Donnybrook, Dublin 4.
Protestors demonstrating outside RTE’s studios against the station’s covid coverage and the arrest by Bray Gardai of Gemma O’Doherty for alleged public order offences last Friday.
Ryan Tubridy hosting the Late Late Toy Show in 2018
Late Late host Ryan Turbidly has revealed that he already knows what costume he will wear and what song he will be singing on this year’s top secret Toy Show, adding that it will lead to “some goofy looking scenarios”.
However, he is keeping everything under wraps, saying, “Nobody will be able to predict anything because we’re going somewhere completely different for us.”
Michael Francis writes:
Conceived as a slot filler when guests were in short supply in winter several moons ago.
Driven and expanded with support of big budget makers and sellers of toys.
* A frenzied audience – with the mood stoked by free stuff in all its forms and tax free for selected employee and favour-friends
* A collection of children to perform (even if far away from home, late at night)
* A ‘star’ from whom a favour is called in to ‘surprise’ a telegenic child (enter Paul Mescal/Michael D. The President/Maura Higgins)
* A presentable family with a current difficulty (for a low budget feel good story)
*An MC to introduce bits and fool around
*A puppet or two
Promoted shamelessly, and endlessly as if a blockbuster movie.
Pushed with a dollop of free money from the licence fee kitty and help including that of ‘friends’ and others struggling to fill paragraphs in July, August, Sept, Oct and November.
Marketed persistently for months, despite (surely for some) each mention being another dent in mental wellbeing as minds are directed to dark and dreary winter nights ahead.
Scheduled in a late night slot (sssh….about the sleep well-being of children).
The ‘flagship’ episode of the ‘flagship programme’ of the doubly-funded operation that likes to identify itself as the ‘national broadcaster’.
Never a word spoken of parents on their way to DePaul in an attempt to deliver the selection of a sleep deprived child.
Never called out for what it is.
Not replicated in another country – a unique franchise. The slot-filler nurtured to be the RTÉ self-indulgent present, a gift to self.
Enda Kenny will present a programme on Irish railways
Later this year the former Taoiseach and Fine Gael leader will front a television series on RTÉ 1 about old Irish railways from times past. Mr Kenny, a fluent Irish speaker, will present the series in Irish.
Mr Kenny is understood to be enjoying revisiting the old railways in Mayo and adjoining counties, as well as throughout the country.
Always a keen student of history, he is developing a new-found interest in railway history.
….The evisceration of Irish railways mainly occurred in the decades Enda’s father, Henry Kenny, served as a TD and eventually a junior government minister.
Luckily some railways survived in his native Co Mayo, unlike other counties.
Previously: A New Age Of The Train
Montrose, Donnybrook, Dublin 4.
Anti-maskers, within close proximity to each other, gather outside RTÉ studios protesting at what they claim is the station’s ongoing ‘one-sided’, ‘government-biased’ and’ ‘fear-mongering’ coverage of the rona.
I got to shoot 17 more windows! (continuing on from the 150 from my forthcoming book “Twilight Together”). This time featuring RTÉ presenters at home🏠 TBH, I was approached so many times from companies asking me to lend them the window idea & I always… pic.twitter.com/ouEJF3RlBJ
— Ruth Medjber 📸 (@ruthlessimagery) August 27, 2020
One down, two across (obviously).
RTÉ News health Correspondent Fergal Bowers
5 deaths reported today. 69 new cases.
— Fergal Bowers (@FergalBowers) August 6, 2020
— Frank Armstrong (@frankarmstrong2) August 6, 2020
Why put this out now? We need calm before opening schools
Despite Sweden’s schools being open throughout no higher rate of infection among children than Finlandhttps://t.co/ycVfPndcoK@Niall_Boylan @indepdubnrth @broadsheet_ie @VillageMagIRE @EducateTogether #SaveTheChildren https://t.co/URw3m5Fso2
— Frank Armstrong (@frankarmstrong2) August 7, 2020
G’wan the Frank.
Previously: Come Out, You’re Back And Tanned
David McCullagh and Caitriona Perry who will begin presenting RTE’s Six One News in September 2020.
Like an estate agents.
