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Us, censor?

WEXFORD County Council’s Head of Communications has refuted suggestions that criteria he put forward to the Managing Director of South East Radio when discussing the renewal of an advertising deal worth some €50,000 amounted to an attempt to influence the radio station’s editorial output or “censor” them in any way.

In the course of a leaked correspondence between Mr Minogue and Managing Director of South East Radio Eamonn Buttle, it emerged that Mr Minogue had asked that, going forward, South East Radio would not broadcast “personal views or opinions of presenters”; that they retain all raw recorded material for a period of two years in case of a dispute with the local authority and that once Wexford County Council avails of a right to reply on an issue, that this should be the end of the matter and it should not be raised again.

I do not think that word “refuted” means what you think it means, Mr Head of Communications.

The quotation comes from an article in the Wexford regional edition of the Irish Independent called “Wexford County Council Head of Communications denies attempt to influence output of local radio station”, though I first saw the story in the Irish section of the Times called “Micheál Martin weighs into editorial independence row at Wexford county council”:

The taoiseach has said he is “concerned” about reports that Wexford county council requested some form of editorial control over a local radio station in return for advertising revenue.

The council has insisted that South East Radio has “significantly misinterpreted” the correspondence that clearly laid out the “criteria” that asked for commitments over certain editorial decisions that are usually the preserve of a media organisation.

The fact that the taoiseach has weighed in probably means that South East Radio’s independence is safe for now. But as a Times commenter called Helena says, “One small insight into the pressure state bodies with lavish advertising and PR budgets may exert over a financially struggling “independent” media sector. The extensive “no go” areas for media scrutiny in Ireland reflect this imbalance.”

Ireland is far from the only country where this is true.

5 comments to Us, censor?

  • Lee Moore

    I do not think that word “refuted” means what you think it means, Mr Head of Communications.

    I thought that too, once upon a time. But I looked it up and it seems that “refute” can also mean “deny” as wel as “disprove.” Maybe this is a ancient mistake that has been made often enough to qualify as normal usage.

  • Y. Knott

    It works the same way in all “democratic” governments – “Yes we attempted to censor them, but we did NOT attempt to censor them!”

    For further study on the phenomenon, might I refer to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s definitive “I was in the building that day and I was TERRIFIED FOR MY LIFE, but I was not in the building that day…” Or maybe Doctor ( – I use the term loosely – ) Fauci’s famous retort, “Yes I funded gain-of-function research at the Wuhan Lab, but I did NOT fund gain-of-function research at the Wuhan Lab so stop accusing me of it!”

    Remember please, the Party is the instrument of History and there are no other valid referents, so if the Party declares both a thing and its exact opposite in the same sentence, it is perfectly correct throughout; and you are mistaken, or racist, or misogynist, or some sort of hater or maybe even male or white or BOTH if you draw attention to it. The good news is that you won’t be taken straight out back and shot, not yet at least – but they’re working on it.

  • Fraser Orr

    I think it isn’t just small companies. Consider this. Apparently in the release of the latest Harry Potter movie the dialog indicating that Dumbledore is gay has been removed from the Chinese release. Apparently Warner Bros. subscribes, quite literally, to the “Don’t say gay” ideology. Somehow the press doesn’t seem quite so animated about that one.


    BTW, if you don’t know who Dumbledore is, I’d just say, “come out from the cave you have been living in, you muggle.”

  • Fraser Orr

    @Natalie Solent (Essex)
    I do not think that word “refuted” means what you think it means, Mr Head of Communications.

    I think though, Natalie, that the foundation of all modern political discourse is redefining the meaning of plain simple words. Often doing so without even telling you and gaslighting you to treat you as a rube because you aren’t up to date on the latest edition of the Newspeak dictionary.