Tag Archives: RTE News

From top: ‘Death’ from Ingmar Bergman’s The Seventh Seal (1957); RTÉ News Health Correspondent Feargal Bowers

Uncanny.

Frank Armstrong, writing In CassandraVoices [full article at link below

The Irish public service broadcaster RTÉ says that ‘nine out of ten people in Ireland say RTÉ has been their main media source for accessing information on Covid-19.’

The broadcaster recently launched an initiative against fake news entitled: ‘The truth matters at RTÉ – here’s why,’ claiming:

‘Now that society is grappling with the challenges of a pandemic, and the inescapable anxiety that comes with it, the potential for manipulation of the facts is huge.’

But RTÉ has at times provided an unreliable account of the danger posed by Covid-19 to the Irish public.

Throughout the pandemic RTÉ’s Health Correspondent Feargal Bowers has pointed to the exceptional danger posed by Covid-19, which fits within what Nancy Tomes has called the “killer germ genre of journalism”.

Bower’s describes a Grim Reaper that is redolent of the character of Death from Ingmar Bergman’s Seventh Seal:

‘This virus could visit any of us, at any time, in our homes, or in work.’

‘It does not make an appointment. ‘                                                       

‘Going outside involves a certain roll of the dice.’

‘Inside you may also encounter this intruder.’

‘Like any lottery, there are things people can do to improve their chances.’

‘And hold onto the most valuable prize of all – your life.’

In fact, we are dealing with a virus with an infection fatality rate below 1% according to Nature magazine, or ‘possibly as low as 0.2% or 0.3%,’ according to Lone Simonsen, a professor of population health sciences at Roskilde University in Denmark who has worked at the CDC and National Institutes of Health in the U.S.; others such as Professor Johan Gisecke, a member of the WHO’s Strategic and Technical Advisory Group for Infectious Hazards (STAG-IH) previously suggested a figure as low as 0.1%. The IFR has varied from region to region, with New York, Madrid, London and Lombardy particularly badly hit, but in Africa, as indicated, the IFR appears to be exceptionally low.

With better treatments – especially the use of the generic drug Dexamethasone – and protection of vulnerable groups, chances of survival have improved since the early stages of the pandemic.

This seems evident from the relatively low death toll currently witnessed across Europe, including in Ireland, despite rising case numbers. Many of us also harbour T-cell immunity from other coronaviruses.

Yet Bowers has continued to make factually incorrect claims in a succession of articles, including on September 5, which stated:

‘The World Health Organization says data to date suggests 80% of Covid-19 infections are mild or asymptomatic, 15% are severe infection, requiring oxygen and 5% are critical, requiring ventilation.’

Ventilators are now used sparingly in the treatment of Covid-19, and large orders were cancelled in April. Remarkably, Bowers seems to have copy and pasted that information from a WHO Situation Report from March 6, stating:

‘…data to date suggest that 80% of infections are mild or asymptomatic, 15% are severe infection, requiring oxygen and 5% are critical infections, requiring ventilation.’

The continued use of data from March undermines RTÉ’s credibility and should be a source of embarrassment.

Covid-19 in Ireland: Elusive Facts (Frank Armstrong, CassandraVoices)

Getty/RTÉ

Meanwhile…

Oh.

Meanwhile…

Ah.

Meanwhile…

Stop it.

Meanwhile..

Uncanny.

George Lee

Earlier today on RTÉ’s News at One.

RTE’s Science Correspondent George Lee spoke to Áine Lawlor about the new Covid-19 restrictions for Dublin.

During the interview, they had this exchange about “public buy-in”.

Warning: contains smugness, scolding and startling indifference to human suffering.

Áine Lawlor: “If this is your livelihood, if you have restocked your pub a couple of times, you know, in the hope that finally the restrictions were going to be lifted and you could go back to trying to earn a crust and suddenly again you’re told you can’t.”

George Lee: ‘But I do honestly wonder, Aine, when I hear stuff like that, these people aren’t living on the blooming moon, you know.

“They know how we have been since March. They have a particular position and they’re all in pain economically and socially because of it like us all and, unfortunately because of the sectors they’re in, they’re in a sector where you do have transmission, they know that. So …and they don’t want it to happen but they do see, as you say, I suppose, exemptions being made for some areas and they’re wondering why.

“Well I’ll give you an example now today. Professor Philip Nolan is picking up on this argument and I’m very struck by the fact that people from NPHET now have to do this. They’re engaging, basically trying to explain the arguments that the people who are lobbying politically are putting to politicians.”

