The Irish Times
is perhaps the best quality newspaper in Ireland,
in terms of in-depth coverage.
But its editorials and opinion are slanted to the left,
and it spins the news to the left.
In fairness, it tries more than most media outlets to provide some alternative voices now and then.
But it cannot help being dominated - both in opinion and in news
- by centre-left conventional wisdom.
surveys letters to the Irish Times after the
Gaza flotilla clash of 31 May 2010.
It is hard for a young person growing up in Ireland
to realise that the Israelis are the good guys.
It takes a lot of independent thought and standing against the crowd,
often including one's own parents and teachers.
The Irish Times
Irish Times: "Leading and Shaping" Public Opinion Against Israel
- CAMERA report on the Irish Times' reporting on Israel.
"Unlike the American school of journalism, the Irish Times considers advocacy journalism perfectly legitimate and acceptable.
The Irish Times has apparently chosen to champion the Palestinian cause and to promote that side's narrative of the Arab-Israeli conflict. However, this advocacy is not limited to Irish Times editorial and opinion pages
It extends to the news pages as well
Readers of the Irish Times should be aware that the newspaper's commitment to advocacy evidently supersedes its commitment to responsible and ethical journalism - certainly not the type of reporting one expects from a media outlet that considers itself " the newspaper of reference".".
Why reading The Irish Times
makes me annoyed:
notes three typical references to "neo-cons"
in one short period in The Irish Times
in 2005, by
Fintan O'Toole, Anthony Glavin and Eddie Holt
- three men who show no sign of ever actually understanding
what neo-cons are.
To them, "neo-con" is simply "evil",
their understanding seeming to come from
Chomskyite fantasy like
The Power of Nightmares
and similar ill-informed third-hand sources.
They, like the rest of the Irish left, show no sign of ever having read
Victor Davis Hanson
to see what they say.
I wouldn't mind so much if Fintan O'Toole and Eddie Holt read
Victor Davis Hanson
and then told us what was wrong with him.
But they never even engage with him.
Holt will criticise irrelevant people like
who nobody is interested in.
Why doesn't he read serious, influential neo-cons like
Victor Davis Hanson
and then reply?
As Richard Waghorne says in the post above:
"The consistent problem is a refusal
.. to engage with neo-conservativism as a philosophy".
Neo-cons, in one line, are people who
want to end all dictatorships on earth, by force if necessary.
It's a very appealing philosophy to me,
far more appealing than the left-wing alternative.
Now you can argue that it is naive, or impossible,
or will involve too much war,
or will make things worse,
or is not our problem,
or is cultural imperialism,
or that third world people don't want democracy and human rights.
But at least then you're engaging with
what neo-conservativism actually is.
That's all I ask of the left
and of people like
Read the neo-conservatives
and tell us why they are wrong.
I regularly read your ill-informed nonsense, as this post proves.
Why don't you return the favour and read our side
and tell us why it is wrong?
Waghorne brilliantly notes that McCann is slagging off American soldiers at Shannon,
and putting words in their mouth, but:
"It's noticeable that
McCann doesn't bother to actually ask the soldiers what they think."
Iraq war veteran preparing for death, Simon Carswell, 30 Mar 2013.
Lavish coverage of a disabled Iraq veteran who is dealing with his terrible injuries by
believing that his mission was pointless, and now plans to commit suicide.
Has the Irish Times ever covered the story of an Afghanistan or Iraq vet who fought bravely
and thought the mission was noble and honourable?
Tell me here.
Khalid Sallabi, a Libyan imam in Galway,
as supporting the Libyan rebels,
a leading member of whom is his brother
Sheikh Ali Sallabi.
The article reads as if Sheikh Ali Sallabi is a supporter of "freedom" of some sort.
It does not mention that
Ali Sallabi is an Islamist linked to the
Libyan Islamic Fighting Group
and he wants an Islamic state in Libya:
"Islam was the fuel of this revolution .. and it .. has to be part of the constitution."
The Irish Times is redeemed here by the latter link, where on 14 Sept 2011, Mary Fitzgerald does raise hard questions about
the kind of Libya the Sallabis want.
But why didn't these questions occur to Lorna Siggins?
Why aren't journalists sceptical of the claims of dodgy characters to support "freedom"?
The letters page:
My favourite Tony Allwright letter to the Irish Times,
that they did not publish:
James Hyde states that "many thousands of us (the people)
keep making it clear we are against our Government's support of America's war in Iraq".
No doubt this is true, but is it not a sad indictment on such people?"
