Welcome to a delayed episode 4 of ‘America from the outside, Ireland from the inside’. Coming to you from a raining Dublin that is recovering from the weekend.
Starting across the pond again this week, there is a lot of craziness from El Prez, but this week let’s look at how it is covered.
The media in America is horrific. Let’s be honest. While there are issues in most countries and their news outlets, it is nowhere near as dysfunctional as America. If you ever wonder why that country is more divided now than ever, then sit in front of the TV and flick through the news stations for 20 minutes. News opinion programs are treated the same as real news and vice versa. The people interviewed on any subject are not the people sitting on either side of the middle, they are the extremes. It is becoming a business, but news should never be a business. News is a public service. If you watch 1 news channel, then you will be absolutely warped into that way of thinking. Even if you are a clear minded, normal human being at the beginning. I have friends who watch Fox News and friends who watch MSNBC. The conversation about politics is barred when they are together. They are incapable of discussion, or even interested in it.
This is the biggest issue facing America. The interest in conversation has been killed. The competition now is to point fingers and be first (regardless of fact or not) instead of take on in debate. For every instance of students rioting instead of debating, there is a president who says one thing and then completely flip flops.
For anyone keeping score, he said he would repeal Obamacare within 100 days, that hasn’t been done because his administration put forward a bill that was actually worse than what they were trying to replace.
The students who rioted when Milo was booked to speak at Berkley College rioted instead of challenging him in debate. This shows that they were scared to talk to him and didn’t have enough belief in their own beliefs to challenge people.
In between these two incidents we have fake news. This is a term that Trump uses as his shield. 80% of the time it is used incorrectly by him, but he has 20% legitimate use. He should have NO USE! There should be no way he can call anything fake. The latest being the woman in the Hijab after the attacks on London. News outlets said she looked ‘demure’ while walking past a dead body; the truth was the complete opposite. But the correction didn’t get the full page treatment like the initial fake news did.
It is bass ackwards!
So, with American exhaustion in full effect we fly back to Ireland. Surely a bastion of real news and politicians who are honest and trustworthy.
Irish news has been slowly following in the footsteps of America. They see the news, the shiny teeth and the presenters who are treated like gods and want some of that. Nowhere on Irish news are rational people interviewed by rational people. It is always polar opposite views and needling from reporters to get a big sound bite. It is so frustrating that I have stopped listening to news in the morning on the way to work. I listen to prince instead and it makes me happier walking in the door.
We have a police commissioner who is under pressure and a police force caught fabrication test results from breathalyzers.
The commissioner is at the centre of the whistle blowing scandal. This is where the police were involved in smearing someone who went public with issues within the force. A noble risk from the man. At the end of the day, if there was nothing worth leaking then there would be no smearing, instead of attacking the issue head on, the police force attacked the messenger. A very American way of dealing with things.
Basically, this (and the fabricated testing) is a result of a rotten structure within the organisation. Commissioner Sullivan has spent her life in it and her actions are showing that she is infected. The entire institution is infected, instead of walking away, the might Commissioner will stay in the big chair until she is pushed.
Imagine being a hard working policeman/woman (as 99% of them are). I certainly couldn’t do their job. Very few of us can. Yet they are presided over by someone who is making them all look bad, who is taking public confidence away from them.
It was a frustrating week. Hopefully honesty, integrity and problem solving are traits that the Commissioner and our politicians find. But it appears there will be an episode 5 with more of the same
As usual, please forward this to anyone mentioned as I would be eager to speak to them.
@nkeegan on twitter and @kdubdd on instagram