Earlier today the Newstalk presenter Pat Kenny interviewed Eoin Ó Broin, Sinn Féin TD for Dublin Mid-West, on the continuing debacle of so-called “water charges”, a form of punitive double-taxation formerly favoured by the political right. Stymied in his belligerent, hectoring line of questioning the affluent radio and television celebrity launched a blistering attack on Ó Broin and his party, raising patently biased and historically inaccurate issues quite unrelated to the subject at hand. Of course, this is not the first time that the conservative journalist has lost his temper live on-air while debating with left-wing or progressive politicians and activists. He’s rapidly become the Bill O’Reilly of Irish broadcasting, a status reflected in the right-leaning press leaping to his defence in their online editions after this morning’s embarrassing display.
By the by, isn’t it telling how Pat Kenny, voice of the media orthodoxy, interprets the recent conflict in the north-east of the country, as one begun by Irish people and not through the actions of the British occupiers of our island? That level of wilful ignorance, that partitionist belief in the theory that the Irish nation ends at the start of a foreign imposed border, is simply astonishing. Not to mention his bizarre division of the population into “ordinary working people” and those who “don’t work”, a Trump-worthy bit of dog-whistle rhetoric for the libertarian right.
(Audio extract via Mark Moloney)