This hilariously biased CNN report on talk radio, Oct 2009,
reminds me of the patronising way
the Irish Times often
spins the news.
Instead of wondering why people prefer talk radio to CNN
(or blogs to the Irish Times),
they bring on a
New York psychiatrist
to explain what is wrong with their brains.
(By the way, I did some Googling and discovered to my surprise that the psychiatrist
donor to the Democrats.)
As Greg Gutfeld
says, this report is pure bias:
"CNN Perplexed By Talk Radio ... Now, only CNN could do this with a straight face. According to the network, some say talk radio is "viciously partisan," without of course defining "some," as "people who work at CNN." And so the segment began, with CNN using a shrink to examine the typical listener, as though he belonged to a rare breed of lizard that dines only on feces."
"Am I the only one who is at the point where I simply roll my eyes when I see / hear this crap?
Do those tools really think people are that stupid?"
How the Irish Times, 14 Sept 2011, p.2, previews a speech by the head of Libya's interim government
promising to enslave Libya under sharia law.
Mustafa Abdul Jalil
was Minister of "Justice"
in Gaddafi's brutal dictatorship.
Now in this speech he says Libya will be
"a state that will have Islamic sharia law as the main basis of legislation".
Brave?? Stirring?? Visionary??
"but will it work?"
Will sharia oppression work? I'm sure it will.
Deaglan de Breadun, December 28, 2012, describes Haughey's hostility to Britain
over the Falklands crisis of 1982
as Haughey's "finest hour".
"it could be argued that, for all his well-publicised failings as a political leader, this was, in the Churchillian phrase, Charlie’s finest hour."
I don't know which is sadder - that de Breadun thinks standing up for Argentina is
something to be proud of,
or that this is the best thing he can think of to say about Haughey!
was Moscow Correspondent of The Irish Times from 1991
From 1986 to 1991
he was a member of the radical left (and, when he joined, pro-Soviet)
from Irish Political Review:
So he was a man who in his 40s - not as a naive youth - joined a pro-Soviet party.
He - like many Workers Party types - lost his faith in the revolution
and became a mainstream lefty.
Good for him.
But it shows the kind of background and world view Irish Times foreign correspondents come from.
You're not going to get the Reaganite or neo-con message in the Irish Times!
is the latest example of this trend.
As part of his journey from far left to centre left,
in 1992 he was the journalist who
the existence of
the damning 1986 letter
from the Workers Party to the Soviets.
Were the readers told about his past?
Or was that something we didn't "need to know"?
Sean Cronin sneers at Reagan's stunning 1984 re-election,
November 3, 1984.
Cronin says (in an echo of the later sneering coverage of George W. Bush in 2004)
that the Americans re-elected him basically because they are stupid.
Cronin was the Irish Times' voice on America for decades.
And now they tell us he was Chief of Staff of the IRA?
"Morning in America",
Reagan's 1984 re-election ad.
Still moving, even today, long after the sneers of Sean Cronin are forgotten.
Paul Gillespie, February 21, 2009, reports on
a "press freedom" conference he spoke at in
Dubai in the UAE.
Freedom House says about the
"Citizens of the UAE cannot change their government democratically.
The UAE has never held an election.
Laws prohibit criticism of the government, ruling families, and friendly governments".
We should be delighted this Islamist state is set up, apparently.
"This point was made by Walid Mahmoud Abdelnasser, director general for policy planning and crisis management in the Egyptian foreign ministry
Such hesitation in providing substantial economic support could, he said, “prove to be a self-defeating strategy, as social and economic failures could potentially abort democratic transformation”."
Oh no, the sharia project could fail!
Gillespie seems to almost support
the sharia-based crushing of freedom of speech in these new Islamist states.
Certainly he is very hostile to critics of sharia:
"Nor will these transitions be helped by unsympathetic western attitudes to the boundaries these emerging societies set between freedom of expression and defaming others’ religions and beliefs."
Based on having some fun social occasions (which you can have anywhere in the world)
he thinks Syria is alright, and is unfairly demonised.
It is America and Israel that need to change, apparently.
Not (for example) for Syria to grant
to its oppressed people.
No, that would be "simplistic".
He says Jewish and Christian communities live "in relative harmony".
A more realistic look at the
Jews of Syria
says they have been persecuted until there are only 100 of them left.
A more realistic look at the
Christians of Syria
describes them as "a small frightened community".
He refers in those so-familiar leftie sneer quotes to
"the Bush administration's 'global war on terror' ".
Is he really under the delusion that the War on Islamism was just about Bush?
That the struggle against
the global jihad
now that the great Obama is President?
