Journalist Joe O’Shea
Further to Joe O’Shea’s takedown of the unvaxxed on Monday’s Claire Byrne Live on RTÉ One
Via Kathy Sheridan in the Irish Times:
On Monday night, journalist Joe O’Shea argued that unvaccinated people have “complicated” life for the vaccinated for long enough and “we have to start compelling them” to take vaccines.
‘When Claire Byrne took issue with the notion of compulsion, O’Shea insisted that he was not talking about “marching people down to health centres” or “forcing” them to take vaccines. “They had a right to decide if they wanted to lock themselves out of society,” he said. “You can compel people or you can let them know that if this is the decision you take then unfortunately we cannot have you in our spaces, we cannot have you with the risk that you pose to our society, to our people, to our loved ones.”
For airing those views O’Shea and Claire Byrne Live were accused online – including by some named posters – of verging on “incitement” to hatred.
A sample of responses: “Ape”; “Hate speech”; “Cult tv”; “Real hatred coming from this man”; “People like Joe are going to be the cause of real violence”; “Don’t worry [about] it. The ‘unvaccinated’ know that they are hated and are prepared”. Cue a YouTube video titled “Get Ready for the Hate” – an image of Josef Mengele (the Nazi who performed medical experiments in Auschwitz); a blurry snap of a letter from an English school saying a child had died in her sleep with the poster’s comment, “How many more do we have to lose before you say no more??” And the old reliable: “Backhanders from pharmaceutical companies.”
And that was just a sample of Irish Twitter about a single topic on a Monday night.
When the show asked 1,000 adults in an Amarach smartphone poll, “Are you in favour of mandatory vaccination against Covid 19?” A total of 46 per cent voted Yes and 42 per cent No. The tight result suggests that the issue warranted an airing.
If a discussion around social and personal responsibility is not appropriate now, then when? And what do “incitement” or “hate” actually mean in such a context?
The real problem is that permeating it all – and against which no society can legislate – is the presumption of bad faith. The insistent, corrosive implication that every topic, policy or proposal with which someone disagrees must be driven by deliberate cruelty, hate, greed, profit motive or theft. The dissenters of course are heroic Joan of Arc figures (anonymously, mostly) standing up to The Man….’ [more at link below]
Yesterday: Hardcore Cranks