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  • irishtimes.com - Posted: October 29, 2009 @ 10:54 am

    Carr Shows Tiernan the Way

    Deaglán de Bréadún

    We had a good debate on this Blog about Tommy Tiernan’s “joke” at the expense of Holocaust victims. Despite the controversy his remarks aroused and dropping out of the Canadian “Just for Laughs” tour, Mr Tiernan never did apologise, at least not in any direct form. What a contrast with British comic Jimmy Carr who said he was sorry for his unfortunate quip at the expense of soldiers who have lost limbs in the Afghan war. For more information click here  

    crematorium-at-belsen.jpg

    Crematorium at Belsen

    • mike says:

      Deaglán,

      The Guardian interestingly in my experience has one of the worst records for balanced reporting, and usually simply does not include arguments and facts that conflict with its leftist agenda. If people who want a viewpoint like that buy it, but they will not be grtting the full picture.

      Mind you, the Telegraph is the same in the opposite direction.

      But what annoys me are people quoting the Guardian, as if this meant something reliable, when it is not. The Irish Times often uses its reports, and usually the similar political agenda is obvious.

    • Aidan says:

      You’re a gift from God, Mike, you really are.

      You’re giving out about me citing a (perfectly reasonable) piece from the Guardian on a blog post that was begun by someone linking to the Mail Online! Ha!

      That’s just too good. Thank you.

    • mike says:

      Aidan,

      Why do you get so upset that people object to Tommy Tiernan’s Holocaust ranting? Do you perhaps identify in some little way with his anti-Semitic Holcocaust ranting? Some of my best friends are anti-Semites, and they don’t even know it. Who isn’t?

    • mike says:

      Aidan,

      Methinks you are showing signs of paranoia, as I never mentioned anything about you citing the Guardian.

      Get a grip.

    • Aidan says:

      Ah Mike,

      You just happened to mention the Guardian and its “unreliability” in a thread where someone who disagrees with you quoted extensively from the Guardian. Yeah, right. Give me a break.

      But if you want to weasel away from the point you were making now that it has been shown to be hypocritical then by all means …

    • mike says:

      Aidan,

      I say again. I never “gave out about YOU citing the Guardian.” In fact I was responding to Deaglán. You are often right, but this time you are completely wrong. Shows you are human, and like us all in life we make embarrassing mistakes in our posts. I’ve made many myself.

    • mike says:

      Aidan
      Oh by the way, can’t you stop with the personal insults? Enough already.

    • Aidan says:

      Mike, you were responding to Deaglán who said this:

      “Aidan,

      I’m looking forward to your comment “proving” that black is white, the earth is flat, pigs fly and the moon is made of green cheese.

      Backed-up with links to the Guardian of course”

      You added to that point by saying this:

      “But what annoys me are people quoting the Guardian, as if this meant something reliable, when it is not”

      So Deaglán was talking about me, but in your reply you weren’t talking about me but some mysterious group of “people” who generally annoy you by quoting from the Guardian, but that group does not include me, even though I am the only one on this thread quoting from the Guardian and you were answering a point which was sneering at me for doing it? Are you for real? Come on.

      How about instead of this silliness you stick to your principles. If you feel it is wrong for me to quote from the Guardian because you think it is hopelessly biased, isn’t it also wrong for Deaglán to link to the Mail for the same reason? Currently it seems you are against quoting from a paper when said article happens to have an opposite opinion to your own.

      Also, do you and Deaglán understand the meaning of “personal insult”? I am beginning to think you don’t. I said this:

      “But if you want to weasel away from the point you were making now that it has been shown to be hypocritical then by all means …”

      There is no personal insult there. I said your POINT was hypocritical and that you were trying to weasel away from it. If I had said “you are hypocrite and a weasel” that would have been a personal insult. You and Deaglán seem to be incredibly sensitive. Imagine if someone was constantly trying to imply you were a racist! You’d probably blow your stack!

    • mike says:

      Aidan,

      I did not heretofore give out about YOU citing the Guardian. If you maintain that I did, then please give me the quote, not an implication of yours.

      I await this.

      Bt since you mention the Guardian, quoting from the Guardian is much worse than quoting from any of the holy books that underlie the basis of any of those “silly” religions as you described them all.

      Because when compared to the Guardian the Gospels are probably more reflective of all the human contradictions and inconsistencies in life, unlike the Guardian which steadfastly gives its readers only one unchanging leftist line and picture on events, and omits facts which conflict with its agenda. It is unreliable and is not to be regarded as a gold standard of journalistic accuracy. So, if you do cite it, then do not expect to go unchallenged.

