Cowen, the dangers of Picturegate and how like a Hydra, the public responded

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And lo the public spoke on Picturegate and it trended on Twitter like a mofo…

The biggest lesson that RTÉ and Fianna Fáil have learned throughout this whole debacle, is that nothing is immutable on the web. Suzy traced the backtracking of RTÉ’s editorial voice on its website. Damien recorded and published the ‘missing’ report. The online has muscle memory. An attempt to quash satire from the RTÉ avenue, will just encourage it to move to many more outlets. New caricatures, thousands of new words on the incident and even tshirts.

Conspiracy theorists are already spinning that this is diversionary tactic. Who knows why it happened. Was it Cowen biting his lip in disgust and sharp disappointment or was it a way to divert attention from the fact that the arse of our economy is hanging out? Nobody likes to do sums with someone over the shoulder. Likewise, with people that have to do them over and over again, attempting to get them right.

RTÉ’s action to fall on the sword of its editorial decision to air the report and publish the story on its website is incredibly disturbing. Will the Fianna Fáil Powers That Be be contacting every media outlet that has reported on the item and/or showed the paintings to demand an apology?

Just where is the line between ‘disrespecting’ a politician (or the Office of a Taoiseach) and reporting on satire or topics that make them uncomfortable? Disrespect is such a loose charge. Where will the next case of disrespect break out? And will this move set a dangerous precedent on where the media report?

Still angry? You could send you thoughts to…

  • RTÉ on: complaints@rte.ie
  • Irish Times on: lettersed@irishtimes.com
  • Irish Examiner on: letters@examiner.ie
  • Irish Independent on: independent.letters@independent.ie

Remember if you are writing to a newspaper, to include your name, address and a contact number for verification.

Alternatively, you could just ask the man himself. Course, you could be waiting for a reply. But sure in the these halycon Obamified days, isn’t transparency and a direct discourse with the people a founding tenet of the political machine?

Or perhaps you’d prefer to follow Fústar’s makey-doey approach. Much more fun.

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