On last Friday’s Late Late show [first item on the programme] a panel of journalists including Matt Cooper, Kevin Myers, Sarah Carey and Ger Colleran lamented the impotence of the opposition in the face of Fianna Fail’s economic and political mismanagement, rightly deploring the egregious carry on that has caused so much grief for so many people. That was all fine and dandy, being a commentary that was after the fact but no less true for all that. The one place they could not, or would not go in their deliberations was into any discussion about the role that the media played in helping to bring the crisis about.
‘We have no excuse, everyone knew’
In this morning’s Irish Times Sarah Carey begins her colum today with these astounding words:
No one can say they weren’t told how bad our economic policy and loose regulation were for our future
In other words, the media were doing a brilliant job throughout and had exposed at every turn the corruption, the TDs and Ministers who were securing loans from Fingleton and Anglo on the nod, the failures of the financial regulator and all the rest of it. That this stuff might all have been an open secret among the political/media/business in-crowd would not surprise many people at this stage. But did the rest of us have any inkling that this was happening? The vast majority hadn’t a clue. The real question is, did the media investigate or report it thoroughly while it was ongoing? Did they fuck!
David Manning of MediaBite (@Media_Bite on twitter) wrote a much praised piece for Village magazine last year about the role of the Irish media in the property bubble which is worth the read if you haven’t seen it already. It delineates the overwhelmingly supportive consensus that existed among media commentators and editorial writers about the boom times and how so many were adamant that any negative media commentary would rock the boat and be damaging for the economy.
Couldn’t refrain from posting this comment under Sarah Carey’s article this morning:
Yet another journalist who sees fault in everyone and everything except the media itself. Sarah Carey exonerates the dismal performance of the media in helping to create this situation by the gross generalisation that ‘everyone knew’. Maybe Irish Times readers who happened to read Morgan Kelly a few times had a fair idea but they are a small, affluent minority of the whole population. Aside from about half a dozen voices – routinely shouted down by their own colleagues – the media were a total disgrace. The Irish Times itself, with its annual Property Awards, its lucrative property section and strong Progressive Democrat editorial leanings was out in front of the pack, calling for ever more ‘liberalisation’ and all sorts of other now demonstrably failed policies. The media were cheerleading and promoting the madness all the way – either through positive coverage of the lunatic carry on by the elites or – worse – by a wilful omission to enquire and report much further into what was happening than they did.
I’m go[i]ng to copy this post before submitting it because the last time I posted critically under a Sarah Carey column, my comment was censored.