Did the government censor RTÉ ? November 13, 2007Posted by Rambling Man in General Bloggery.
Tags: cancer, censorship, health service, john crown, late late show, mary harney, rte
Did the government censor RTÉ ? Or did RTÉ censor itself or the Late Late show because of outside influences ? This story is one that might well run awhile, as there seems to be little coherent argument coming from the Donnybrook state broadcaster.
To briefly fill people in on the story, Ireland’s premier Friday night talk show – called the Late Late show – was due to have a serious and controversial debate on the state of our health services with particular reference to the recent cancer misdiagnoses that have blighted the lives of many women here over the past few months … so they formed a panel of experts, including John Crown – a very outspoken critic of the health service and a consultant medical oncologist. And so a representative of the Minister for Health, having confirmed that Mary Harney herself wouldn’t be available to go on the show, contacted RTÉ to complain about the panel’s “lack of balance” and hey presto, at 6.30pm on the night of the show, Professor Crown was told he would not be on the panel.
A number of questions abound for this strange run of events. The most obvious of which is :
– Did RTÉ capitulate to the obvious concerns (cough) of the ministry and pull the controversial panelist, lest the health service look -wait for it – worse than it already does ?
– Why, if the minister says she knew nothing of the makeup of the panel, did someone from her department contact RTÉ to complain about that same panel’s makeup ?
– Why did RTÉ wait until the last minute – 3 hours before the show – to axe the man ?
Furthermore, in an article from the Irish Times, it appears even the top brass at RTÉ didn’t know that Crown was to be on the panel and presumably, therefore didn’t know he was to be removed from the show.
“Furthermore the director general (of RTÉ) did not know that it was proposed to have Prof. Crown on the panel. The decision to reconfigure the panel was made by the television division without any external influence,” said the statement.
For me the most pressing issue – other than the people dying from lack of proper treatment when their cancers have been misdiagnosed, is why won’t Mary Harney, Brendan Drumm, John Crown and a few more all sit down together on a panel and discuss the debacle in front of the nation ?
All were asked, as well as any other government representative, and none actually made it onto the show ! They all must be fierce busy spending their recent pay rises !