    • Deaglán says:

      I disagree with you that the Guardian, “omits facts which conflict with its agenda”. It’s a quality newspaper with a clear editorial stance. So is the Telegraph. The reporting in both papers is of a very high standard, in my experience. As with any good paper, there are times one would quibble, of course.

    • mike says:

      Deaglán,

      I disagree with you on the Guardian. My experience is that it has repeatedly omitted facts that other papers printed, facts that undermined an anti-American and anti-Israel slant. These biases in the Guardian are well founded, as is that in the BBC against Israel, as was found in the 2004 Balen report, a report that the BBc will still not agree to publish. The bias in The Irish Times was also demonstrated during the Gaza conflict, when it published anti-Israel Opinions (not to mention the letters) on a scale of 3 to 1 against. Shameless and sickening to give coverage against one side to a very complex issue. On many occasions in these opinion pieces you never have gathered that Israel had to endure 1000′s of rockets being fired at its cities with the intent of civilian casualies, and were given the impression that Israel attacked out of the blue a peace-seeking Hamas. Fintan O’Toole even made a disgusting inversion of the facts by suggesting a comparison of the Israelis with the Nazis. What a travesty of the truth that whole reportage and journalistic comment was.

    • Aidan says:

      Mike,
      If you had given me a few examples of how the articles I had quoted or other articles had omitted “facts which conflict with [the Guardian's] agenda” then I would have felt challenged.

      I agree with Deaglán. the Guardian, the Telegraph, and The Irish Times for that matter are all of a decent journalistic standard. You can quibble with that assessment, but it’s probably best to do so with examples of what you’re talking about.

    • Deaglán says:

      Mike, You are laying about there in a rather indiscriminate fashion. I haven’t got the time or the facilities right now to check on all your claims but they are certainly sweeping.

    • Aidan says:

      Mike,

      Is it this article you are referring to?

      http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/opinion/2009/0106/1230936698370.html

      Fintan O’ Toole wrote:

      “Nothing compares to Nazism, and the extreme caution that must always be used in drawing analogies with that murderous regime has to apply a hundredfold when Israel is discussed. Whatever the outward similarities, the Gaza Strip is not the Warsaw ghetto.

      Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians, however deplorable, is not remotely comparable to the systematic policy of extermination implemented by Hitler. The extreme defensiveness of Israeli attitudes is fundamentally different to the extreme aggressiveness of Nazi Germany.

      There are, however, two respects in which Israel’s current behaviour demonstrates attitudes that overlap with the Nazi mentality….”

      and he goes on to detail those as “collective punishment” and “racism”.

      Also, note as well that he says this:

      “Hamas’s campaign of firing rockets indiscriminately into towns and villages in southern Israel is a terrorist crime. It is clearly wrong under international law either to target non-combatants in a conflict or to be recklessly indifferent to civilian casualties. But Israel’s response to this terrorism is not merely criminal in exactly the same sense. It adds a further dimension of depravity by playing a game of revenge in which one Israeli life is worth at least 20 Palestinian lives.”

      …which would seem to contradict your assertion that Hamas are consistently portrayed as “peace-seeking”.

    • mike says:

      Deaglan,

      If you ever get the time to check, you will see the statistics re The Irish Times are very obvious and telling. The number of articles and letters was at least in a ratio of 3 to 1 against Israel, and when I had pointed this out in a letter to the IT, and called for balance in the number of articles and amount of space accorded to the conflict, my letter itself of course was not published. Surprise, surprise.

      I believe that you yourself have written some articles over the years re the Israel-Palestine, which I have found to contain the balance so lacking in the IT’s overall coverage of the Gaza conflict. There are two sides to this very complex longstanding conflict, but when any medium gives overwhelming coverage to one side, this to me is nothing less than bias.

    • mike says:

      Deaglan,

      Addendum:

      On January 6th 2009, Fintan O’Toole, (See link below) under the initial cloak of claiming not to compare Israel to the Nazis, then went on to do just that, in two important respects: collective punishment and racism. In no other conflict to my knowledge had he ever used the Nazi analogy. Not in the case of any other nation-nation conflict in the world, involving Arab attempts to annihilate Israel, or African conflicts, or past East European conflicts has he described their behaviour as similar to the Nazis. This disgraceful and extremely offensive attempt to single out the Israelis for demonisation was despicable, and is one worthy of the usual demonisation tactics of the Arab propaganda machine that has been operating in the same vein for the past 60 years. I for one shall never forget it.

      http://209.85.229.132/search?q=cache:TURc-Wfhs3oJ:www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/opinion/2009/0106/1230936698370.html+fintan+o%27toole+israel+nazis&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk

    • Aidan says:

      Mike,
      I think that O’ Toole was using the Nazi comparison because of the shared history of the Nazis and the Jewish people: in that it is interesting to see how those who were persecuted have in some ways taken on the role of the persecutors. I think it’s an interesting point. With that in mind he did what he could to stress that the Israeli Jews could in no way be said to be on the same level of persecutors as the Nazis.