He talks about "peace" and utters not a word about
Syria's support for war against Israel and Lebanon
through Hezbollah and Hamas,
and Syria's support for war against Iraq, America and Britain
through the Iraqi resistance.
Syria and its ally Iran are the two major sponsors of war in the region.
And yet Syria wants "peace".
What a whitewash.
He claims that the modern
Islamic state of Turkey
is a tolerant place for Christians:
"The muezzin’s call and the Christian bells enjoy an amicable coexistence, signalling no more than simple declarations of faith by .. communities who are free to worship as they choose.
But then this is Turkey, functioning as Ataturk, its architect, intended it to: as a modern, secular state, a shining example to much of the rest of the world".
He describes this butcher of non-Muslims as ahead of western thinkers:
"As in much else, Ataturk was ahead of his time. And his thinking was, and in some instances still is, some distance ahead of many majority Christian nations.
It is to be hoped that the present and all future Turkish administrations will preserve the legacy of Ataturk, by continuing to ensure that all are free to live in peace within its borders."
Luckily, this article is open for comments, and they nail him:
"What is this article? A paid advertisement by the Turkish government?"
"So he banned the fez and changed the script from arabic. He was also a genocidal monster and ethnic cleanser on a vast scale. He made Mussolini or Franco look like social workers. The template he set for Turkey is a monolith of intolerance and ethnic supremacism run by an all powerful deep state apparatus of military, police and big business."
"I have rarely read such egregious, misty eyed nonsense in the Irish Times.
This reads like something produced from behind the Iron Curtain before the collapse of the Soviet Bloc. Fantastic drivel."
Irishman's Diary, Paddy Woodworth, 24 Dec 2012, sets a new gold standard for western tourist blindness.
articles on ecology.
Yet he flies abroad almost every Christmas,
merely to escape vulgar consumerism!
"once the first sugary chorus from Wham slurps down the supermarket aisles (“Last Christmas I gave you my heart”), and the Toy Show starts instilling ever more conspicuous consumption in the nation’s children, the urge to escape is irresistible."
to escape Christmas.
Laos is a communist one-party tyranny
with no political freedom
and no human rights and no
He does not mention that.
Rather he is delighted at the absence of signs of Christmas:
"no vestige of tinsel, no hint of muzak, and no mad crush of shoppers".
He does not mention
the communist tyranny that is in power in Laos in 2012.
Instead he harks back to attack America, which fought the communists in Laos
but left forty years ago, in
"I crossed the river on a bridge whose pillars consisted of massive unexploded bomb casings. Along with countless others that had exploded all too successfully, they had been delivered to Laos courtesy of the CIA’s illegal “Air America” operations".
He spins for the communists:
"Vang Vieng had been a centre of leftist resistance, and its people had suffered accordingly."
Don't you love "leftist resistance" as a euphemism for communist resistance!
There is no recognition that the people have suffered for forty years
because the "leftist resistance" won.
He talks about poverty in Laos,
but never mentions the communist government's total suppression of
Its economy is one of the least free in the world.
It is no mystery why Laos is poor.
It is poor because of communism.
Writing whitewash articles like this does no favours to the people of Laos,
who badly need the political and economic freedom (and vulgar consumerism)
that Woodworth was able to fly home to.
To me (and I am sure to the people of Laos)
vulgar consumerism means freedom.
No one expects the Irish Times to celebrate
the killing of blood-soaked terrorists, but how about just a simple
"America kills leader of Al Qaeda in Iraq".
But no, the headline had to be:
"Fears killing may lead to retaliatory attacks".
But of course.
But the "Irish citizen" is Ireland's no.1 Islamic terror suspect,
widely accused (even by the UN) of links to Al Qaeda.
The article starts by calmly saying he is accused of having
"recruited young Muslims, including Irish-born converts, to fight in Iraq",
as if this is something reasonable, rather than an evil act of war against Britain, America,
Iraqi Christians, Iraqi Kurds, Iraqi Shia,
and moderate Iraqi Sunnis.
He is even linked to the satanic Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.
Of course whether it was right for MI5 to share with Libya
- and believe Gaddafi's claim that he was fighting Al Qaeda
- is another matter.
"MI5 shares information on Irish totalitarian with Libyan totalitarians"
is perhaps the real headline.
"Fears that" (something good will happen)
Another favourite is when the Irish Times has a headline in effect of the form:
"Fears that" (something good will happen).
"Fears that Arafat near death"
instead of the more rational:
"Hopes that Arafat near death".
This is a nice little way of introducing bias into the regular news pages.
"Muslims fearful after Muslim attacks".
