Getting more impatient with the Irish Media!

I don’t know if it is inevitable that as we get older we get more impatient and intolerant of a lot of what is going on in this country.  A couple of things did get on my nerves today, Tuesday.

I have never been inside the door of Arus Attracta in Swinford.  I have no experience of working in such a place, and the difficulties that might be involved. But I am very uneasy at what RTE Prime Time is doing tonight; for a number of reasons.

1. I am not at all sure of the morality of people going in with hidden cameras, masquerading to be workers, but really reporting. And then on what basis is the editing of this material done?  In the course of a day, working at close quarters with people with disabilities, a great many things can happen.  There can, for instance, be a whole series of loving, caring actions and words, while at the same time an occasional slip where someone loses patience and says or does something wrong. The staff, presumably, have their own problems in their lives, and maybe it all gets the better of them at times. But if someone edits out all the kindnesses, and just shows the lapses, it can give a totally wrong impression.

2. All day today RTE were hyping up this programme. It was clear to me that their main motivation was not to expose wrongdoing, but to promote their own work.

3. With all the hype, and the playing of selected clips from tonight, the expectation of something really shocking has been built up.

4. I am in no position to pass any judgment on the staff of the home.  It can safely be said that they were not perfect.  But one thing is sure;  after this programme they will have been judged and condemned.  There is no way they will get their good name back again.  That seems to me to be seriously wrong. No television programme should put itself into the position of judge and jury, particularly while it is using morally doubtful methods itself, i.e. hidden cameras.  If they really cared for the patients and the staff, what they should have done was give the evidence to the relevant authorities quietly and let them deal with it.

It all sounds too much to me like RTE promoting itself, and not caring who they walk on in the process.

And the other thing that I thought was inappropriate was the very blatant effort by Joe Duffy to hype up tomorrow’s march as much as he could, and increase the crowd.  I don’t care how many or how few turn out for this march. It is clear that we have to do something about water in this country, and that has to be paid for one way or the other.  It is equally clear that the government has made a mess of the implementation of the scheme.  Part of me looks forward to the day when the politicians who are leading this protest get into government, so that we can see how they will handle power when they get it.