Taoiseach takes aim at journalism

 

Sir, – While it is difficult to believe that Leo Varadkar’s views on the media are on a par with those of Donald Trump – on Tuesday, for example, Mr Trump tweeted that the Washington Post “fabricate their sources” and are a “disgrace to journalism” – the Taoiseach’s comments are still quite alarming.

At best, they come across as arrogant, similar to Emmanuel Macron’s “My thoughts are too complex for journalists” remark, and, at worst, they undermine one of the fundamental institutions of any democratic society.

If Mr Varadkar wants to be seen as part of a band of young, liberal western leaders, this is surely not the way to go about it. Not only do these comments and Fine Gael’s attempts to defuse them damage his own reputation, they also taint what was a positive few days for Ireland’s international standing at the UN. – Yours, etc,

SIMON FOY,

Sutton,

Dublin 13.

Sir, – Why are we so surprised?

This is a man who is obviously more interested being seen ringing a bell on the floor of the New York stock exchange than in any affairs of state. – Yours, etc,

LIAM POWER,

Dundalk,

Co Louth.

Sir, – The Taoiseach’s reasonable criticism of the Irish media has produced a predictable response from the usual suspects (“Varadkar says he sympathises with Trump’s criticism of media”, News, July 4th). Sadly our media increasingly reflects a narrow liberal-leftist view of the world in which almost every problem can be solved by more state spending. The views of well-funded pressure groups and NGOs are treated as holy writ while the concerns of ordinary voters are frequently ignored or dismissed as racist or fascist. This problem stems from the lack of intellectual diversity in the Irish media. Journalists who, for example, don’t fully subscribe to the pro-migration, anti-Christian, anti-Israel, anti-American, etc, mindset, find it almost impossible to gain positions of influence in the likes of RTÉ and The Irish Times. – Yours, etc,

KARL MARTIN,

Bayside,

Dublin 13.

Sir, – A frivolous media? Sock it to them, Leo! – Yours, etc,

BRENDAN CHAPMAN,

Booterstown,

Co Dublin.

Sir, – I don’t at all think it’s what he meant, but maybe Leo Varadkar has a point, that the Irish media don’t give enough energy to tracking down and researching a story, that political coverage is too much about laughs and not enough about investigation. Come on Irish media, the Taoiseach is urging you to do better! – Yours, etc,

Dr BARTHOLOMEW

BEGLEY,

Galbally,

Co Limerick.

Sir, – The main feature of the news has been Leo Varadkar’s sympathising with Donald Trump on the behaviour of the media. Is this today’s version of kissing the bishop’s ring to gain an indulgence? – Yours, etc,

CAL HYLAND,

Rosscarbery,

Co Cork.

Sir, – I really don’t understand the Taoiseach’s complaint about the media. After all, during the recent two referendums, he had a very compliant media on his side.

Is he not now biting the hand that fed him? – Yours, etc,

JOHN CLEARY,

Rathaspeck,

Co Wexford.

Sir, – I don’t suppose it ever occurred to Leo Varadkar that if politicians did not engage in tittle tattle and nonsense and selective leaking and a carelessness with the truth in the first place, the media would not be able to report on it.

A good start would be to stop saying one thing when they think they are among their own and another thing in public.

The more people get to see of Mr Varadkar, the less they like his arrogance. – Yours, etc,

DESMOND FitzGERALD,

London.