Letters to the editor: Censorship campaigns mock the freedom of the press

Media interference by the EU and the Irish government prevents people from making informed decisions about the Ukraine conflict
Letters to the editor: Censorship campaigns mock the freedom of the press

The ownership of the site on which the new National Maternity Hospital is to be built is causing much controversy.

In the United States, there is a great deal of consternation over the formation of the Disinformation Governance Board by the Biden administration. As a nod to the ministry in George Orwell’s novel 1984, which spread one-sided propaganda that lied to its citizens, it has already been dubbed the ‘Ministry of Truth’. As well as the wailing and gnashing of teeth of woke, liberal, Democratic-supporting employees of Twitter over Elon Musk’s takeover and CNN’s shift to a factual news channel rather than a mouthpiece for the left, it’s impossible not to laugh at the sad state of US media.

But we should not congratulate ourselves so quickly. Our own government and the EU have engaged in a censorship campaign that mocks the freedom of the press and the intelligence of its citizens. I refer to the blocking of Russia Today News on search engines and the banning of Russia Today News from the airwaves. A consequence of this has also been the UK sanctioning Irish journalist Bryan McDonald for his work at Russia Today’s Russia desk.

Now, everyone knows that Russia Today News is funded and allegedly controlled by the Russian government and their supposed propaganda is the reason for its banning.

However, the BBC has also been criticised for its biased pro-government reporting over the years, since it is also funded by the government. In fact, some of the reporting in the UK media is so one-sided and so plainly biased, if not outright lies, it should not be allowed to run or air.

We have seen examples of this in the recent hysteria around so-called mass graves in Mangush and in the deaths of five people during a rocket attack in Donetsk. Eva Bartlett, an independent journalist who writes for RT, investigated both cases. Bartlett did what a professional journalist should do and actually travelled to both locations and reported firsthand on the stories. She interviewed gravediggers at Mangush, took video and drone footage to support her claims, and found no mass graves there.

As for the rocket attack on the marketplace in the Tekstilschik neighborhood in the Kirovsky district which killed five civilians and had no military value thus making it a war crime there was silence from the western media because it was carried out by Ukrainian forces.

Media censorship by the EU and the Irish government prevents people from making informed decisions about the Ukraine conflict.

In Northern Ireland, if we were only allowed to hear the views and news of one side, there still would be a bloody conflict.

Brian Ward

Mallow

Cork

Why isn’t the NMH site being handed over to the State?

The National Maternity Hospital saga needs one thing to allow progress: A clear, satisfactory explanation as to why the current owners of the site will not hand it over to the State, thereby relinquishing totally all interest in it. From there, the State can proceed to build a public hospital to provide the much-needed public healthcare for the women of the country free from any external interference.

In the Dáil (Wednesday, April 4) Micheál Martin repeatedly stated that a 299-year lease at a token rent was all but ownership in the name. That clearly is not the case, as the current owners will still have the full protection of the Constitution’s “property rights” which will afford them influence into the future. Why the current owners are refusing to transfer the site to the State is not explained and the people whose money will go to build the hospital are fully entitled to know what it is.

One could proffer the view that what is behind the refusal to transfer ownership is the desire to protect the existing private hospital on the site from being absorbed into a public healthcare system at some future point by a new Government wishing to provide the long-promised one-tier healthcare system. Owning the site would provide the basis for a stout defence of the status quo in that scenario.

One cannot blame the owners of the private hospital for thinking ahead and trying to protect their
interests, but should this self-interest be what is behind the refusal to transfer ownership, what does that say about our Government? Can Government members not see what is going on?

Or worse still, are they in league with the owners helping to build a bulwark to thwart any future efforts to create a public healthcare system that all citizens can access based only on need? If we watch closely, we could learn much.

Jim O’Sullivan

Rathedmond

Sligo

Compliments to Kieran Shannon

I wish to thank Kieran Shannon for his recent article on one of Jim Gavin’s backroom team.

Here obviously is an individual who had given a lifetime to Gaelic football in many counties, not just in his native Cork and adopted of Kildare, with little or no fanfare and was still willing to continue to play a low profile, albeit vital, role in producing a team of stars and standard setters.

With the exacting demands and rising standards in Gaelic games at all levels, Mr Courtney personifies the many who graft and “muck in like a foot soldier” so that the majority can leave Gaelic grounds all over the country thrilled by the spectacle of what they invariably witness.

Michael Gannon

St Thomas’ Sq

Kilkenny

US Supreme Court leak should be a wake-up call

The leaked Roe v Wade opinion from the US Supreme Court cements in stark terms the vulnerability of US democracy, and the flaws that lie at its heart. It is a country lacking in impartiality in public office, with a judiciary populated by political appointees, in an increasingly polarised society.

Across the country, states with Republican majorities continue to rubberstamp voter suppression and gerrymandering, while the culture wars unleashed by Mr Trump and the Tea Party have resulted in a
dysfunctional government. The Citizens United ruling of the Supreme Court in 2010 has accelerated a significant erosion of democracy and ensures that elected officials across the aisles pander to lobbyists as opposed to serving the electorate.

It’s been obvious for a long time that the US needs a third option to the Democrat and Republican offering, one that is focused on delivering a functioning society for all citizens. The Supreme Court leak should serve as a wake-up call for US voters yearning for normal politics that serves society as a whole. In recent years it has become a cliché to say that upcoming election cycle is critical, but the stakes now appear higher than ever.

Barry Walsh

Blackrock

Cork

Musk’s goals

Elon Musk’s stated goals are to a) decrease humanity’s dependence upon fossil fuels (Tesla), b) hedge against extinction-level events by becoming a multi-planetary species (SpaceX), c) alleviate conditions such as paralysis through human/computer brain interfaces (Neuralink), and d) mitigate chronic traffic congestion (The Boring Company).

The preponderance of recent Musk profiles that don’t mention these goals — even if only to express scepticism in them — can only be explained by unhealthy ideological biases.

Alan Murphy

Knocklyon

Dublin

Pyrrhic or Putin?

I wonder if Vlad The Bad knows the meaning of “Pyrrhic victory”? Or will he render it obsolete with a “Putin victory” in Mariupol?

Liam Power

Dundalk

Co Louth

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