Journalism, 2016-style

The Irish Times used to be “the paper of record.”  Everything of import got reported, stories of interest and relevance got investigated and published.

Now, they race to the bottom.  “Are miracles happening on the streets of Coleraine?” is the headline on an article that they published last Friday. It’s essentially a completely uncritical puff-piece for a lying charlatan who claims that faith-healing cures cancer.

The charlatan-in-chief claims his “faith-healing” has cured cancer and can make a person’s short leg physically grow “longer right before everyone’s eyes.”

Because that’s not a conjurer’s trick that’s been exposed many times before.

Good job, Irish Times.

RTÉ is the state broadcaster, with a public service obligation to report the news.

In theory, it’s subject to the BAI and its edicts on fairness and balance that saw, for example, every bigot in the country given “equal time” during the Marriage Referendum so that they could tell gay, bi and lesbian people that they were less than human, or paying “compensation” to homophobes for being called homophobes.

You’d imagine they’d try to be balanced and fair in election coverage.

But apparently they were justified in playing a clip all day showing an “apolitical” “small businessman” accosting Mary Lou McDonald while she canvassed, accusing her of “punishing” taxpayers.

Only problem: the “apolitical” “small businessman” was very quickly identified on social media as Fergus Crawford, brother of a former FG TD Seymour Crawford, and an investment banker, CEO of Sarasin & Partners, and prior to that spent 12 years with ACC Bank…

RTÉ continued to run the story after this was pointed out. The journalist in question, Martina FitzGerald, has still not pulled the tweet or issued a correction, despite dozens of requests to do so.