It’s now a constant occupation of Government Press Officers to stop any criticism of Brian Cowen or his government. This includes reporting on the hanging of paintings in galleries or on their potential value or how they got to be hung in the galleries in the first place.
Tonight RTE apologised for offence caused to Mr. Cowen and his family and disrespect caused to the Office of Taoiseach.
The apology will be uploaded shortly I’m sure and I’ll link to it when it comes in. Thanks to John Handelaar!
RTE did not paint the paintings or hang them up that we know of!
They are not allowed run phone in shows free from government interference. Satire in RTE is dead or severely hamstrung. Editorial decisions made by RTE and all it’s programmes now need to be taken with this very large rock of salt – no independence can be expected in the light of this apology and all other recent instances of interference and lack of senior government input or participation in Prime Time, Questions and Answers etc. Of course a government press office can complain about lack of balance or wishing to tell it’s side of story but this has gone across the line.
The galleries probably now live in fear of any Arts Council funding being cut for letting pictures in or even participating in media interviews. Our Banana Republic well and truly exists (but we’re not allowed say that either.) And the tag for this debacle is #picturegate.