Lawlor: “But it is important, this as well, isn’t it, George, because however often it has to be explained. If you are asking people to live in the new normal…”

Lee: “You have to explain it…you must explain it.”

Lawlor: “If you are asking people to live with new restrictions and if you are asking people to accept that their livelihood has gone out the window, they need to understand why.”

Lee: “One hundred per cent. But we have been, what people have been explaining it now since March. So…”

Lawlor: “Explain it again though. What’s Philip Nolan saying?”

Lee: “I do, people do understand, I think people complain.”

Lawlor: “What’s Philip Nolan saying?”

Lee: “What he’s saying is, look, this whole issue of talking about closing restaurants and pubs, why do we have to do it when there are so few outbreaks in those areas. He said people are making those arguments, he says, on behalf of NPHET basically, they’re misreading and misinterpreting the data about outbreaks.

“What he’s says is that when you effectively, if you are out in a restaurant and you are with a group and you pick up the virus, the virus grows within you, invisibly for three days, for the next few days you begin to shed the virus and you develop symptoms and you go for a test.

“Now the testing thing is so, remember what they’re trying to do, they’re trying to stop the spread of the virus, so they’re trying to get ahead of it. Who have you met in the last 48 hours? Where is it going to break out next? They’re concentrating on that. They’re not going back five days, they’re not going back and saying ‘were you in a restaurant, or were you in a pub or somewhere, or a hotel five days ago?

“And so when you look at the data, in that case, that individual, he said, will turn out to be a community-acquired infection and his household, who picked it up are now a household infection. So you see all the numbers which are saying ‘oh you have a huge increase’ in most of the cases and clusters are in households.

They don’t say where did the household actually originally get it because nobody really knows. And what he’s saying is all of the evidence suggests that it’s coming from wherever people are socially interacting up to five days beforehand. And he said that turns out to be pubs, restaurants and all of those other things like gyms and so on.

“And he said, so to say that there’s no outbreaks in pubs and restaurants, or those places, obviously not in pubs, we haven’t had the wet pubs open, he said that is misreading the data. It’s not saying that that’s not where it happens and that’s why he says that it’s so important to close down those social interactions.”

Blimey.

The masks just keep slipping,

Listen back here

This morning.

Slight change.

Same bias.

Meanwhile…

Um.

Sean Whelan

Laura Fitzgerald writes;

RTÉ News is pleased to announce the appointment of Sean Whelan as its new London Correspondent. Sean has held the role of Economics Correspondent with RTÉ News for almost nine years, extensively reporting the economic crash, the Troika bailout and the economic recovery

Sean will be commencing his new role in the Summer. Sean succeeds Fiona Mitchell who will be taking up a new assignment later this year when her four year posting in London comes to an end…

Pic: RTÉ



This afternoon.

Catriona Perry (above left), Keelin Shanley (above right) and Eillen Dunne (pic 2) help unveil a cheap copy of BBC News/Sky News studio refurbishment and technical upgrade of RTÉ’s main News studio” at a cost €1.4 million.

Laura Fitzgerald writes:

The upgraded studio features a new video wall, 24m long and 3m high, spanning three sides of the studio. It utilises LED technology and a lighting system which is 70% more energy efficient.

The refurbishment has seen the introduction of new automated HD cameras, a new set design, additional presentation areas and changed opening graphics for the main news bulletins.

The new look RTÉ News also sees a reworking of the familiar RTÉ News theme music by Irish composer Ronan Hardiman, recorded by the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra.

An innovative and pleasing upgrade.

Or derivative, hi-tech, couch-based ‘news’ hub?

Only YOU can decide.

Rollingnews

Martina Fitzgerald

“I take great pride in my work reporting from Leinster House as RTE’s Political Correspondent and especially covering the dramatic 2016 general election and subsequent prolonged government formation process as well as the historic referendums on Marriage Equality and the Eighth Amendment.

“I loved every minute reporting on political developments – and providing analysis and context – for RTÉ’s audience.

“Thank you to my colleagues who helped me with all this work and to everyone for their loyalty and decency.”

Martina Fitzgerald, this afternoon

Martina Fitzgerald to leave RTÉ News (RTÉ)

Rollingnews

Last night.

On RTÉ’s Six One News.

Journalist Paul Cunningham interviewed former Minister for Communications Denis Naughten about Peter Smyth’s report into the National Broadband Plan procurement process and Mr Naughten’s engagements with David McCourt.

Watch back in full here

Naughten met with bidder to ‘keep them at the table’ (RTE)

Previously: Breaking His Own Rules

Cleared

‘David Already There’