Laura Fitzgerald writes:
RTÉ News today announced that David McCullagh will join Caitriona Perry as the new permanent presenter of the RTÉ Six One News.
Journalist and Broadcaster David who currently presents Prime Time on RTÉ One and This Week on RTÉ Radio 1, will join Caitriona Perry to co-present the flagship programme from September 2020.
David McCullagh said:
“After seven very enjoyable years on Prime Time, I’m really looking forward to joining Caitríona on the Six One News and continuing the work of our much loved colleague Keelin Shanley. Over the last few months the need for accurate information has never been greater, and viewers have turned to RTÉ News and Current Affairs in astonishing numbers. We aim to continue meeting that need, bringing viewers all the news of the day, as well as the big interviews that get to the heart of the issues.”
The RTÉ One Prime Time programme on the rise of nationalism in Ireland (Thursday, June 25) seemed, from the off, to have another agenda. Two separate issues were collapsed into one, as if they were synonymous.
David McCullagh in his introduction said that similar nationalist groups across Europe “tend to share a deep suspicion of the political establishment and an implacable opposition to emigration.”
This had the effect of casting both issues as being tied at the hip. But many people, who could not in any way be described as racist, are often suspicious of Ireland’s political establishment, and often with good reason.
Nevertheless, the insinuation was woven through the report, and had the effect of suggesting that those working-class people featured in the programme, speaking out for social justice, may be proto racists.
The people featured were mostly working-class people, with working-class accents, concerned with social housing. Everyone knows that working-class accents are the speech patterns of the “other” in Ireland, particularly in Dublin.
In the privatisation of housing under Fine Gael, social housing was neglected in favour of the market, and homelessness soared.
But the victims were mainly those working-class people who traditionally depended on social housing, and are depending on it even more now when two wages can’t afford to buy one house. Those same people who are unable to avail of the pricey educational advantages that middle-class Ireland routinely enjoys and regards as “normal”.
The spin put on this programme, which was ostensibly concerned with Gemma O’Doherty’s and John Waters’ often hare-brained and dangerous escapades, seemed more like political sleight of hand, designed to tarnish those social activists who are neither racist nor hard leftists, but who are interested in social equality and who are often rightly suspicious of Ireland’s political establishment.
To suggest that anyone who is suspicious of a political establishment such as the one led by Fine Gale during austerity, are somehow proto or even covert racists, is really little more than a slippery bit of class politics designed to tarnish opposition to Ireland’s right-wing political establishment.
The result of Fine Gael housing policy was that there was competition for housing between immigrants and working-class people, setting in train an unfair competition for limited resources. The price of failure in this competition to gain accommodation was homelessness.
But the set of circumstances that caused the conflict arose directly from Fine Gael housing policy, as was repeatedly shown and argued by Fr Peter McVerry.
To imply, as the Prime Time programme did, that those desperate people, placed in such a conflictual set of circumstances imposed upon them by a right-wing political establishment, are somehow proto racists, is a mean and underhanded trick of political spin.
The insinuation also has the effect of protecting the interests of the political establishment that the RTÉ journalists themselves are clearly part of.
Given middle-class suspicion of working-class people, and the routine middle-class prejudices on display by, for instance, Josepha Madigan’s NIMBY activities, it is almost comical that middle-class prejudice towards working-class people should be manipulated in this way to suggest that working-class people are prejudiced against immigrants.
Only a few days earlier, another RTE journalist, Áine Lawlor, made the case on her TV show that austerity had been good for Ireland.
When Áine Lawlor’s views on austerity met with opposition from people interested in social equality, her RTÉ colleagues came out in support of her position.
But these RTÉ personalities are all well paid professionals. Austerity cost them nothing. In fact, austerity often provided the raw material for many of their stories. But none of them were personally bitten by austerity. To them, austerity is an abstraction. It’s just background noise.
But for people on housing lists and hospital waiting lists and working in jobs that don’t pay a living wage and don’t deliver enough to buy or even rent a place in the premium rental market encouraged by FFFG housing policy, austerity is a daily suffering grind. It’s not abstract. It’s real and it’s dirty and it hurts.
And by all accounts there is more of it coming down the line, since the parties who delivered the last tranche of austerity are now back in power in a combination/partnership that no one expected or voted for.
