Credit: Gript

The Irish media’s hilariously bad coverage of the Dublin protest

Irish mainstream media generally aren’t great at their jobs, but the coverage of the Dublin anti-lockdown protest on Saturday really took the cake.

The protest march, which started at the Customs House Quay and finished at Merrion Square outside Leinster House, was organised in solidarity with similar anti-lockdown protest marches happening in cities around the world such as Sydney, Australia.

This was the biggest anti-lockdown protest yet. Traffic in Dublin city was brought to a standstill. Estimates for the crowd size were usually in excess of 10,000 with organisers saying that at least twice that had joined in at one stage of the event. Either way, this was a big crowd, diverse with people of all ages. Which brings us to the first point of media dishonesty.

During Gript’s coverage of the event, many of those marching said words to the effect of “The media will either ignore this, or they’ll downplay the numbers and say it was only a small gathering.” And how right they were.

Look at the photos below – you can see the crowd size for yourself. There is footage from all angles circulating on social media. The crowd is, quite evidently, in the many thousands. The streets were packed, as you can see with your own eyes below. You don’t have to take anyone’s word for it.

And yet what was the estimate printed by RTÉ, the Journal, the Examiner, the Independent and others? “Around 1,500” – a number so obviously far off and downplayed that it’s actually comical.

According to the Journal, this estimate came from PA News Agency, which means there are two possibilities here:

Either we have a media class (including the taxpayer-funded State broadcaster) who are so cripplingly incompetent and bad at their jobs that they all just took PA News Agency’s word for the 1,500 number without so much as a glance at social media to verify it for themselves. Which is highly embarrassing for them all if true.

Or alternatively, they know that number is bogus, but printed it anyway to intentionally try to mislead the public. Those seem to be the only two options here. Dishonest or dumb? Pick your poison.

Which brings us to the second point – the fact that they all appear to have bought the exact same story from PA, opening with the assertion that those marching were “far-right.”

While some later amended their piece to edit this line, the fact that they printed it at all is a truly remarkable claim, considering the fact that I did not see a single mainstream media camera at this event, nor did I see most of the aforementioned companies interviewing people at the march or asking them their motivations. I asked around if anyone else had seen such interviews taking place, and so far few have said they did.

The few people who said they were interviewed by the MSM said that the reporter tried to “emotionally manipulate” them.

If these claims are true, then we have virtually every mainstream media outlet in the country smearing a crowd of at least 10,000 legitimate protestors as “far-right” without so much as asking them honestly what they believe, all because some third-party company said so. Again, like the numbers thing, this should be highly embarrassing for them.

Apparently opposing domestic vaccine certs – a plan which barely passed because there was such strong opposition to it in the Dáil – makes a crowd far-right. If you oppose covid restrictions that you believe infringe on your medical privacy and fundamental human rights, that makes you some kind of far-right extremist in the eyes of the Irish media.

But should we even be surprised? Look at this coverage of protests by the Examiner below and tell me which is the odd one out.

RTÉ’s headline even originally said that it was an “anti-vaccine protest,” before they changed it to more accurately say it was an “anti-vaccine passport protest.”

When journalists tell you in concerned tones that there’s a misinformation crisis happening in our society, they’re speaking from experience. The absolute state of the news in this country.

If you’d like to see Gript’s video on the links between Irish politics and media, make sure to follow the link below.

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