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RTE Erases Sinn Fein, Glorifies Assassin

category national | irish social forum | opinion/analysis author Saturday December 02, 2006 16:35author by O. O. McCool - Branskelligs Think Tankauthor email oomccool at yahoo dot ie Report this post to the editors

RTE reporting around November 24 assassination attempt highly suspicious

A critique of RTE's radio and television coverage of the attempted assassination of nationalist leadership at Stormont on November 24, 2006; and its ominous implications.

RTE Erases Sinn Fein, Glorifies Assassin
On Friday November 24 Stormont saw a Loyalist attempt to assassinate Sinn Fein leaders as the latter came there to fulfill their commitment to the Good Friday Agreement, to honor their word and to cooperate in the establishment of a lasting peaceful solution to the North's political problems. This attack was a manifesto of such elements' determination to get their political way by murdering in cold blood honorable men coming in peace, their compatriots' elected representatives; to overthrow democracy by erasing those men from the picture.

RTE News' ensuing treatment of this shocking crime speaks volumes; but not about exactly what the devil happened that day. Indeed their announcements were profoundly instructive; although saying much more about their authors than about the events they pretend to describe. If the would-be assassin sought to remove Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness from the discussion in Northern Ireland, RTE News proved itself accomplice-after-the-fact, in erasing them from all discussion of that day's events.

In a sickening demonstration of dog-like devotion, in RTE's every radio and television broadcast from that day on, only Mr. Paisley and the attacker were repeatedly named, aired, quoted and depicted, to the exclusion of all other parties concerned. Indeed, they seemed to be feverishly endeavoring to make up where the assassin left off, air-brushing Irish nationalists and their representatives out of all stories on the formative government in the North.

Not a single statement or film clip of Sinn Fein leaders made since Friday's attack was aired over the weekend. The sole appearance on RTE by them was a statement by Mr. McGuinness which was obviously made before the attempt on their lives; and consisting as it did of generically optimistic comments approving “events of the last few days,” was clearly inserted out of time and context with the express intention of misleading the public about SF/Mr. McGuinness' feelings regarding the horrendous attack on himself and his colleagues.

By comparison, RTE's careful, hourly radio and TV broadcasts of the assassin's political slogans awarded a free publicity campaign that money couldn't buy to the very worst, most violent and irresponsible elements in Northern Ireland.

Over and over we have been shown the would-be assassin, (who will not here be dignified with a name,) barely restrained by two guards, with the air of amateurish posing in a cheap comedy.
By glaring contrast, we did catch a glimpse of Gerry Adams, being held down on the ground by no less than four unidentified men, while he is clearly alarmed and struggling against them to try to get up. This image of Mr. Adam's treatment was editted out of RTE newscasts by Saturday and not seen again.

After midday Saturday, the words “assassination attempt” had been eased out of RTE bulletins, and replaced with “security incident.” By Monday, in soundbytes again entirely devoted to British statements, nothing further was heard about the violence, which was now demoted from any mention at all. In its place was a quotation from British officials, “commending Stormont security's performance”; which would have been ludicrous if it were not so ominous. Needless to say, we can imagine what kind of shrill outcry would have been drummed into our ears every hour, had such an attack been the work of republicans.

In view of what is known about British government collusion in Loyalist murders, I don't think we'll be handing out any medals for the arrangements that let a well-known convicted killer traverse the broad, empty mile-wide park surrounding Stormont, loaded down with bombs and guns, during a key meeting of all future government members; and allowed him to hurl a device right in the front door under security's ever-vigilant noses.

All this leaves us in no doubt that, in the view of the British establishment in Northern Ireland, everything that happened on November 24 was simply grand. No doubt they're entirely satisfied with Stormont security.

This is a disgraceful betrayal of the Irish public, whose right and need to be fully informed in depth about events in the North has been hi-jacked by this coup d'etat in the newsroom, apparently planned to carefully coincide with assassination and paramilitary coup d'etat at Stormont.

Whoever has that kind of control over RTE reporting on Northern Ireland went to a great deal of trouble to get it . . . because they want it. In order to stifle public information and discussion regarding efforts to assassinate our elected government representatives.

But when have we been taught to expect anything else from the long tentacles of British interests in Ireland and its institutions?

author by casement fanpublication date Sun Dec 03, 2006 01:35author address author phone Report this post to the editors

hmmm, Im not going to defend RTEs coverage of anything. They are afterall, the state broadcaster meaning that one of their primary functions is to act as the state censor of the news. But Stone's attack on Stormont was a little more like theatre than a serious assasination attempt. What sort of assasin carries a fake gun and stops to scrawl grafitti at the entrance to the site of his intended action. And 8 pipe bombs, if he'd sucessfully exploded them in the chamber he would just as likely have injured or killed his loyalist pals as Adams etc. No, it seems far more likely that fatty Stone is going through a mental breakdown as a result of hanging out with the dublin art crowd for too long. I dont take the "attempt to murder the leaders of Sinn Fein" shite any more seriously than claims that someone who goes postal in mcdonalds is trying end the war in Iraq. RTE didnt say that Stone was trying to assasinate Paisley for selling out, just as likely from a political perspective. Is that censorship too? Was it an attempt on Adams life cos Sin Fein say so or cos Stone took time to write it on the wall on the way in?

And if the brits and RTE wanted to get rid of Gerry and Martin wouldnt they have done it already?

author by Left....Outsidepublication date Sun Dec 03, 2006 19:01author address author phone Report this post to the editors

It never ceases to amaze me that a Party like Sinn Fein,the masters of "spin and win" politics,can complain about the lack of coverage on our nations airwaves.You would be inclined to believe that the only two parties in the North are themselves and the DUP.If anyone has a gripe about the coverage(or the lack of it!) they recieve it must be the Ulster Unionist Party or the SDLP whose coverage at Storment, in recent weeks, has been less then scant.So do me a favour ....and whinge somewhere else please!

author by Ryanopublication date Tue Dec 05, 2006 16:40author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Did Sinn Féin do anything interesting on the day to make them worth covering? A madman with bombs is obviously news in anyone's language, and similarly the political story of the day was the "will-he-won't-he" of Paisley's nomination. Sinn Féin did what everyone expected them to do, i.e. nominate Martin McGuinness, which is less newsworthy.

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