The most conspicuous 2007 hype, widely regarded as the cause of the much-discussed “squeeze”, was the media's insistence on treating the election as a straight fight between two men – or, at a stretch, two coalitions. Opinion-poll figures were regularly aggregated over pictures of Enda and Bertie. We could hardly complain this was unfair to smaller parties (what's fairness got to do with it?) if it gave an honest and accurate picture of the alternatives. But it didn't.
The general election was not all it was cracked up to be by the media. In some cases it was just the opposite, with sloppy and erroneous assumptions and assertions dominating the coverage before, during and after. At the risk of filling a page with sour grapes or straw-clutching from a disappointed left-wing watcher (our only pleasures were whooping-out McDowell and relishing the rise of Richard Boyd-Barrett), let's take a last look back.
Harry Browne writes about consensual foundations, Titanic culture and collateral damage
Pragmatic Politics, bowled by Bertie and Enda civilisation
So Sue me; Cooking the history books; Amazing Anschutz
Lost for words
The absence of Village from newsagents for a full month, and its less-frequent publication from now on, is a loss for its loyal readers, a still-greater loss for many of the small group of people who have been earning a living while tirelessly producing it, and a serious (albeit relatively trivial) source of disorientation for your previously weekly, now monthly Meejit columnist.
Confront this: No, of course you shouldn't believe everything I say. Last week in this column, when I challenged, nay dismissed, Denis Staunton's assertion in the Irish Times that George Bush faced a “serious confrontation” with the Democrat-controlled US congress over his Iraq “surge” plan, you may well have felt I was off-base, a knee-jerk left-wing ideologue – especially as everything you've heard and read in the meantime takes the same “confrontation” line as Staunton.
The jury is in: Back when it was last glorious summer, I crowed loudly – in this column and elsewhere – in praise of jury trials. The occasion was the July acquittal of the five people accused of “criminal damage without lawful excuse”, on a hangar and US navy aircraft, at Shannon Airport in 2003.
Papering the cracks
Unknown to most readers, there is a rollicking debate going on within journalism: for how much longer will paid-for printed popular newspapers continue to exist? Five years? Fifteen? Indefinitely?
It's only a theory
The Irish Independent made an early Christmas gift to this column with its bizarre editorial (30 November) on “conspiracy theories”, wherein the newspaper intoned opaquely: “No fewer than three news reports today fall into that category.”