Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Ms. Myers Investigates

The Col. kicks off the week [Irishman's Diary, March 7] with an extremely patchy and unconvincing broadside against one of his favourite targets: The (allegedly) all-pervasive culture of 'political correctness' in the Irish media (or specifically, in this case, The Irish Times).

Myers first views the apparently casual use or of 'Ms.' (in a story about a Romanian mother who stole 100 Euro from a "young mother's house in Blackrock"), and the non-declaration of a culprit's nationality (in the case of a 'foreign-sounding' woman "who attempted to steal an elderly woman's handbag on a bus") as damming evidence of the media's "quasi-liberal, politically correct agenda".

The Col. goes on to build on these (reasonably) minor details, suggesting that:
the terms "Nigerian" and "Romanian" are now allowed into headlines only if there is an implicit victimhood in the stories which follow. If there is any question of culpability, then their national identities would not be a main feature of the story.
Not only that, says he, rising to the occasion, but a 'reverse' scenario also applies. If the perpetrator had been a member of that (horribly put-upon) social group, "white, middle-class, heterosexual British males", then the same meedja would have been the first to crow about the individual in question's nationality (presumably due to inbuilt Irish bias against 'perfidious Albion'). The poor little lambs…they have it tough. It must be a terrible curse being a "white, middle-class, heterosexual male" in mainstream British society, as opposed to media darlings like "asylum-seeking, circumcision-fleeing, Nigerian lesbian Traveller[s]".

Em…hang on…

Naturally Myers makes no mention whatsoever of right wing media scaremongers like The Daily Mail and The Daily Express who routinely trumpet the nationality of alleged criminals (or 'welfare spongers') as a matter of course, all too aware that keywords like "Nigerian", "Gypsy", and "Immigrant" will set off reactionary alarm bells in their alarmed readers.

If he'd done so he might have been forced to ask himself the awkward question - "Which is worse: underplaying a perpetrator's nationality for fear of adding to the 'negative impressions' surrounding certain minorities, or using just that nationality to advance your paper's own 'anti-Johnny-Foreigner' agenda?"

Answers on a postcard to Cruiskeen Eile HQ...

6 Comments:

Blogger EWI said...

Naturally Myers makes no mention whatsoever of right wing media scaremongers like The Daily Mail and The Daily Express who routinely trumpet the nationality of alleged criminals (or 'welfare spongers') as a matter of course, all too aware that keywords like "Nigerian", "Gypsy", and "Immigrant" will set off reactionary alarm bells in their alarmed readers.

Or - God forbid! - the Torgraph, where the Colonel makes his reports back from the colony. I recall the "Irish" Travellers who much-occupied the mind of Middle England last year, when they tried to move into a hamlet somewhere in the deepest Home Counties.

9:10 p.m.  
Blogger fústar said...

Must remember to blog on the Colonel's freewheeling Torygraph entires, and to see if he congratulates said paper on its liberal use of hot nationality/minority buzzwords.

You couldn't accuse the likes of them of being promoters of the media's "quasi-liberal, politically correct agenda" I suppose...

1:05 p.m.  
Anonymous Michael Turley said...

Was the colonel not recently deemed surplus to requirements by the mainlands most reknowned traditional values paper?

2:08 p.m.  
Blogger fústar said...

Was he? If you can find evidence of same then mail me at "fustar (at) fustar (dot) org" and I'll slap it up here.

Don't want to kick a man when he's down...but...

2:32 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

He has indeed:

http://freestater.blogspot.com/2005/07/paging-madam-editor.html

2:40 p.m.  
Blogger fústar said...

Hoho. The source for that piece of news was one of our very own contributors. It seems that "Myers Watch" has been going, in nascent form, for some time.

I double checked on the Torygraph's website and Myers's last entry was, it seems, on the 30th of July 2005. He went out in typical style with "The Provisionals have gone as far as they can... and their war is not over".

One less thing to 'watch' I guess...

2:55 p.m.  

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