To this viewer at least, the Late Late Show plumbed new depths on September 28 when newspaper columnist, Kevin Myers, who would normally have no difficulty making himself understood, had to repeat himself several times to clarify a point he was making on the problems associated with wholesale immigration.
The show’s host, Pat Kenny, seemed intent on causing obfuscation in the minds of the audience — a tactic commonly employed by some American chatshow hosts to get the audience onside.
What Kevin Myers had to say was crystal clear to anyone who was prepared to listen.
He politely suggested that the issue of uncontrolled immigration should be debated in a calm and thoughtful manner.
Unsurprisingly, the two individuals in the audience who were chosen ‘at random’ to express an opinion on the matter were in complete agreement with Pat Kenny’s attitude in so far as it was apparent.
How often have we seen that in the past? It’s not that long since I saw writer and columnist Dr Mark Dooley receiving similar treatment on the Late Late — and on the same subject — though on that occasion Fintan O’ Toole and a ‘neutral’ lady were the other panellists.
This is a great pity, as the Late Late, when hosted by the incomparable Gay Byrne, acted as a powerful forum for public debate on a variety of important issues.
The show is still an ideal vehicle for such debate, but it must get back to the old values of fair play for everyone, including those with whom RTÉ or its agents might fundamentally disagree.
59 The Demesne