Monday 11 December 2017

Andrew Lynch: Browne's curmudgeon act is merely a ploy to boost ratings

Bizarre approach to Anglo coverage shows TV presenter remains a mass of contradictions

Vincent Browne
Vincent Browne
Andrew Lynch

Andrew Lynch

It was the moment when Vincent Browne was given a taste of his own medicine. Last Monday night the irascible TV3 presenter devoted his show to the sensational Anglo Irish Bank tapes uncovered by the Irish Independent. Instead of congratulating political editor Fionnan Sheahan on the journalistic scoop of the year, however, Browne opened the programme in bizarre style by demanding to know how long these tapes had been in the newspaper's possession.

Sheahan confirmed that the story had been in preparation for a while, since a significant amount of research and fact-checking would be required before publication.

Amazingly this was not enough for Browne, who asked twice more about the timetable involved. At this point Sheahan let fly, accusing the veteran broadcaster of "sickening" bias against Independent Newspapers and adding that he had a problem "when you bring in a colleague of mine here a couple of weeks ago and just kick him around for your fun. So can you not just acknowledge in this case, Vincent, it's a perfectly good story and let's talk about it."

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