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Sunday 31 August 2014

Michael D Higgins goes global as video gets one million views in 24 hours

Independent.ie reporters

Published 24/08/2012 | 09:27

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President Higgins has become a viral hit in the US. Photo: Lorraine Teevan
Richard Dawkins' Tweet.
The increase in views on the YouTube video experienced in the last 24 hours.

PRESIDENT Michael D Higgins’ tea party rant has gone global – being viewed almost one million times on YouTube in the last 24 hours.

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As first reported by Independent.ie yesterday, a 2010 clip of the then TD slamming the tea party movement has gone viral on social networking sites in the United States.

President Higgins was debating conservative US talk show host Michael Graham on the politics of the tea party movement on Newstalk .

The world media has now begun reporting on the clip, which continues to be viewed thousands of times an hour.

The Toronto Star reports: “Graham tried repeatedly to interrupt Higgins’ four-minute lambasting of fear politics in the United States.”

One of US’ biggest online news sites, The Huffington Post, said: “Although Graham tries to interject, Higgins is clearly having none of it, continuing to berate Graham and Sarah Palin for perceived warmongering.”

Another, siliconerepublic.com says: “President Higgins’ defending of US President Barack Obama as well as US blue-collar workers is something to behold.”

Richard Dawkins, the controversial biologist, tweeted the link to his followers describing President Higgins as “no ordinary president”.

The link has also been tweeted by Hollywood star Mia Farrow and Daily Show correspondent Aasif Mandv.

Michael Graham responded to the clip’s new found viral staus yesterday, tweeting: “If opposing Arab terrorists and supporting Israel’s right to self defense still means I’m a 'w**ker', nothing’s changed.”

During the clip the future president slammed the movement saying: “The tactic is to get a large crowd, to whip them up, try and discover what is the greatest fear, work on that and feed it right back and you get a frenzy.”

“This tea party ignorance that is being brought all around the United States is regularly insulting people who have been democratically elected.”

The controversial radio host responded: “Deputy Higgins, I’m not going to insult you by bringing up your lack of knowledge on the tea party movement in the United States.”

However the then Labour spokesperson on foreign affairs continued: “You have the neck to say that people like me... are somehow in favour of murdering Jewish people – that is an outrageous statement. I wish you well, keep drinking Guinness and keep ranting away.”

He concluded by telling the radio host: “Be proud to be a decent American, rather than just a w**ker whipping up fear.”



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