RTÉ bid to make Dáil drama rival Desperate Houswives

RTÉ bosses have been asked to “change the camera angles” to make the Dáil look more interesting, entertaining and full during parliamentary debates.

A Government TD suggested camera trickery would “not be for our egos but to show the parliament to its best advantage”. But station bosses said it was not the production but the content that was at issue and politicians would just have to “give us a chance to report you better”.

During a meeting of the Oireachtas Committee on Joint Administration, Green Party TD, Mary White, said the national broadcaster “seemed always to be showing the Dáil chamber when nobody is there” while the BBC shows “the British House of Commons always looking vibrant and engaging”.

She asked the head of TV news at RTÉ, Cillian de Paor: “Could you change the angles of the shots... to make it look more vibrant?”

She said: “You are specialists in this, we are just participants in the action. I think it would be very good as the directors of the participants that you would give a better view of the chamber when it’s more full.”

Committee members also asked if Oireachtas Report whose viewers were once described as “drunks and insomniacs” could be moved to a prime time slot. But Mr De Paor said: “Desperate Housewives has a bigger audience I’m afraid.”

During the meeting with the TV news boss, not a single TD or senator asked the question that would have guaranteed media coverage: what is planned for George Lee, when he returns to the RTÉ newsroom.

Afterwards Mr de Paor said “nothing has been decided yet” but wouldn’t comment on whether he would be subjected to a so-called quarantine from political reporting.

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