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News Cycling

At midday, the government will publish the report of the Commission on Taxation Reform. I’m busy working today, so I won’t have a chance to follow the reaction, but I can make some predictions.

RTÉ have announced that their flagship News at One programme will become News at Noon to cover the launch of the report. Despite it’s length, running to hundreds of pages, politicians, hacks, and assorted talking heads will be able to pronounce on it by half past the hour, declaring it either a copout, washout, or triumph. They will do this based on their parsing of the government press release sent out with the launch, the leaks they’ve seen to date, and whatever the report says about their own hobbyhorses.

The report will be downloaded by political parties and news outlets, and a few wonks. The newspapers will digest the main points, the parties will look for reasons to criticise the government, and the wonks will actually read it.

By the time the wonks have digested it, the news cycle will have moved on, and only those who take the time to check out blogs as well as broadcast and print media will read their considered responses.