Wigmore - John Feeney, Brendan Dowling and Brendan Halligan
HAVING captured the title of "The Worst Journalist in the World" in 1980 and tenaciously held on to it last year, John Feeney is bidding strong for anoother merit award: "The Worst Broadd.caster in the World". He appeared in the first of The Live Mike programmes this season and delivered the worst script ever heard in the most bumbling manner ever witnessed, even on RTE. Feeney was to have appeared regularly on the programme but after this first appearance the R TE . hierrarchy, acknowledging that the already stricken viewing audience could not be expected to endure such drivel again, decided, characteristically, on a commpromise: he was to be allowed just one more slot and that was to be that.
But when they saw his second effort they realised that enough was enough. Although recorded, Feeney's second broadcast was never transmittted. Meanwhile Feeney is again reading the field in quest of a three-in-a-row. for his first title. There is absolutely nobody else in Irish journalism who is so totally indifferent to truth, accurracy, taste or principle of any sort as this man. That he should get someething right now and again is merely a quirk of the law of averages.
BRENDAN Dowling, the Fine Gael economic adviser prior to the last election, stated at a meeting of the Dublin Economic Workshop in reply to the question whether he considered Fine Gael's economic programme to be a contribution to fiscal rectitude:
"I don't think that is what it attemppted to be". He was asked what his opinion of it was anyway, and he agreed that it was not a contribution to fiscal rectitude. Asked if he thought it was irresponsible, given the economic circumstances which prevailed at the last election, he replied: "I think I would have to agree it was". Asked why he then identidied himself with this programme, he denied that he did so and said it was merely a media innvention. Brendan Dowling spoke as an author of that programme at the first press briefing of the June 1981 election campaign. .
ONE OF the distressing features of Irish politics is how discredited figures keep on cropping up again and again when one had hoped that their raging political ambitions had finally been stilled. One such person is Brendan Halligan, former Secretary of the Labour Party and long-time target of this reporter - the reason being that Halligan deliberately and consciously used this reporter to tell lies to the electorate of Dublin South-West prior to the by-election of 1976 when Halligan promised that if elected he would stand in that constituency again in the following election. It is not the only reason, of course, why Halligan should be discredited. It was he who led the Labour Party into its ridicullous euphoria prior to the 1969 general election. It was he who then led the stampede towards a Coalition in 1973 and it was he who emerged as one of the most prominent apologists for Labour's sell-out of its socialist proogramme in Government. He now has the gall to emerge as one of the leadding opponents of Coalition and, worse still, he is treated by the media as somebody of some standing and crediibility.
OOPS, we boobed! In the last issue of Magill on page 37, there was a typeesetting error of legendary proportions. Referring to the bovine. tuberculosis scandal we wrote: "the bovine TD eradication scheme . . . " Apologies all round, especially to Flor.