You can tell a lot about the powerful by how they react to satire. In Ireland, the powerful tend to react badly.
Older politicians still smart at the memory of Hall’s Pictorial Weekly, and can barely bring themselves to smile through gritted teeth when Scrap Saturday is mentioned.
The result is a pale imitation of satire in the country that gave the world Swift.
‘Nob Nation’ is content to busy itself with funny voices, anything more and it’s wings are clipped.
‘This Is Nightlive’ billed itself as an Irish edition of the Daily Show, but contented itself with a few potshots at the shallowness of TV3’s celebrity obsessions. Hardly a daring assault on a sacred cow.
I haven’t heard Newstalk’s ‘The Emergency’ yet, so I can’t comment, but from the sneak preview I caught on Hook I suspect it comes from the funny voices school of comedy.
Yesterday, RTÉ News reported on two unflattering nude portraits of Brian Cowen which mysteriously appeared in Dublin art galleries over the weekend.
Today, the film clip is no longer available on the RTÉ website. Only the written reports remain.
I don’t know about you, but I’d rather not be governed by the humourless.
Update: I’ve just been told that at 9pm tonight, RTE will apologise for running the story. It seems only apt then to point as many people as possible towards the relevant youtube link.
And finally, the apology…
For those of you interested in more reactions, check Maman Poulet or #picturegate on twitter
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