In fact, people were assured by Micheál Martin that Fianna Fail would not enter into coalition with Fine Gael.
This means the new taoiseach has already broken a campaign promise, and he’s still only a wet weekend in the job.
To be told by the public service broadcaster that those who oppose the current right-wing political establishment, share traits with European racists, seems like a deliberate attempt to deceive the viewer, or to dampen potential dissent.
If this is the standard of journalism in RTÉ we are in real trouble. Because there are those of us who actually look to the established media to behave like “real” journalists, since they are the established face of the profession.
But far from serving the public interest, as real journalists are expected to do, this kind of lazy, politically compromised journalism risks making cynics of us all.
Such journalism gives the impression that the established journalists and the political establishment that they purport to hold to account are all really in the same social club.
Though I am not a journalist by profession, but an arts practitioner, I hold to the ideals of objective journalism, and write from that perspective to the best of my ability.
I am not affiliated with any one party or cause, apart from a general interest in social justice and a particular interest in untangling spun political narratives such as the one described above.
The idea of a journalist not holding to those ideals of objective journalism makes no sense to me, since this would have the effect of abandoning the unique perspective that journalism affords, that space where independent opinion may be expressed.
But this is precisely what these high-ranking RTÉ journalists seem to be doing. In the process of promoting the policies of the political establishment they purport to be holding to account, they are rendering their own professions meaningless.
As if to add insult to injury, when Micheál Martin finally ascended to the office of taoiseach, Brian Dobson on RTÉ wondered might the new coalition be described as “centre left”.
Really? I’d regard myself as centre-left. But if Leo Varadkar and Simon Coveney are centre-left that makes me Che Guevara. I guess that’s the idea. Shove everyone over in the bed, right-wing becomes “normal” and everyone else is a radical.
It is difficult to decide whether this is disinformation – deliberately designed to deceive – or misinformation: mistakenly delivered, where the journalists themselves are being deceived with disinformation.
Though that’s hardly possible, since it would mean that the RTÉ journalists are lacking in the basics of political science.
Whatever the mechanics, this carefully judged encroachment also came across like information spun in the apparent service of right-wing parties attempting to supplant those parties of the left and policies of the left that many voters, calling for change, favoured in the last election.
Perhaps it’s just institutional complacency.
Certainly, the photograph of Miriam O’Callaghan and David McCullagh (top) that goes with the Prime Time programme on the RTÉ player seems like a study in complacency.
Both look kind of sleepily comfortable and casually condescending, their expressions perfectly encapsulating the sense of unaccountable privilege that appears to inform their journalistic choices.
Eamonn Kelly is a freelance Writer and Playwright.
Previously: Eamonn Kelly on Broadsheet
And on the wireless.
Neil O’Gorman writes:
RTÉ is celebrating its partnership with Dublin Digital Pride and this year’s #virtualprideparade on Sunday 28th June, by hosting a special Pride weekend, on air and online, including two days of music, interviews and entertainment across RTÉ 2FM and two special RTÉ Concert Orchestra performances, and much more.
Saturday 27th June will also feature a special collaboration between 2FM and Mother, the popular LGBTQ+ club night, who will play an exclusive two-hour Pride weekend DJ set.
RTÉ has announced that an almost 30-hour production of James Joyce’s Ulysses will be broadcast on RTÉ Radio 1 Extra to celebrate Bloomsday on Tuesday, June 16.
Anne Louise Foley writes:
The full dramatised production – originally broadcast in 1982 (top) to celebrate the centenary of Joyce, and totalling 29 hours and 45 minutes in duration – will begin at the same time as both Stephen Dedalus’ and Leopold Bloom’s journey through Dublin begins in the book: 8am on 16 June.
The production was recorded by Marcus MacDonald, directed by William Styles, and performed by the RTÉ Players, featuring Pegg Monahan, Patrick Dawson, Ronnie Walsh, Brendan Cauldwell, Colette Procter, Barbara McCaughey, Kate Minogue, Denis Staunton, Laurence Foster, Conor Farrington and Déirdre O’Meara….
Listen live on RTÉ Radio 1 Extra, or via podcast here.