Sunday 19 November 2017

Mandela farewell was RTE overkill THE LONG, LONG, LONG GOODBYE

Ian O'Doherty

Ian O'Doherty

"most PEOPLE WERE HEARTILY SICK OF BEING constantly REMINDED of how they should feel"

NELSON MANDELA MEMORIAL.

RTE ONE/SKY ONE/FOX. TUESDAY.

It will be interesting to see the viewership figures RTE will have garnered for Tuesday's coverage of the start of Mandela's send-off.

Some questions remain -- was this not exactly the kind of event that was designed for the much-vaunted RTE website?

After all, we've been told repeatedly that RTE wants to turn its streaming facility into a de facto news channel, and this was the perfect opportunity to showcase its online wares.

As it happens, RTE was covering the event on both the main terrestrial channel and the website, and it's hard not to escape the impression that this was classic overkill.

Even Sky, a dedicated news channel, went into local stories during its coverage, but the RTE version might as well have had the contributors wearing black and breaking into the occasional traditional tribal mourning song.

This was a classic case of newsroom values being confused with personal interests. Because as worthy as the story is, most people have now become heartily sick of having had to spend a week being bashed over the head with pious reporters telling us what a huge story this is. But here's the thing -- it's not, not really.

He's not a serving head of state, no matter how influential he may have been. That's certainly the view of many people I've spoken to in the past few days who admitted they were saddened to hear the news, but hardly surprised.

In fact, most people are heartily sick of being constantly reminded of how they should feel.

It's likely that few, if any, voices of dissent were raised in the RTE newsroom -- going against the liberal ethos in that place is as good a way to kill your career as any other, so the viewers were treated to a few hours of coverage that worked primarily as Novocaine for the brain, such was its deathly solemnity.

Despite all the muck that has been thrown at RTE lately, it was faced with an editorial call and made one -- but let's see if it's equally devoted to its coverage of the funeral of Mikhail Gorbachev.

But then, the senior producers in RTE and other broadcast outlets probably don't have fond memories of marching as students in support of Gorbachev.

Meanwhile, as the other news channels were coming over all sombre, Fox News covered Obama's speech and then went on to other news.

Wow, it was almost like they knew what their viewers wanted, not what they should want.

THE WALKING DEAD. FOX. FRIDAY.

Okay -- an apology. Of sorts. When The Walking Dead returned for this season, it bore all the hallmarks of one of those zombies stuck in the mud -- flailing around and trying desperately to move, but stuck in a state of stasis.

In fact, the first few episodes were so flat they looked like they were going to finish each one by having Rick turn to the camera and ask the viewers: "Well, could you do any better?"

But as flat as the show started, it came into its mid-season break on top form and -- gasp -- actually moved the story forward.

The prison refuge has gone, the Governor -- now, there was a man whose back story we wanted more of -- has finally met his match, and now that the survivors are back on the run we have ourselves a story that will hopefully be about more than Rick's desire to become a farmer.

Roll on February.

WHO'S BUYING IRELAND?

RTE ONE. MONDAY.

Ian Kehoe's cautiously optimistic peek into the minds of some of those who have decided to invest in Ireland was the latest in a series of small news nuggets that indicate the worst may be over.

But amid his interviews with various foreign investors, the scene of one auction being ambushed by the idiots shouting about Parnell while spouting the usual retarded republican rubbish was enough to turn anyone into an asset-grabber.

One of those interviewed was Tim Martin, who wants to bring his JD Wetherspoon pub venture to Ireland.

The Ryanair of pubs, Wetherspoons has been accused of swallowing up long-established local bars and undercutting the neighbours out of the market. To which most Irish patrons will say -- good. Let the established boozers up their game. And I bet those patriotic protesters will be the first through its doors.

Irish Independent

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