Miriam O’Callaghan: the discriminating face of RTE bias?

Miriam O’Callaghan, the wealthy Irish RTE TV presenter (average total annual earnings estimated at over 500,000 euro) came under the hammer today after her appalling hosting of the ‘Leaders Debate’ Tuesday evening – and rightly so.

Her bias in favour of parties such as Fianna Fail, and her severe anti-Sinn Fein stand, is well-known. After all, her brother, Jim, is the Fianna Fail spokesperson on justice.

TV presenter Miriam O’Callaghan’s ‘fitness for office’ is being called into question. Even her co-presenter on the ‘Leaders Debate’ Tuesday evening, David McCullough, seems aghast by her blatant on-air bias.

It’s no wonder then that Miriam gave Fianna Fail’s Micheal Martin an easy ride during the state-owned, 90-minute TV debate than the other two leaders – Fine Gael’s Leo Varadkar and Sinn Fein’s Mary Lou McDonald.

And why she spent so much time criticising Mary Lou McDonald on justice issues. Even her co-presenter, David McCullough, seems shocked by her blatant bias as seen by his expression in the photo above.

For Miriam, I daresay, knows full well not only could her brother’s political career be in danger but also her own massive pay and expenses contract with RTE, a publicly-owned national station, if Sinn Fein gets into power after Saturday’s voting.

I’m referring not just about her huge salary, but also the lucrative contracts production company, Mint Productions, once owned by Miriam and her husband, Steve Carson, who himself worked for RTE, gained from RTE, thus providing even more generous amounts of income and well-paid jobs for their children.

And with Carson now working for the BBC, who could possibly have obtained in such a timely manner a verbatim transcript of an interview with Sinn Fein’s Conor Murphy on Paul Quinn from deep within the archives of the BBC 13 years ago to help Miriam grill Mary Lou with? Even more, who says that is a key issue in this national election, anyhow?

The entire set-up Tuesday evening certainly seems like a complete family affair. Starring the O’Callaghans.

My own run-in with Miriam took place in a television studio when as a journalist I was invited to attend a conference.

Miriam started the day’s proceedings with a few generalities on media and later I asked her about the generous contracts, Mint Productions, gained from RTE.

“Do you or your husband not think these might be a conflict of interest as you worked for RTE in a senior position, as did he?” I asked her.

Her answer: “I don’t know anything about those things. My husband and I don’t discuss professional matters.”

Mary Lou McDonald, elections 2020

Sinn Fein President Mary Lou McDonald out canvassing with friends and supporters.

Tuesday evening’s unprofessional performance by Miriam, I’m afraid, was par for the course.

Four years ago, I wrote this blog on a ‘Election Leaders Debate’ that took place then, at which O’Callaghan was again less than shy about showing her bias.

‘Time for change – real lasting change – time to grow up, we Irish have prevaricated enough’

By the way, here’s a very short excerpt of Miriam talking to ‘Her’ magazine some time ago: The presenter is one of RTÉ’s biggest earners, raking in €300,000 per year but she said money is not a draw for her. “It’s not about the money, it really isn’t. 

My fervent hope is that the Irish electorate has learned over the last few years that certain influential, well-to-do people with much to lose if the old political duality changes will not hesitate to use whatever means necessary to prevent that happening.

Be careful whom you choose as your preferences on Saturday (and put it in pen, not pencil – just in case).

UPDATE: Payback Time

Following Tuesday’s election, debate Fianna Fail’s Micheal Martin wasn’t slow to return the favor to RTE’s Miriam O’Callaghan

Martin promises a household media charge to boost RTÉ

 

10 thoughts on “Miriam O’Callaghan: the discriminating face of RTE bias?

  1. Great comment Phil.Time was when
    Politics was shouted from Carts(horse drawn),backs of trucks,outside church et Al little or no shenanigans then,just honest canvas.

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  2. You are 100% correct let’s start a Facebook page and sign a petition to get her out of rte and blacklist the stations when we can see who they are backing to keep them in there high paid jobs and keep the working class down and under control

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    • Having worked in television in the United States, salaries at RTE are incredibly high and programming is low. Changes need to happen. Micheal Martin saying this week he will approve a household charge – yet another (post-IMF) stealth tax – to fund RTE, seems to me be direct payback for RTE’s tacit support of Fianna Fail (Fine Gael declined to pass this charge).

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  3. I was shocked and surprised by the conduct of rte I thought of the night of the presidential candidates and pat Kenny ambushed that guy Gallagher about some stupid text but it ended his campaign and Michael d won.

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    • Aside from Miriam O’Callaghan, who gets paid as a presenter more than the Taoiseach or the President of the United States, there are many other overly paid presenters and managers at RTE who have much to lose if a Left-leaning government such as Sinn Fein comes into force after today. Thus Miriam’s attack on Mary Lou McDonald and the expected pro-establishment RTE response to this election.

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  4. It’s a disgrace that the “state owned” TV station RTE should be run by total anti-republican, pro Brit presenters! People loyal to either FF or FG! If I’d my way they’d all be ousted. A revolution has begun in the 26 counties and their (RTE presenters) bias and anti Sinn Fein behaviour is coming to bite them !!!! Ireland has awakened at last

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  5. I hope one of the first things sin fein do is cut rate presenters pay thatl pay a bill or 2 for the country Miriam thinks shes invincible needs taken down a peg or 2

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