A DOUBLE-STANDARD Double – Drive (home your point) Time! RTE Radio 1

Posted: November 24, 2011 in Uncategorized

Cat 'out of the bag' but no one in RTÉ can see it!

Mary Wilson missed another opportunity, on last night’s Drivetime  (Wed 23rd Nov, 2011), to point out the ‘clear and present’ double standard in RTE’s attitude to their own “rolled heads” as contrasted with those of the Church.

The second Drivetime interview with Kevin Dawson, RTÉ’s Head of Corporate Communications, on the subject of the Fr Kevin Reynolds case, had much to commend it, as did the first.

Yes. Things started well enough. But, it all began to unravel, towards the end, and Mr Dawson was effectively allowed to finish on a ‘high’.

First of all, the RTÉ representative was left unchallenged after he tried to explain away the high-speed monotone in which last week’s first apology was read out:

“although, there were  some technical issues there, qualitative issues, it wasn’t any kind of an emblem of RTE being half-hearted about delivering the apology. The apology is very fully meant.”

(hard to take seriously, one is tempted to think, given the undoubted talent that RTÉ has at its disposal).

That was followed by  a ‘straw man’ question from Ms Wilson, ‘straw-man’ in that it contained an inaccurate reference (rolled heads “never” learn anything) to what Mr Dawson said last week. What he actually said was “it is difficult, so to speak, for a rolled head to learn anything”. Mr Dawson was happy to point out the inaccuracy: “I don’t think I said, ‘never learn'”.

He then went on, not so much to let the cat out of the bag, as to deliberately take it out and parade it around the studio.

… (Sanctions) may sometimes be the right direction to go and the necessary direction to go. On the other hand, the media commentator, Stephen Price…” (obviously a much more important person, with much more important opinions than those of, for example, mere ‘turbulent priests’) “… has pointed out that there is a serious risk, here, that investigative current affairs, which is carried on very extensively in RTE and with a very excellent track record…”  (once it has absolutely nothing to do with the Church) “… also, could be damaged, depending on how the out-turn of this whole process stands, and there has been a wish to balance the learning that is necessary in this with a minimum of damage to the future output of RTE,  and part of the point that was being made last week was that if you move towards the first, more severe sanction, very quickly, you lose the opportunity of having experienced and talented people take on board the lessons of this affair within the process of RTÉ’s investigative current affairs.”

In other words, the Institution and the Institution’s mission is ultimately more important than any people it might abuse along the way.  Sound familiar? Well not, apparently, to Mr Dawson or, for that matter, and for the second week running, to Ms Wilson. They still don’t get it!

To illustrate the point, why not try doing a little thought experiment: replace ‘RTE’ with ‘Church’, in the above passage, and ‘investigative current affairs’ with ‘charitable works’, and play back that interview, in your head, but with a real bishop speaking this time, instead of the RTE representative.

It is hard to imagine Mary Wilson or, indeed, any other RTÉ presenter not jumping all over that comment.

Instead, yesterday evening, at about 18:45, with the cat all but dancing in her hair, the Presenter promptly ended the interview and passed the ball to a “patiently waiting” Robbie Irwin.

  1. Fiona Loxley says:

    Mary Wilson wants a job!!!!! She’s dancing to his tune. She’s not a journalist.

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