      You are undeniably right about the bias of certain papers on certain issues, but that doesn’t mean that what I posted from the Guardian is biased. In fact, it was just a corroborating opinion which I thought interesting.

    • mike says:

      Deaglán,

      I am afraid that your comments have shocked me.

      So now O’Tooles peice is “interesting” that the Israelis have taken on the role of persecutors. It is as interesting as any piece of anti-Israeli propaganda.

      They are now to be seen in the role of persecutors – not defenders of their right to live as a free independent nation. Not the role of a people who have been under the threat of extermination over 60 years, survived the abortion attempted on its birth 60 years ago, survived the 1967 attempt to strangle it, and the 1973 Yom Kippur war. Right. The Israelis have now become the “persecutors”!!

      No nation on this earth in the modern age has had to withstand so much hate from its neighbours and attempts to annihilate them. And yet it is the Israelis who are castigated as “persecutors”. And of course, their attempts to put an end to the Gaza rockets was another act of perseuction, and the building of a barrier to stop suicide bombers was another one? No country or the UN for years ever helped Israel to stop the rockets, and when Israel does try to do it, it gets the blame! Well, Deaglán, I can tell you one thing: people – the Irish and the oh so neutral UN – can call Israel all the names under the sun (war criminals, persecutors, racists, genocidal killers) and you know what it proves? That it is only Israelis who will ever want to fight for the security of Israelis. Jews as fighters and defenders are to be condemned. There will never be a repeat of the walk of the millions to the gas chambers ever, ever again.

    • Deaglán says:

      Mike,

      I didn’t describe Fintan’s piece as “interesting”, it was your old sparring-partner Aidan. Why don’t you two go off to the pub to finish the argument?

    • mike says:

      Aidan,

      To claim as OToole did that Israel is playing “a game of revenge in which one Israeli life is worth at least 20 Palestinian lives.”,,is a most arrant anti-Israeli comment. It asserts in effect that Israelis regard an Israeli life, meaning one JEWISH life…. as worth 20 Palestinian lives. What kind of racism is this he is attributing to Israel?

      Being anti-Israeli of course does not mean that one is anti-Semitic (although undoubtedly in many cases anti-Israelism is indeed motivated by anti-Semitism). In O’Toole’s stated example his comparisons are one Jewish life (as he does not intend to mean an Israeli Christian or Israeli Arab life, his comparison group being Palestinians) and 20 Palestinian lives.

      Note how O’Toole has not attributed any racist motives to Hamas, these are reserved for Israel. Hamas methods are described as criminal, but Israel’s response “is not merely criminal in exactly the same sense”….” it adds a further dimension of depravity”…..and O’Toole then gives his attribution of racism to Israel.

    • mike says:

      Deaglán,

      You are right. I got things mixed up. Thus my expressed shock. Many apologies

      But please, go to the pub with Aidan??? I don’t think so. I know so.

    • Deaglán says:

      Mike,

      Well at least spell my name right please. There is no “h”. It’s Deaglán not Deaghlán.

      Also, can you also make your comments on Fintan without applying unparliamentary labels please?

    • mike says:

      Deaglan,

      Many apologies re the spelling.

      I am not quite sure what is meant by unparliamentary labels.

      Do you mean that I should not write that journalist X has written what in my opinion is an anti-Semitic statement? It was unlike the rant of “humorous” Tommy Tiernan, but, it was much much more dangerous I fear, as it demonised a people and state. Whatever TT did, he did not do anything as despicable as that.

      X can accuse in an Irish newspaper Israel of racism. Yet X’s blatantly racist statement (in terms of attributing to Israel the belief that one Israeli life is worth 20 Palestinian lives, and that Israel is guilty of “depravity” no less, cannot itself be criticised for its racist nature. Is this label of “depravity” not something out of the Julius Streicher school of journalistic thought? And all this in a “quality” Irish paper. How deeply offensive and reprehensible the main thrust of that article was.

      l’d also point out that the two blogs on Tommy Tiernan indeed contained a number of posts that accused him of being anti-Semitic. Perhaps I am wrong but I don’t recall any requests not to do so.

      So my point is that if anyone accuses others of racism, should he or she be given immunity from such an allegation when there is evidence from his or her own pen of same? Or are we to discriminate between columnists and comedians?

      Oh dear, I just realised that I may be giving more ammo to Aidan.


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