| 11.1°C Dublin

People who moaned about Dobo comment are idiots

Someone complained about Bryan Dobson calling people "idiots" on the Six One news.

Actually, seven people complained about the use of the term.

The complaints, made to the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland, alleged that Dobson had shown himself to be biased in an interview.

Their theory was that by applying the epithet to protesters holding banners behind a person he was interviewing, he was showing bias.

The complaints were rejected on the grounds that the protest had nothing to do with the topic of the interview, therefore he could call them anything he liked without any impact on the topic of discussion.

Which leaves a question: is it ever appropriate for a news anchor on the state broadcaster to call members of the public "idiots"?

The answer is yes.

Anyone who forces their way into the back of a shot and jumps up and down roaring is demonstrably an idiot.

Worse, they are idiots with an overwhelming urge to prove their idiocy to the nation for no reason – no one in the history of TV has watched a broadcast, seen someone in the background hold up a home-made sign and thought: "Well, I didn't know where I stood on this issue before, but that three-word crayon sign has swayed me."

Likewise, no one has watched a report from a match and seen a spectator force their way into shot to shout "G'wan Leinster!" and thought: "Wow, what a witty and original person, I'd like to be their friend."

In an ideal world, the law would allow camera operators to use stun-guns on these people.

That way, as soon as one of them walks into shot and opens his mouth, 40,000 volts would be used to drop him like a sack of spuds.

Which would be a win-win for everyone – it would be great added entertainment for the viewer, it would ensure that no future interview gets interrupted and it would protect Bryan Dobson from having to give voice to what we are all thinking.


YOU can now study Miley Cyrus. Not in the stare-at-her sense. In the I've-a-degree-in-her sense.

An American college features a course, the "sociology of Miley Cyrus", that seems to be part of a growing trend of daft pop-culture college courses started by Rutgers with its "politicising Beyonce" programme.

No doubt academics will argue that these people's impact on culture makes them relevant for study in university.

This is, of course, horse manure. Studying either of them is an epic waste of time.

If you want to know about Miley or Beyonce, don't try to pretend it's a high-end interest in society, just admit you've got a celeb fetish and go watch MTV and E! News.

These daft courses are part of a much wider category of silly courses, most of which have a lot of undeserved credibility.

These courses are called Arts. And because Arts degrees have been around longer than "politicising Beyonce", we've begun to take them seriously. We should stop. And we should stop funding most of them too.

You need a degree in English Literature or History about as much as you need a degree in Beyonce.

A century-and-a-half ago, teaching those courses may have made sense when literature, books and access to foreign languages were limited.

They ain't limited any more. God has given us amazon and Google. If you want to read books, have at it. If you want to learn about art, hit Wikipedia until your fingers bleed.

But let's stop pretending that these long-established courses have any more relevance to daily life than "the sociology of Miley Cyrus". They don't.


ONE of John Gilligan's sisters has said on Facebook that he's been "abandoned by Ireland", "he's a good man" and the media should "leave him be". Sometimes there are no words.


HOW do people get to positions of influence without developing a stuff-you-cannot-say filter? Take Judge Anthony Halpin saying he thinks that "Muslims feel they can beat their wives".

How do you get to be a judge without a brain that snaps your mouth shut before you say something like that?