Al Jazeera English
spins Islamic terror attacks like the Irish Times does.
Palestinian jihadis carry out
the most depraved killing of children at Itamar in Mar 2011.
Any objective media outlet would focus on the racist beliefs
held by the Palestinians that would allow them to stab a little 4 year old boy and a baby to death
(and then celebrate the killings).
The clip could look for example at the constant Jew hatred on Palestinian TV, in mosques and in schools.
But no, after yet another Muslim slaughter of the most innocent and defenceless non-Muslims,
the closing message is:
"Muslims fearful of retaliation after Muslim attack."
Israeli comedy from
The politically correct reporter tries to say "youths", not "Arabs".
It describes the assassination of Hamas leader
Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in Dubai in Jan 2010
as "this act of international terrorism".
How is this in any way ethically different from the capture of
Adolf Eichmann in Argentina in May 1960?
The Irish Times even calls on Israel to extradite suspects to Dubai!
Dubai is a tyranny.
It is ranked as the worst status, "Not Free", by Freedom House.
Does the Irish Times even care?
Ian O'Doherty, February 19, 2010, is baffled by the uproar:
"were they right to do it?
Frankly, I find it hard to understand anyone who doesn't simply shrug their shoulders and realise that it's one fewer terrorist planning murderous attacks on civilians."
Irish Times editorial, 13 June 2011, says that religious fascists who hate Western values should still be allowed into the West.
France bars citizenship to
an Algerian Muslim religious maniac who
does not allow his wife speak without permission, leave home without his consent or a chaperone, or seek a job.
The Irish Times is concerned about
France's "marginalised and stigmatised Muslim minority"
and calls this decision
"a dangerous precedent"
(rather than a hopeful one).
For decades the Irish Times stood against the power of the Catholic church in Ireland.
Now they are in favour of appeasing Muslim religious fundamentalists.
Is it because they are from
a religion their parents don't belong to?
Irish Times editorial, 14 June 2011, treats the re-election of Turkey's Islamist leader Erdogan as a good thing!
About Erdogan's new orientation of Turkey as an enemy of Israel,
they blandly say:
"Regionally, under Erdogan's leadership, Turkey has also become a major player, independent of the Nato consensus, its relationships with Syria, Israel and Iran seen as new crucially important points of leverage."
said that with his victory,
"Gaza, Palestine and al-Quds were also won".
The Irish Times ignores the
Islamist dawn in Turkey
and absurdly says that Erdogan
"has confounded secularist and military fears to create a harmonious model of coexistence between Islam and democracy that is increasingly admired throughout the region as a post-Arab Spring possibility."
If the Irish Times was negative about all American Presidents that would be one thing.
But the era of fawning Obama coverage showed that no, they are only negative about Republican Presidents.
The Irish Times
is for Democrat supporters only.
anti-Republican (US Republican)
Davin O'Dwyer, August 18, 2012, repeats a common view in Ireland:
O'Dwyer claims that:
"being a card-carrying Democrat is almost as much part of Irish-Americanism as being baptised a Catholic."
But is it true? John McGuirk claims in the comments that:
"the Irish American vote went with the Republicans in 2000, 2002, 2004, 2006, and 2010, (2008 being the one exception)".
What is the source for this?
Head to Head: Is George W Bush the worst president in US history?, Irish Times, January 19, 2009.
Arguing the Yes side is .. someone who hates Bush.
Arguing the No side is .. someone who hates Bush.
What a debate!
And that is not to even mention the choice of topic.
Head to Head: Will Obama wreck Bush's achievements in Iraq and Afghanistan?
Wouldn't a headline like this have been more relevant in Jan 2009?
But that would have taken imagination, and thinking outside the centre-left box.
The Jawa Report.
Chart from here.
Don't expect to see this question asked in the Irish Times.
About Obama's useless, issue-dodging speech:
"his address gracefully began his objective
Obama skilfully inserted seven major policy tensions
forceful yet even-handed
an excellent start to reframing relations."
Aren't newspapers meant to be sceptics, "speaking truth to power",
rather than uncritical boosters of the government line?
Alas no. For scepticism about Obama, you need the Internet.
Are you sitting down?
That headline looks like Obama beat some actual opponent, doesn't it?
It looks like Obama was more popular than his critics, doesn't it?
This was a story about
in a Democrat primary!
What a victory for the Democrats!
The Obama visit to Ireland, May 2011, was hardly going to be a time for scepticism. And indeed there was
wall-to-wall Obama love.
