Smear Them! Indo Hypocrisy in Vilification of Anti-Water Charges Campaign


'Smear Them' - Indo makes shocking newspaper vilification of anti-Water Charges campaign

The conveyor belt of smears against Water Charges protesters has lurched back into Full-Speed Mode, with Denis O'Brien's Irish Independent deciding to run this incendiary headline: ''Shoot him' - Protester makes shocking Facebook threat towards Taoiseach'.

This story, featuring in one of the largest publications on the island, is based on some Facebook comment a person seemingly made in anger: 'Shoot him make a martyr haven't had one in a long time'. This headline is ludicrous for a few reasons.

It's the kind of comment people make all the time, even about things like bad internet service. No reasonable person would interpret this as a genuine intention to shoot Enda Kenny. It is clearly an expression of frustration and anger, not unexpected in a society where the vast majority have almost no decision making power.

Moreover, note the careful placement of the words 'threat towards' in the title. This gives the impression that someone directly threatened Kenny ('I'm going to shoot you'), as opposed to someone venting their annoyance in some remote corner of the internet.

This is a common occurrence in the mainstream press. They make a deliberate choice to switch-off their 'common sense filter' in order to blow events out of proportion, just as happened here.

Needless to say when Denis O'Brien's Irish Daily Star ran the headline - front page no less - 'THEY DESERVE TO BE SHOT', the likes of the Indo didn't publish articles such as these, insinuating that the Star staff were threatening to murder Sean Fitzpatrick and Michael Fingleton.