“Circle jerk” is a slang term in American English normally defined as a sexual act, sometimes associated with pornography, where several individuals – invariably men – form a circle and masturbate themselves or each other until reaching climax. In recent years it has also come to describe a type of self-congratulatory behaviour or debate amongst a group of people holding like-minded opinions. The phrase sprang to mind yesterday when I read the following opinion pieces from the home of the “Fox News” of Irish journalism, the Sunday Independent newspaper. First up is Jim “I ♥ RIC” Cusack, the security correspondent of the Indo group, whose analyses of contemporary and historical events have reached an almost Glenn Beckian level of epicness. Read and weep (with eyes a-goggle):
“A former senior garda, involved almost all his life in fighting the IRA, outlined a few years ago what he thought the Provisionals’ plans for assuming absolute power in Ireland would entail.
He pointed to IRA documents that had become public over a decade ago referring to what it termed “TUAS” – “tactical use of unarmed strategy”. This, he believed, was what would be the “likely” way forward. They (the IRA), he said, will bring down the power-sharing government in the North, precipitating a crisis and, in parallel, undermining and replacing the existing party political structure in the ’26 Counties’.
With power in the South and a crisis on its doorstep, this garda – who was held in very high esteem by colleagues – thought the Provos would then institute some form of ’emergency’ government in the Republic, doing away with the need for elections and democracy and the establishment of a single-party state.
Up until last week, this view of the Provos’ seditious plot to overthrow the legitimate government of the Republic would have been firmly placed by a large constituency of politicians, senior civil servants and media people as the fantasy of some kind of old-fashioned loony.”
I believe most of us would agree that the views of that large constituency of informed people have changed not a whit in the last week. It’s just that the loonies have become a bit more vocal in their paranoid declarations as a metaphorical full-moon has reached its crisis point in Belfast. Meanwhile, in a nice bit of mutually-pleasing stroking, here’s Eoghan “Entryism? What’s Entryism?” Harris in his Sunday Independent, er, column:
“Can we expect RTE to reject the notion of a Rafia attached to Sinn Fein? No. Precedent suggests RTE will retreat into ‘nothing to see here’ mode, plus two tried and tested tropes.
First, to treat politicians challenging Sinn Fein as motivated purely by partisan politics. Yet Micheal Martin sat on Maria Cahill’s story for months, until she asked him to go public.
Second, to demand critics produce “evidence” of Sinn Fein-IRA links, ignoring endless exposes by security correspondents like Paul Williams and Jim Cusack.”
It rubs the lotion on its skin…
Talking of which Paul Williams makes his contribution to the circle, thus closing the onanistic loop in fine idolatry style:
“There are few plaudits – within the world of media or in wider society – for telling uncomfortable truths.
That is exactly what Jim Cusack has been doing in these pages for some time – exposing the IRA’s fuel smuggling rackets which generate tens of millions for the racketeers who the State would have us believe don’t exist. That is also why the Garda Commissioner owes an apology to Cusack over her attempt to effectively discredit him in her infamous letter of comfort to Sinn Fein/IRA.”
The Sunday Independent. Less a newspaper, more ideological porn for the conservative and libertarian right-wing classes.