I used to wonder what the term ‘feeding frenzy’ meant. Now I know. The Irish papers, particularly but not exclusively those in the north, are full of commentators making little leaps in the air and emitting high-pitched, orgasmic sounds, in an effort to express their deep-in-the-intimate-regions delight at what they see. Or think they see.
Which is? Well, they’re convinced they see the Adams family and, by extension, Sinn Fein in a state of disarray, with claims being made about what the Sinn Fein president did or didn’t know about his brother Liam and how often he saw him after he did know whatever he knew. An uninformed observer might conclude it was Gerry Adams who was guilty of sex abuse and not his brother, and that he was guilty of covering up his own crime. The fact that there is no evidence of either of these things doesn’t seem to bother the Feeding Frenziers. They’re too busy leaping and squeaking for such niceties. Latest titbit is that my old friend Ed Moloney is soon to publish a book which, we’re told, will contain revelations about Sinn Fein that’ll make the Denis Donaldson affair look like a stroll in the park. No doubt revealing these republican-damaging matters will cause my friend Ed deep pain, but I guess he figures it’s his civic duty.
The other source of indecent delight for the media gurus is the state of the Catholic Church. “Meltdown!’ they squeak. “Terminal damage!” “Rotten to the core!” Some 92% of priests in Ireland are innocent of any child-abuse crime but that’s just a smokescreen, isn’t it?
And so the FFers hurl themselves around the media yard, sometimes bumping into one another in their excitement. When the two organisations that you must detest appear to be in serious difficulty simultaneously, it’s only natural to throw yourself in the air, tongue lolling, teeth bared, going ‘A-ohhhh-oooo!’ Or words to that effect.