We know this because a conga line of editors, former editors, CEO’s and directors from Ireland’s most prominent news making institutions recently told us so in evidence presented to the Joint Committee of Inquiry into the Banking Crisis. Any suggestion that this is not the case is a “conspiracy”, peddled by “conspiracy theorists” from “a[n unrecognisable] planet“. And of course, the Irish news industry doesn’t waste it’s time reflecting on the ever-changing panorama of life on other planets.
For a press so concerned with reflecting the world accurately and with account for it’s diversity of opinion, the inquiry was surprisingly interested in just one person, Morgan Kelly. To a visitor from another planet it must have appeared a strange state of affairs, that the credibility of such independently minded institutions, with access to a range and breadth of information and expertise, could be so contingent on the insight of one university professor. The very fact that Kelly’s name is as much a part of the crisis lexicon as NAMA, Anglo and the Troika, is a testament to the industry’s failure.
If this was anything other than an oversight it implies a conspicuous attempt to misinform readers as to the nature of the crime committed by Wallace and Daly.
Rather than a “cavalier disdain for our justice system” Wallace and Daly’s declared attempt to challenge the use of Shannon airport for suspected illegal military operations, including torture transit, could be interpreted as a naive belief in our justice system.
But when the post-Tiger ‘we’ is not acquiescing to the next austerity measure, it is largely absent. It is often silent or simply gagged, and sometimes, it is even denied it exists at all.
There is no property or travel supplement for the post-tiger ‘we’. Because ‘we’ do not experience austerity. The effects of public service cuts, regressive taxation and emigration are experienced by ‘them’. And ‘they’ do not own or operate the press.
Sometimes, when we talk about the press, journalists respond by saying:
“you can’t talk about ‘the press’ as if it’s a collective entity, ‘the press’ is made up of thousands of people and hundreds of organisations, with a diversity of politics and agenda”**
So, for the purposes of this article, perhaps it might be less controversial to speak of ‘the press’ simply as shorthand for ‘those media organisations owned by Denis O’Brien and the State’*. Because Ireland’s media landscape is arguably dominated by just one vista, from Leinster House looking out towards Malta.