Humbug, hypocrisy and the art of the smear

Dissing the famous: the gentlemen of The Times

by Donal Kennedy

ON THURSDAY 5 March 2009 , in an editorial, the Times looked askance at the dubbing with an honorary knighthood on US Senator Edward Kennedy.

For myself, I looked askance at his accepting it. He is the citizen of a republic and a native of Boston and might be tempted to dump such an 'honour in Boston harbour. There's an honourable precedent.

He is, and has been for 46 years a member of the United States Senate - a pretty exclusive club with only 100 members. Moreover he is of Irish ancestry. Not least he bears the name "Kennedy."

What on earth would he want such an "honour" from what is now one of his own country's satellite client states?

But one cause of the sniffiness of the Times was the senator's supporting the Irish government's request fora US visa for an Irish passport holder, Gerry Adams, when both Adams and the Irish government were attempting to bring peace to these islands.

At the time Simon Jenkins, an ex-editor of the Times was advising White House officials that republicans had killed 3,000 Britons, the corollary of which is that not one Irish man, woman or child died from violence since 1969 and that British hands and those of their agents, are entirely unstained by blood.

On Monday, 9 March, the paper's correspondent in Ireland, David Sharrock, complained that it took all of 14 hours for Sinn Fein to condemn the killing of two British soldiers.

Thirty seven years on and the shooting dead by British soldiers of 14 unarmed civilians in Derry - a crime still crying to Heaven for vengeance has yet to be condemned by a British political party or the Times.

In that same edition of 9 March David Sharrock concedes that Bloody Sunday was "a calamitous mistake." At least he does not suggest that those killed on Bloody Sunday were British victims of republican marksmanship.

So Sharrock is marginally preferable to Christopher Thomas who would have had Times' readers believe that only Protestants were killed in the conflict and only Irish republicans inflicted death, and preferable to Harold Evans, under whose editorship the Times sought to defend that falsehood for nearly a year.

The Times' cartoonist also smeared Gerry Adams, twice in two days. And when Martin McGuinness visited California and expressed interest in motion pictures the Times correspondent advised his readers in his super silly-ass way that McGuinness rendered films -"fillums".

Sure, most Irish people,and many Scots, render " farm, film, firm, and girl" as disyllabic nouns.

If ignorant British journalists would like to learn why, let them sit attentively on forms, described by all Officers and other ranks of the Irish Defence Forces as "furrums" and I'll explain why.

In the meantime I'll applaud anyone who can put manners on them.

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This document was last modified by David Granville on 2009-06-05 11:24:31.
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