I received an email a couple of days ago.

To be very honest it put me in a really nasty position.

It was from a researcher in RTE [Ireland’s national broadcaster] who wanted to talk to me about appearing on a programme, and could I please give him a call.

The programme was/is to be a live debate on the subject of "Dry January", the nation's alcohol habits and the gubmint's place in all of this and I had a shrewd guess that they wanted me on to provide a drop of counter-argument.  I decided to sit on that assumption and ponder it overnight.

It was a difficult decision.

On the plus side, I would love to "stick to the man" as they say.  I had visions of myself demolishing all their arguments and being the hero of the day. 

But I had quite a few problems on the negative side.  First and foremost, I have done pre-recorded television in the past where they could edit out any salty language [an afternoon’s filming reduced to about ten minutes!].  I had also done pre-recorded radio and live radio but had never done live television.  Of those, the live radio was by far the hardest as I tend to think slower than I speak, which is why my preferred medium is the printed word.  Also I can't go into free-flow mode as I have to be so conscious of not calling someone a fucking cunt and  trying to think up a watered down alternative name.

Then there is the problem of returning to RTE where I worked for nearly forty years and the nightmares are only just diminishing.  Would I be opening up a whole new can of nightmares?

I mentioned the email to Herself and the first thing she said [naturally] was that I would have to have a shower and a haircut.  Now I am not due either for at least another six months but you can't argue with a woman. So having a haircut and shower is just going a bit too far.

Also there is the inconvenience of having to haul myself out of a cosy home in the mountains and haul myself all the way up to Dublin on a cold winter's night, and presumably haul myself back home afterwards.

I phoned him yesterday.

He was wildly excited and said he had been reading this site and he was very keen to have me on the programme.  I declined.  He begged.  Was there anything he could do to make me change my mind?  I said not.  He's a very nice chap and we gad a good natter about working in the place and how it had changed, but I remained resolute.  I suppose he is used to people getting very excited about being actually inside a live television studio, but I have done that, seen that and literally worn the T shirt.

Now that should have been that, but the bastard has left the subject open.  He hopefully said I might change my mind and that the invitation is still wide open.


Now I'm going to be fighting my conscience for the next two days.

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Not sticking it to the man — 8 Comments

  1. Don't bother your hole, it'll be a waste of time. These Puritan numbskulls are addicted to power.They won't listen to facts and are bereft of humanity. Don't even lower yourself to the position of giving them the time of day, never mind the courtesy of a "debate." 

  2. Yep.  I’m with Richard on this one.  I think that the MSM is so eager to show how “good” it is and how much it “cares” about the public’s wellbeing that they’d actually have no intention at all of letting your “opposing” viewpoint come across.  I strongly suspect that all of these programmes only ever have people like yourself on in order to tick the box that says “impartial.”  They certainly wouldn’t have the slightest intention of allowing any of your points to come across in a coherent or convincing way, so what’s the point?  The media, these days – just like scientists and medical “experts” – makes its mind up beforehand how it wants a story to come across, and then chooses its interviewees, and structures its interviews/reports, accordingly.

    Just for the record, a friend of mine who used to work in the MSM once said to me: “If a national journalist from any of the national papers, or the TV, or the radio, wants to talk to you about anything – run a mile.  I work with these people and they are most venal, untrustworthy, manipulative people I have ever come across.  Even I am careful what I say to them in casual conversation, because, believe me, they’d sell their grandmother, their parents, their kids and even their pet goldfish for the sake of a good-selling story, so they certainly wouldn’t think twice about crucifying a colleague’s career if a newsworthy piece of gossip meant they might get the main headline that night.”

    Tell ‘em to find someone who has time to waste and who doesn’t mind being “worked” to fit the channel’s preconceived agenda!

  3. Oh well done! Hold fast. Keep your dignity, your mystery and your written word reputation. Jax is absolutely right in saying they just want cannon fodder to sacrifice so they can come over superior  Do NOT succumb, submit, surrender, or capitulate, and we'll be proud. People only develop a conscience when they think they are letting someone down. Wise people know when not to have one!

  4. Thanks everyone.  My conscience is absolved of all guilt.

    I did quite a few interviews some years ago when the infamous book came out.  One was with a newspaper where the interview was quite long.  Sure enough the article appeared as a full page spread but the headline was not something like "Wicklow author writes brilliant book" but something about "Wicklow man loves chatting up young girls" or some such.  It was some off the cuff comment I had made and was twisted and wildly taken out of context.  I had a lot of trouble with Herself after that one but my local reputation was greatly enhanced.  The one good thing about a live television show is that they can't edit it. 

    The one remaining niggle I have is the opportunity to call Nanny Alcohol a shower of money grabbing fucking cunts.  That would go down well on YouTube?

    • That would play right into their hands.  Much better to declare myself a Teetotaler and then accuse them of being a load of interfering bastards.

  5. Don't do it GD. Just between the two off us… your last radio interview did not go well in my opinion. Your 'bite' doesn't transfer very well to the meeja.

  6. "I suppose he is used to people getting very excited about being actually inside a live television studio."

    Think back to ..." I have to be so conscious of not calling someone a fucking cunt"

    Live TV just wouldn't suit you. Even if it did, they would never let you appear on it.


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