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Labour invents new way for government to control the media

Look – I know you’re worried about your rapidly surging energy bill, OK?

I know you’re worried about petrol and food costs, and being able to make your mortgage repayments this winter. But can you stop being so selfish for just five minutes, and think about the real victims in society: underrepresented female radio DJs?

After all, that’s what Labour and Sinn Féin are worried about.

Labour Party Senator Marie Sherlock, supported by Sinn Féin’s Fintan Warfield, has tabled a new “Diversity in Broadcasting” Bill, aiming to “redress imbalance” in media by mandating “greater representation of women and people of colour on our airwaves.”

So, essentially, they want racial and gender quotas to be set for radio stations, so these media companies are required to have a certain amount of female and non-white presenters by law.

Now, first of all, this is actually interesting, because it’s the first time I know of that politicians have pushed identity quotas and not even used false claims of bigotry to defend it.

Typically, when these laws are presented, the people pushing them say “Women and ethnic minorities are underrepresented in so-and-so industry – and it’s because society is so sexist and racist.”

But this Bill doesn’t even attempt to claim that. In fact, it concedes from the get-go that the industry is not racist or sexist at all. As Labour said in its press release:

“We’re conscious that the majority of producers and stations are already doing their best to platform diverse voices…This bill is about accelerating the pace of change that is already happening on our airwaves.”

So they admit up-front that most media outlets are already bending over backwards to get as many female and non-white presenters as possible, without the threat of this law. The change they want is already happening without them, by their own admission.

So, in short, they’ve conceded that this law is useless, and also that its purpose isn’t even to right any bigotries. It’s just quotas for the sake of quotas.

As regards the merits of the bill, at this point it’s probably worth remembering that Labour and Sinn Féin are parties which have wholeheartedly bought into radical gender theory.

For example, both parties are on record as saying that they believe males can get pregnant due to the transgender phenomenon. And so, whenever a party like this raises an issue about women’s rights, it’s important to point out that they can’t even define what a woman is.

This might seem like a done-to-death point, like I’m flogging a dead horse. But it’s still as true as the first time it was said, and they’ve never even attempted to effectively respond to it, so it still bears repeating.

This is also important from a legislative perspective. How can you say “Radio stations need X number of woman presenters” if you can’t even articulate what a woman is? Law is all about defining terms, so this is not a small legal matter or a “got ya” moment – it’s actually sort of the lynchpin of the entire Bill.

A similar problem exists for the racial quota, in fact.

How do you legally define what a “person of colour” is? There are people with one black parent, but who look basically white – is that a “person of colour”? How are we going to measure who is “coloured” enough to meet the criteria and who isn’t? Is a Jewish or Italian person a “person of colour”? Will we need to do a DNA test to decide who can get hired? The whole thing is as ludicrous as it is racist.

As a side note, by the way, it’s probably not surprising that a country which is around 95% white has predominantly white media presenters. I’m not sure why this is a shock or some imbalance which needs to be rectified. I’m going out on a limb here, but I presume there aren’t too many Irish radio presenters in Nigeria or China or Brazil.

While we’re on the subject of bigotry, by the way, why is it only women and “people of colour” who deserve to have quotas? There are migrants, for example, from Poland and Hungary who are white – do they not deserve media representation?

Will we have quotas for people with dwarfism as well? And what about religion – shouldn’t we require a certain amount of Zoroastrians and Bahai people on the airwaves? They say you have to “see it to be it” – what about people with eyepatches? I’m not aware of a single media presenter in Ireland with an eyepatch. Are they just to be left out?

This sounds like a joke because it’s obviously so absurd and stupid. But it’s actually no less stupid than what Labour and Sinn Féin are proposing. It’s the logical extension of the same policy.

If we can have mandates based on arbitrary characteristics, why not have mandates for blind Filipino dwarves, and Chilean Muslims with gigantism? Let’s just forget entirely about merit and skill, and focus solely on making sure every media program is a perfect pizza pie of every possible human characteristic. That’s the logical endgame of this nonsense.

Ultimately, we need to ask ourselves what role exactly the government should have in deciding who media companies should be forced to hire.

Unless you’re Kim Jong Un, most normal people want the government and media to stay strictly separate. And yet we now have politicians attempting to bestow upon themselves the power to control who you see on your TV screen.

Free societies don’t let the government decide who or what the press can present. It is one of the hallmarks of a democracy that the press and the state remain strictly separate. And yet parties like Labour and Sinn Féin apparently want to erode that separation.

Perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised, however.

After all, this is coming from the same Labour Party whose leader said last year that Covid proves “strong State intervention” is needed to tackle global issues “for the public good.”

Ivana Bacik is a self-proclaimed statist who enthusiastically supported ever stricter Covid-measures, urging the government to take more and more draconian emergency powers onto itself. So it naturally follows that her party probably isn’t too stressed about the media having its makeup and agenda dictated by the State.

Ultimately the government should have NO role – AT ALL – in influencing who or what gets airtime in the media. And the fact that a Bill like this can be proposed with no mainstream pushback at all is a symptom of how out-of-control state power is in this country.

 

 

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