now on I won’t be appearing on any Newstalk programmes.
    I’ve appeared on the station from time to time over the years, though not to the extent that, say, its owner, Denis O’Brien, would even have noticed. But I can’t do it any more, for the simple reason that Newstalk has become the most flagrantly sexist public organisation in Ireland. It is long since time for anyone with a conscience to stay out of its airspace.
    Newstalk is not a private business. Its use of the bandwidth is licensed by the State, through the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland.
    Newstalk had its licence to operate as one of only two independent national talk radio stations renewed a year ago, largely because no one else applied for the licence. But it is emphatically not a private concern – as citizens we are ultimately responsible for it. And this means that we are complicit in an operation that is staggeringly and systemically sexist.
    George Hook’s claim last Friday that a woman was partly to blame for her own rape has created trouble for the station with one of its main commercial sponsors, the Dalata Hotel Group.
    But it was not the first time he had suggested that a woman bore responsibility for being raped. In 2015, he commented on the case of Niamh Ní Dhomhnaill, who was repeatedly assaulted by her boyfriend while she slept: “You are sharing a bed with somebody . . . Is there not an implied consent therefore that you consent to sexual congress?”
    When Ivana Bacik described these comments on air as outrageous, Hook presented himself as the victim: “You throw out words like outrageous and suddenly poor auld George is in the dock . . .”

    Dalata ditching its sponsorship of George Hook is progress
    No room for equivocation on rape
    George Hook tells listeners he is ‘truly sorry’ for rape comments
    The “poor auld George” stuff was good enough for Newstalk then, presumably because his crassness had no commercial costs for the station. Advertisers did not object. And it has a context: Newstalk’s very deliberate projection of itself as a male domain.
    A study in 2014 found that the least gender-balanced weekday shows on Irish radio were The Right Hook on Newstalk, with 81 per cent male voices, and Newstalk Breakfast, with 86 per cent male voices.
    Newstalk seemed to be responding to these findings in June 2016 when it announced a new line-up of presenters that included Sarah McInerney as co-anchor of its drivetime show and Colette Fitzpatrick as co-host in the breakfast slot. But it has now restructured its schedules again – to keep women presenters off the airwaves on weekdays during the prime hours of 7am to 7pm.
    Newstalk has decided to make itself into the equivalent of a 1950s Irish pub
    Fitzpatrick is gone from the station altogether; McInerney has been moved to a one-hour show on Saturday morning, where she replaces another disappeared female, Sarah Carey.
    These women are at least as good at their jobs as the men who are replacing them. Their only problem is that they are female. Newstalk has made a highly conscious choice: dawn-to-dusk blokes – Vincent Wall followed by Paul Williams, Shane Coleman and Alan Quinlan, followed by Pat Kenny, George Hook, Seán Moncrieff and Ivan Yates.
    Reactionary radio
    This doesn’t happen by accident. It is a strategy. Newstalk is increasingly upfront about its desire to emulate the reactionary, testosterone-fuelled style of talk radio in the US.
    It is abandoning any pretence at objective presentation. Its own blurbs describe its main “news” shows as “opinion-led” and “full of personality”.
    The emphasis has switched from the journalist to the blowhard – news subjects are to be filtered through the (overwhelmingly right-wing) opinions of the “personality” presenter. It is not impossible for a woman to play this role, but it is quintessentially blokeish. Rush Limbaugh is the role model.
    It should be no surprise that if you create a boys’ club of “opinion-led” radio, you end up with stuff like Hook’s comments about rape. The US model of talk radio lives by assaulting so-called political correctness. To be “full of personality” really means to be full of piss and vinegar. The rocket fuel is a high-octane mix of male privilege and male self-pity.
    The trick is to present reactionary clichés as if they were brave transgressions, to scorn real victims while presenting yourself as the real victim: “poor auld George” crucified by the PC brigade.
    And if that’s the way Newstalk wants to go, journalists, politicians and business leaders have to decide whether they want to go along with it. Newstalk won’t miss me for a second, but it would miss Leo Varadkar and Micheál Martin, Gerry Adams and Brendan Howlin, Frances Fitzgerald and Katherine Zappone. A station that has a problem with women should have a problem with the democratic system as a whole.
    Newstalk has decided to make itself into the equivalent of a 1950s Irish pub, a safe zone where you can banter with the lads and be in no danger of having to listen to a female voice. A republic should have only one answer to that: Time, gentlemen, please.

    1. painkiller

      I used to read Fintan on a Friday and nod my head in agreement but here he is pushing patriarchal conspiracy theory. If someone on the right made such a claim, they would be told to take off the tinfoil hat.

      Women could be better represented in broadcasting but Fintan is whipping up gender politics hysteria. All broadcasting has drifted to being increasingly “opinion-led” or “full-of-personality” these days – but you generally take more notice when it grates with you, when you take a personal dislike to the broadcaster for whatever reason..usually their demeanor or views.

      There is a level of disdain and dislike for George Hook – not dissimilar to Trump and people should exercise some restraint, ensure that they are going after the ball, not the man. I personally think the likes of Charlie Rose, Piers Morgan and Don Lemon to be “full-of-personality” – but my gut tells me to give them a fair go, hear them out – don’t give into the old confirmation bias, try to be stronger than that.

      Sarah Carey, like George Hook or any other broadcaster, brings a personal style that may or may not best fit the tone of the programming. Clearly, some people enjoy the adversarial positions that George and some of his guests take and it’s simply a case that the majority rules – it would be better to advocate for diversity of view-points deemed necessary to open up their conversations and challenge their views on-air…rather than outright replace them as broadcasters.

      Overall, the best thing here would have been to invite George onto this Friday’s Late Late show (or equivalent), give him 5 days to consider what he was arguing and consider his statements, give him 5 mins to articulate his position and present an opposing view (made by someone who can hold their own without using emotion to come out on top). That would be classy but we don’t do classy at this point in time – we do big public apologies and character assassination.

      To open your mouth on issue of personal responsibility where sexual assault is concerned is to walk on egg shells – so on some level George was always going to be a victim of a backlash and perhaps his views are being conflated, taken out of context etc – or perhaps he’s getting his dues in lieu.

  15. Verbatim

    The way I see it ‘victims’ are almost always blamed in one way or another… We come from a blaming culture, something to do with Christianity… it’ll take years of enlightenment to begin to shift this from society! Most people don’t even recognize it, victims included.

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