Patient, calm with 'character hiding in plain sight', Lara Marlowe, Washington Correspondent, 24 May 2011, analyses President Obama's performance so far.
"Steadiness, confidence, the long term. Calm pragmatism and patience, not the impassioned idealism that many expected. Re-reading The Audacity of Hope, the political treatise Obama wrote as a senator, one is surprised that we are surprised.
But the biggest constraints on Obama are imposed by the system itself, hamstrung by the polarisation he so despises. Partisan politics and checks and balances have made it impossible for him to achieve, for example ..."
Yes I recall her giving the same spin in support of the performance of
George W. Bush against his critics in 2003, after he had toppled Saddam and the Taliban.
I just can't find the URL.
If you can find it, send it to me here.
In fact the real story is
"Wesley Clark is now completely mad",
since he is pouring cold water on McCain's decades of
military and security experience,
while supporting Obama, who has
no military and security experience at all!
Hot Air titled this
"How stupid is Wesley Clark?"
This headline difference sums up why I often prefer blogs to the mainstream media.
The blogs always get the real story.
Note in the corner above there actually appears an
by Charles Krauthammer.
The Irish Times, to its credit, has often tried to include a token right-winger,
who is normally hated by their readers,
to balance the mainstream left-wing spin in their news and opinion.
Charles Krauthammer was syndicated for a while.
But he is long gone.
Another headline like the previous.
23 May 2011, at the time of his visit to Ireland, is highly praised. "not since president Kennedy "have we had a president of which we could be as proud"."
Who said this?
Why, the chairman of the Irish branch of Democrats Abroad.
"Democrat praises Democrat President"
was not the headline.
Bias for Obama in the 2012 US election
The Irish Times of course spun hard for Obama in the 2012 election.
21 Sept 2012:
How Romney bungled so many campaign chances, Irish Times. Lara Marlowe happily declares that Romney has already lost:
"This was supposed to be one of the closest US presidential races in history. Just a few weeks ago, pundits predicted an outcome so tight the result might not be known on the night of November 6th.
The latest Pew Research poll shows Obama eight points ahead of Mitt Romney, at 51 to 43 per cent. You have to go back to 1996, when Bill Clinton led Bob Dole by 50 to 38 per cent, to find a bigger lead in the third week of September."
24 Sept 2012:
Romney keeps digging.
"Following a week that appeared to mark a decisive turn against Mitt Romney in the US presidential election it was remarkable to see the Republican contender on Saturday resolutely defending old ground, digging himself further into the hole that he has made for himself."
This is the day after Obama
got completely spanked
in his first debate with Romney.
The Irish Times had lined up a correspondent to hang out ... with Obama supporters.
"It was hard to find anyone with a good word for Romney.
I asked them if the debate had caused any of them to change their views. Not a single person said yes."
What kind of correspondent is this?
She is, as she says herself, an Obama campaign worker!
So no surprise that she was somehow unable to track down any Romney supporters.
Why did the headline hide that "the faithful" were the Democrat faithful?
Why not an accurate headline, like:
"Obama supporters shocked by debate".
Instead of making it sound like it was the average American in "Boone's Tavern".
Why did no one at the paper want to line up the reaction from the Republican faithful?
Marc Coleman, Sunday Independent, 11 Nov 2012, explains why, despite the Irish Times' and Ireland's worship of Obama,
his re-election is probably bad for Ireland.
"the Democrat's protectionist stance is dangerous. Like FDR, but unlike Clinton, Obama believes US multinationals are "taking" jobs from America by investing in Ireland. ...
Obama's policy here may not just cost up to 100,000 Irish jobs, but it will cost American jobs too ...
Republicans, by contrast, believe multinationals should locate where they are most efficient. ... But because our commentariat seems to care more about obscure social issues than jobs, it despises and depicts as "extremist" the more homespun values of the Republicans. That depiction tells us more about media elitism than anything else."
Obama is no Clinton:
"While Obama shares Bill Clinton's skill in communications, Obama is an ideologue believing in bureaucracy and spending. Clinton was a competent pragmatist who let a Republican-controlled Senate run the economy, which is why his presidency was a success."
The Irish Times,
20 Aug 2012, sneers at Romney and Ryan as "Two rich white guys".
When did the Irish Times ever call Kerry and Edwards
"Two rich white guys"?
Never, of course. Because they were Democrats.
Victor Davis Hanson points out,
it is the Obama supporters, not his opponents, who have introduced this unpleasant racial labelling into US politics.
In the tank for Obama!
A Google search for
"irish times" romney
restricted to the last week before the election yields these headlines.
Every single one of them is anti-Romney.