The media’s surreal, distorted take on a car driving into East Wall protesters

A man who drove his car at protesters from East Wall two nights ago, has been charged with dangerous driving and appeared in court yesterday. He had helpfully recorded his actions on a live stream from the inside of the car. You can see it below.

Prior to the incident, the accused, Stephen Bedford, was also filmed driving around East Wall with loudhailers attached to his car criticising local people protesting the government’s immigration policy.


The media, whose coverage of the immigration crisis has demonised the protesters in East Wall and elsewhere, have outdone themselves in their reporting on the case.

Take this news report on VMTV, for example. It leads by reporting the highly-charged claims made by the man who drove his car at the protesters.



This is surreal stuff. VMTV’s reporting frames the narrative so that viewers, alarmed by claims of the Ku Klux Klan (hooded, violent racists who killed people) on the streets of Dublin and talk of “hatred on the streets”, are primed to have sympathy, not for the man who was hit by a car while peacefully protesting and needed hospital attention, but for the defendant who hit him with the car.

The Journal, always reliable for a spot of bizarre redefining of reality, said Bedford “drove off in his jeep-like car” and that “at one stage, two people from the other protest were on his bonnet.”

“Were on his bonnet”? Did they fall down out of sky and land on it? Such a tortured sentence to have a ‘news’ report.

It would be funny if it wasn’t so disingenous.

The live stream video recorded by Bedford was widely available online, and it would surely be a case of journalistic negligence if the reporters covering the story had not seen it.

RTÉ wasn’t much better, introducing the piece with Bedford’s claim that he was “in fear” and “attempting to flee” – and using his description of ‘racist mob’ about peaceful protesters.

Their report also described the people in East Wall as “anti-immigrant protesters”, when they are, in fact, protesting against the government’s immigration policy – a distinction RTÉ understands very well.

And they wonder why rising numbers of people are telling pollsters they no longer trust  the media.

It’s important to note that none of these platforms – RTÉ, VMTV or the Journal or any other establishment media outlet – contacted the people from East Wall involved in the protest to hear their concerns or get a comment about what had happened.

The message from the media, in my opinion, is very clear: the people of East Wall and Coolock and Ballymun are always in the wrong and if this left-wing agitator hit them with his car, they probably deserved it.

Today, the same media are busy quoting the ‘Ireland for All’ crowd saying that there must be no “violent extremism” in Ireland. The truth is, as an East Wall leader pointed out yesterday, the real extremism is being driven by those who, with great vitriol, are punching down on ordinary people expressing concern about immigration is coming from the establishment left

“The real hatred in this debate is being expressed by politicians and by the media against ordinary people who oppose government polices,” Malachy Steenson said.

“Our people are making banners with bed sheets and spray cans because we want to protect our communities – and ordinary people are being demonised by the whole establishment.”

He said that the attempts to characterise the protesters as “far-right” and “racist” were “deliberate tactics” and “absolutely untrue”. He also said that the protesters were now experiencing violence being used against them by actors who had been “whipped up” by others.

“The media and politicians in the Dáil and the NGOs are whipping up hatred against ordinary people,” he said. “And we are now seeing a third incident of a car driving at or through the protesters.”

“Someone could have been killed last night, yet the media never call the TDs to account for demonising ordinary people, in fact the media is part of it,” he told Gript.

Yet, polling increasingly shows the majority of people support the message of the protesters: that Ireland cannot sustain uncontrolled immigration, and that we are already over-stretched with the numbers that have arrived after the government’s foolish decision to tell the world they could be accommodated here.

No amount of distorted reporting can change those facts.

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