RTE Director General Dee Forbes during an Oireachtas hearing last year

“RTÉ – and all Public Service Media organisations (PSMs) – prizes its independence, objectivity and impartiality. It’s in our DNA and, truthfully, it’s an established principle in Irish society.

Yes, we have the usual conversations about fairness and balance, from all sides, but I wouldn’t call it political pressure and I don’t think that is something that RTÉ is subjected to.

To be frank, the principles to which we have adhered for decades, and to which all PSMs adhere, are fundamentally designed to combat fake news anyway.

We have been battling fake news since our foundation and our very existence is a marker in the sand against disinformation.

This is why PSMs are a cornerstone of democracy, and anyone who thinks that’s just a soundbite should look now to Russia, to Poland, to Romania.

Societies can pivot very rapidly and without strong PSMs that pivot is all the easier.”

RTÉ DG Dee Forbes.

Also: Deesingenuous, Deeplorable and Deeply dippy if not positively Deemented.

Why public service media is “designed to combat fake news” (RTÉ)

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23 thoughts on “Deenial

  1. Mr.Fart

    all said with a straight face, despite the countless examples of RTE clearly showing pro-government bias, warping facts, or in many instances, straight up hiding damaging news items/info.

      1. Mr.Fart

        hiding: didn’t report on Regina and her PSC scandal. warping: reported way less numbers for marches, water etc. pro gov. bias: very predominantly only FFFG figures brought on for debate, gave noonan the questions he’d be asked before the interview. Let’s not forget Miriam O’Callaghans disgraceful interview/beration of Yanis Varoufakis, just to remind us that you shouldn’t stand up to the establishment. there are many many more examples. do you disagree?

        1. martco

          apart from just the couple of items (out of the probably 1,000’s) the Dr. just mentioned there I’d only add the Marian wan…EVERY. FUPPING. WEEKEND.

      2. Emily Dickinson

        An example? How about the most critical Irish news story of the last 30 years?

        While the banks fell like dominoes, all we got from RTE was ‘government sources insist there will be no bailout.’ Who could forget such gems as the double-whammy interview with Dermot Ahern and Noel Dempsey and the pair of them swearing there was no problem – this while the IMF delegation was checking in at the Merrion.

        Any licence payer who wanted to know the truth of what was going on had to turn for honest and accurate reporting to the BBC, Bloomberg and other foreign sources. During that crisis RTE did not challenge the government line, it simply disseminated it.

        There are plenty of qualities written in RTE’s DNA, but only someone on the payroll would suggest independence, objectivity and impartiality.

        1. Cú Chulainn

          Or the Sean Whelan interview where he claimed that cancelling the Water charges would cost us €5bn. Even Dobbo couldn’t keep a straight face. Still, Sean got the promotion.

  2. V

    Well Dee

    You’ve seen the list time I’ll ever stand up for you girl

    I’m mortified reading that
    You should refuse that Inspiring Director of 2019 award

  3. eoin

    As at 16.50 today, the following Google search for results created in the last 24 hours returns nil results

    “national broadband plan report site:rte.ie”

    The fact that Richard Bruton decides whether or not RTE gets any change to its licence (RTE will last another 18 months if it keeps going at it current rate) and that Denis Naughten gifted RTE an extra €8m a year in arguably-illegal state aid the day before he was fired, are plainly coincidences.

    Mind you, if loss-making RTE don’t report it, can you technically call it “fake news”…….

    1. eoin

      A great example of RTE and fake news is the RTE annual report which until 2018 showed in graph form the share of viewing for RTE 1 and 2 (and RTE 1+1). In 2016, it was 25.7%, in 2017 it was 25.3%, but in 2018 RTE decided to drop the graph and info from its report. Was this because the share fell below the psychologically important 25% [it’s important because why should you have to pay a licence to RTE TV when it’s getting such a low share and you’re watching Netflix, Youtube and Sky/BBC News]

      1. eoin

        Can someone ask RTE why it reports the weekly HK protests but not the Gilet Jaunes protests in France?

        Also why RTE only reported last weekend’s protests were “pro democracy” when the main focus was surveillance. Was that because someone in RTE might be tempted to think for themselves and ask, what’s the position with surveillance here?

          1. eoin

            Riiiiiiight, so Acte X on the other side of the globe is more NEWsy than XLI in a country 250 miles away.

            Even if that were true, why didn’t RTE report the main theme of last weekend’s HK protests – surveillance? Well, just 10 days after the Irish government was revealed to have carried out illegal mass surveillance here, that might have been tricky in Montrose, and you know, unless loss-making RTE receives new government financial support in the next 18 months, it might have to do something about the €495,000 Ryan Tubridy.

        1. Liam Deliverance

          Just watched the consistently mediocre RTE NEWS at 9 o’ clock, not a single mention of the National Broadband Plan and today’s developments. The government is on the verge of spending 3 billion in taxpayers money on a project mired in controversy and mismanagement and they DEEm it to be not newsworthy. The people have been calling for this for a decade or more and as usual the gov have fupped it up with their incompetence and corrupt ways and are more than happy to pi$$ it all away. If it wasn’t already a complete farce add in the presence of public enemy Denis O’Brien, already a billionaire and they want to give him another billion, it’s the same old Ireland except instead of folk pi$$ing themselves because the pope is going to visit or President USA is in town its politicians tripping over each other to ingratiate themselves to a billionaire in the hope he might smile at you and throw a few crumbs your way.

          So to conclude, DEE FORBES, why was there no coverage of the NBP story if, as you say, RTE operates in an independent and impartial manner?

  4. Salmon Eile

    Is that Maria Bailey withe glasses? Ccompo culture. RTE looking for a handout. Fake news? RTE is hardly the harbinger of democracy in the Western World. Or even West Dublin.

  5. Truth in the News

    Whats needed is a complete restructuring of RTE in its role a Public Service
    broadcaster and why it has lost public confidence and is seen by most as
    a mouthpiece of what ever party is in power, one only has to look at the way
    it reported the protests about water charges and its current concentration on
    climate and its failure to look at the opposite views, then there is the issue
    of main news bulletins saturated with adds,..and the use of silly sports
    interviews to fill up space, in fact if the place was shut down it would not
    be missed, the idea of introducing a a universal broadcast charge to be
    collected on a utility bill will end up in tears….maybe they are so out of
    touch they might get Irish Water to collect it

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