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“Balance” ….. May 9, 2017

Posted by irishelectionliterature in Uncategorized.
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I briefly watched Claire Byrne Live last night …. Had to stop as Eddie Hobbs was a guest again blurting on about Public Sector Pensions (Hobbs has been on the show umpteen times , each time about public sector pay and pensions) … and of course Soccer Republic with highlights of Rovers win over Dundalk was starting soon on RTE2!
The current format gives undue exposure to fringe individuals and groups, be it Iona, Ian O’Doherty or others who hold ‘shocking views’ just for the sake of it. The panels are generally confrontational and the viewer learns little or nothing as everything is in a debate format as if it were a Referendum or an Election campaign where every second someone speaks is counted by people scared shitless RTE will be sued, fined or admonished in some fashion.
The audiences in these programmes too are generally packed with interest groups, very often the audience member is identified by name but not their political or campaigning past. Having an unhealthy interest in politics I usually can make out around 90% of these audiences…. She stood for the SWP in 2004, that chap was in Youth Defence, that lady is a Fianna Failer, that concerned citizen pickets RTE every Friday over it being Anti Catholic and so on.
Of course there needs to be debate for most things but do we need this ‘balance’ for everything? By giving equal platforms to certain views in the name of “balance” RTE are giving them an equal weight and validity which is often undeserved.
Is there a need to provide public service Television and radio where a lot of viewers/listeners time is spent cursing at one particular guest? In a way it’s clickbait ……. “did you see that prick spouting their bile on RTE again last night?”… yet I can’t see it as a long term ratings winner when the likes of myself are switching off.
Does there really need to be “balance” when talking about Syrian Refugees, Hospital Waiting lists, Childhood Obesity and so on?
The other thing is that these guests hardly appear for free, whilst you may baulk at some of the RTE salaries, I also baulk at the thought that any of my licence fee is paying for Ian O’Doherty or any other of these Katie Hopkins wannabes to appear on television or radio.
One of the things from The Citizens Assembly was the time and space given to the participants as they were given presentations from many parts of the spectrum of the Abortion debate, all done in a non confrontational manner. There are very few of us with such time to invest as those that attended the Citizens Assembly but it probably should act as an inspiration as to how to format some of the “Current Affairs” programmes on RTE.
I dread to think what we will end up with on RTE during a Referendum to Repeal the 8th, a lady the had experience of a Fatal Foetal Abnormality being told she was a murderer by one of RTEs “Rent a Rightwinger” regulars.

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Comments»

1. Ciaran - May 9, 2017

It’s infotainment without the info. I used to think it was incredible how many items they could cram into one edition. Now I realise it’s deliberate, in case someone might learn something.

And they’re still sticking Eddie Hobbs on TV? Jesus wept.

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Ed - May 11, 2017

How many times have we heard some left-winger be told, in response to a complaint about the status quo, that they should run for election if they’re not happy about things and see what support they get. Hobbs has now gone off and done that and seen his wretched political party crash and burn after being roundly rejected by the voters. Has there been a single one of his media appearances where the anchor has said ‘well Eddie, why don’t you set up a party and see what support there is for your ideas – hang on, didn’t you do that already? How did it go?’

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2. CL - May 11, 2017

“Brendan Investments Pan European Property (Bipep), the fund co-founded by television personality and financial adviser Eddie Hobbs, has had scores of houses it owns in Detroit seized by local authorities over unpaid property taxes”
http://www.irishtimes.com/business/companies/detroit-eddie-hobbs-founded-fund-forfeits-scores-of-houses-1.2935207

“A US property firm linked to Irish TV celebrity and political activist Eddie Hobbs has been accused of leaving poor African American tenants in its West Detroit properties with no heat in the freezing Midwestern winter”
http://www.irishcentral.com/news/irish-tv-star-s-property-firm-leaves-poor-detroit-tenants-with-no-heat

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