So what do I know?

OK, OK – so I got it wrong. On Monday. On Tuesday night RTÉ made up for ignoring the north in the first half of John Bowman’s historical documentary and gave us lots of northern-related stuff. It even had my old friend Eoghan Harris declaring “I am a propagandist – that’s what I’m good at”.  I even gather (it happened while I slipped out to see a man about a dog) that they had Mary McAleese’s being denounced as a Provo-lover when she worked with the station and was reduced to tears (I’m relying on a usually reliable source that this was covered). What wasn’t in there was that my old chum Eoghan and his Workers’ Party chums exercised an iron grip on what could and couldn’t go on-screen about the north, and let’s say that anything which might cast republicans in a positive light was left firmly on the cutting-room floor.

The big conflict, as Bowman presented it, was between the attempts of the Catholic Church, the government of the day and pressure groups like Irish language enthusiasts to pressure RTÉ into doing it their way, with RTÉ more or less heroically standing up to such pressure. I think that raises a very interesting question: who’s to say that RTÉ’s way was the best way? Is it right that a state-funded station should be free to make programmes as it sees fit? Or is it in fact the case that (like the BBC), being funded by the state means that RTÉ cannot do other than produce programmes that by and large please the government (who are, after all, the elected representatives of the people, which RTÉ are not)?

I’m not attempting to answer these questions – just raising ’em.  You probably have the whole thing thought through thoroughly. Right? While Bowman didn’t provide the answers, he made a thought-provoking programme and for that he should be commended.

4 Responses to So what do I know?

  1. Anonymous July 26, 2012 at 10:09 am #

    Fair play to you for admitting that you do occasionally rush to judgement.Even Homer nods!!Good to see that you and Eoghan are still best buddies!

  2. Anonymous July 27, 2012 at 8:15 am #

    Surely,on a Jude Collins blog especially there wouldn't be censorship ,would there?! I posted a fairly innocuous comment yesterday morning but have yet to see it.Maybe you are just away so I'll not start imagining conspiracy theories just yet! I wouldn't want to rush to premature judgement !

  3. ansionnachfionn July 27, 2012 at 11:37 am #

    “Irish language enthusiasts”?

    I think Irish-speaking citizens and communities would be more accurate. RTÉ's abysmal failure to fulfil its public service contract by providing equal television and radio services to those citizens and communities was shameful. RTÉ simply REFUSED to countenance a worthwhile service to Ireland's indigenous language population. A point proved by the setting up of TG4. RTÉ is now simply Ireland's English language public service broadcaster serving an English-speaking community, while TG4 has become Ireland's Irish language public broadcaster serving the Irish language community. That it took decades of discrimination before this could happen says a lot about the modern Irish state.

    I would rather my licence fee went to TG4 (and RnaG) than the bastard offspring of BCC and ITV that poses as Raidió Teilifís Éireann.

    Hmmm. I do think I may be annoyed! 😉

  4. Anonymous July 27, 2012 at 11:38 pm #

    “….anything that would cast republicans in a positive light” – now what could that possibly be?
    [For republican read violence loving/turn a blind eye to provo violence, irish nationalist and bigot oh and i forgot, a “victim”].

    Back to the answer “the same thing that would show Himmler's einsatzgruppen in a good light”.

    Just up your street Jude.