How Journalism Works

Interesting post by Mick Fealty on Slugger O’Toole. He draws attention to a Fintan O’Toole article suggesting that Sean Quinn junior, jailed last week for three months is getting preerential treatment in Mountjoy Prison. After just one night in Mountjoy, Mr Quinn was transferred to the Training Unit at Mountjoy, where conditions are obviously better.

There are of course rather a lot of Irish people….perhaps some in Mountjoy…..who would like to get their hands on Mr Quinn. Arguably there is greater risk to high profile rich prisoners from the casual brutality of prison life.

Of course it is a truism that “white collar criminals” are treated better than ordinary decent criminals.

Take for example John Taylor….thats Baron Taylor of the British House of Lords. Banged up for twelve months for false accounting. Well not quite ….he was released after just three months with an ankle bracelet.

Or Jeffrey Archer……whose term in prison included visits to the theatre and lunch with former Cabinet colleagues.

But surely Fintan O’Toole will be aware of his Irish Times colleague Tom Humphries. The Garda would like to question Mr Humphries about serious allegations, first raised in April last year. Alas……Mr Humphries was or is…….gravely ill. He was on suicide watch in a psychiatric hospital. But is ….so far as I know… longer in hospital.

So perhaps a journalist from the Irish Times……maybe even Fintan O’Toole ….could tell us whats going on. Hopefully nobody in a white collar profession is getting favourable treatment. Fintan would be outraged by that. Maybe Slugger O’Toole (no relation) should mention it to Fintan.

Still… an unrelated matter, the Leveson Inquiry finished hearing evidence. And in another unrelated matter several journalists have been charged with phone hacking.

So far as we know there is only one bona fide white collar criminal in British Journalism. Clive Goodman got four months. I dont know if Fintan knows what prison the single rogue reporter was in…..but we do know he got a nice little cash payment from his employer. I cant think why that would be…..but its obviously not favourable treatment for a white collar criminal…is it?

Still…..we need to be vigilant. If any other journos end up in the clink…..we really should insist that they spend their time at Her Majestys Pleasure in Wormwood Scrubs, Pentonville and Holloway. The National Union of Journalists would be outraged if they got favourable treatment…..wouldnt they?

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13 Responses to How Journalism Works

  1. Howard Hughes says:

    Decent enough points but would it not be better to make these points on the offending Slugger O’Toole website rather than here where they wont see it.

    • Howard, you are assuming that it wont be seen here.
      Maybe it will. Maybe it wont.
      I think it reasonable for me to think that it would not have been published on that website…certainly not in its fullness. And not without a lot of vitriol. Presumably youre a Slugger regular and I get several here.

      • Oakleaf says:

        Journalism the new moral guardians of our times. Ha ha. I used to be a regural reader of the Irish News untill 2/3 ago and the odd time that I do buy it is for its Gaa coverage.

        It used to be a good read even if I didn’t agree with everything it published but is now nothing more than a tabloid rag.

  2. bangordub says:

    I think that at the core of this problem is the separation of powers and the role of “The fourth estate” Mr Fitz.
    Leveson has illustrated the dangers of too cosy a relationship existing between these pillars of society. That is why I believe that we, the “Bloggerati” are so important and have a role to play. (Without taking ourselves toooo seriously of course)
    The Success of blogs and their commentators is well illustrated, for example, by

    • I think the point about Rangers Tax Case….is that is clearly the work of experts. They have opinions only on their field of expertise and the standard is high.
      Necessarily with Bloggers like myself…..I have a limited field of expertise…cavalry tactics in the mid 17th century …..but I venture to have an opinion on everything. Which puts me on a par with Mick and the boys at Slugger and even Fintan O’Toole, held to be an expert on all things in Ireland when of course he is no such thing.
      Thus he gets away with having an opinion on everything. But his only realistic expertise…like all Journalists a grammatically correct sentence and a knowledge of the libel laws.
      I think just about everybody thought “oops white collar criminal gets preferential treatment” when we heard about Mr Quinn junior in Mountjoy Training Unit….but it is unlikely that the prison authorities were thinking along those lines.
      All of us want a degree of revenge for what the Rich have done.
      I cant speak for his motives.
      But what I can say is that he might have occasionally wondered for the best part of two years (and with an eye to sub-judice of course) what was the latest on that unfortunate incident involving a journalistic colleague in the same newsroom.
      Only a blogger like me in this case would notice the seeming double standard.
      Mick (a journalist) therefore never even noticed it.
      News stories involving journalists are basically off limits.
      Take a look at a well known local website which reported on Hackgate…….but only when the lone rogue reporter was the narrative……but when the narrative became somewhat different and we all got to realise that journalists roll around in a cess pit of hypocrisy……well little or no more mention of it on that particualr website.
      The wider freemasonry of Journalism applies.
      News is defined by Man Biting Dog rather than Dog Biting Man.
      But Journalist Dogs biting Journalist Dogs……that just doesnt happen.

  3. hoboroad says:

    Yes RangersTaxCase is a important example of one person standing up to powerful vested media interests. The Scottish Media of course were all on David Murrays gravy train except for Graham Spiers.

  4. bangordub says:

    “But Journalist Dogs biting Journalist Dogs……that just doesnt happen”
    My point is that is where us lot come in, bloggers and the readers and commenters on our blogs.
    More power to our elbows and index fingers of both hands!
    Mr Fitz, for once I agree with you on every point

    • Journalists are magicians.
      We are the in the Muggle world.
      They scrutinise US. We are discouraged from scutinising them.
      Journalists have total contempt for Muggles…..balanced by an overly reverential attitude to other Journalists.

  5. bangordub says:

    By the way, Is it true that cavalry tactics in the 17th to 19th century were studied by Rommel and applied to his armoured divisions? I know I read that somewhere

    • Well its more than likely that he would have had to study cavalry tactics as he would have been in a military academy some years before World War One. He certainly killed a lot of Belgian horses because at one time he was in direct opposition to Belgian cavalry.
      The two World Wars are after my time but from memory Rommel was middle class..(Lutheran ministers son) and not part of the aristocratic military which was very “horsey”.

  6. football cliches says:

    A very interesting read FJH and I would agree with this wholly. By sheeeeer coincidence, I was at a wedding on Saturday evenng in North Down, very nice time ad by all.

    I meet my brother, his partner at the bar and he is with a very good friend of ours together with an older lady I’d never met before from England. I get talking and realise she has tagged along as she came on her own.

    Long story short, she’s a former employee at NI and has a well justified hatred of a certain red head who likes police horses and lunching with Clarkson as she and a whole load more had been laid off. What struck me while she bled white wine was her belief that Fleet Street is the creme de la creme and that her and her colleagues were doing ‘just a job’. She even tried to wheel out how her and her colleagues in the ‘Fourth Estate’ kept others in check!

    I have always found journos to be pompous, arrogant SOBs who know the price of everything and the value of nothing and to be frank, I stay away from them, they are no nothing bores. Fintan, Mick et all’s collective amnesia is nothing but to be expected, they are sales men, pushing a line to further themselves, they have no responsibility and can carp from the sidelines without knowing the difficulties that come with wielding authority.

    Whilst being informed of what our elected reps is very important, getting ‘opinion pieces’ from journos as opposed to the facts allows for spin without responsibility, something quite dangerous.

  7. bangordub says:

    FC, I think you raise a very important point. There is a difference between opinion and journalism. well said

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