Thursday 18 January 2018

Eoghan Harris: Pat Kenny programme paroled by a supine media

Eoghan Harris

Eoghan Harris

LAST Wednesday, the Irish Times carried a strong front page story by its political reporter, Mary Minihan: 'Man in Gallagher Row received nearly €3,000 from McGuinness'. The story reopened a bigger story: how the Pat Kenny team had handled the bogus tweet which finished off Sean Gallagher's presidential bid.

The reaction to the story revealed how RTE uses its massive monopoly to set the media agenda. Not just for itself, but for its private competitors. Because there was no reaction. Not only did RTE political staff ignore the story -- so did its commercial rivals.

To explain why, let's look at the background to the Gallagher saga. For five months now, most media pundits have been parroting the same mindless mantra -- that Sean Gallagher handled it badly. Far from closing the case, this media consensus merely raised two further questions in my mind.

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