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In every healthy democracy, there should be a tension between the body politic and the media.
The reason for this is so the media can act as a watchdog on behalf of the people, but also so politicians can use the media to communicate their point of view. They should never get too close, as seems to have happened between Rupert Murdoch and some British politicians. But nor should they get too far apart, where communication breaks down completely.
Among thinking politicians and thinking media people, there is a recognition of this. Sometimes, with the daily cut and thrust between the media and politicians, maintaining tension “not too tight and not too loose” is forgotten. This can result in the media losing its objectivity and becoming vindictive in pursuit of a politician.
This should never be allowed to happen, nor should it happen in reverse. There should be rules that the media abide by. But insuring these rules are abided by should not be the job of the politician. There is too much danger that the politician will use the opportunity to settle old scores. There is a danger of this happening with the present investigation by an Oireachtas committee into the RTÉ Fr Reynolds case.
What happened to Fr Reynolds at the hands of RTÉ was appalling. But he has been fully vindicated.
This doesn’t seem to be enough for some politicians, they now want the heads of the chairman and the director general. Could there be an element of the empire taking the opportunity to strike back?
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