Sat here, farting out the fifteenth editorial of rabble, we’re again confronted by a shambolic media, both AT home and abroad. News of the hacking scandal at Independent News and Media is filtering in, with numerous journalists and their sources compromised.
Then we are confronted with the news of millions of Facebook profiles having their data appropriated by Cambridge Analytica to build a a profile of potential voters and how to target them. The concerted attempt to sway millions of voters with fake news seemed to be the last minute push needed for both Brexit to pip past the post and possibly, led to the inauguration of Trump.
Closer to home, all eyes are firstly on the DUP and their own use of Cambridge Analytica’s sister company to campaign for Vote Leave. Secondly, as it is clear that so much of this money has its roots in American far-right conservatism, there is a good reason to suspect that it might appear in the upcoming referendum.
As the mainstream media continues to compromise itself, faith in the media continues to plummet creating ever more fertile conditions for the spread of propaganda. Look at the Irish Times editorial about Varadkar’s expulsion of Ireland’s Russian diplomat and you can see a hint of jingoism despite there being no evidence that the former spy was poisoned by Russian intelligence. Despite members of May’s government being severly implicated in the Vote Leave propaganda machine, the Irish public are expected to blindly trust a severely compromised government on their agenda alone as we sit on the brink of a renewal of the cold war.
Nothing like turning the gears of war to smokescreen one’s the shitshow of one’s internal domestic politics, and renewed questions of the legitimacy of Brexit.
And these are just the geo-political problems that Ireland finds itself tangled up in, never mind the problems at home. Paddy Jackson’s legal threat to Aodhan O’Riordain or anyone that tweeted #Ibelieveher portrays yet again how wealth and privilege aims to shape and dominant discourse, something that echoes the Iona Institute’s threat to RTÉ four years ago over Panti Bliss’s description of them as homophobes. We take a look at how this incident still reverberates through the corridors of Montrose and how RTÉ continues to woefully address the problem of balance.
Despite the awful spectacle of the trial up north, it at least seems to have finally instilled in the public consciousness the problem of sexual abuse and consent in a nation that has, since its very inception, deemed women’s experiences as one to be silenced. It has also, perhaps even more importantly, added further fuel to a feminist movement and its supporters as the 25th of May slips closer into view.
Polly Molotov, whose online journalism puts most mainstream outlets to shame by exposing the fake nurse at the centre of those that want to retain the eighth amendment, writes for us about her experiences as a nurse and the limits placed on her work by this odious constitutional clause.
Speaking of hospital wards, we look at our mess of a health service and the fact that the government has topped off its own record of 714 patients in trolleys in one day. Paul Dillon speaks to the INMO to find out more about their trolley watch campaign and how, if they weren’t keeping an eye out, the extent of the crisis would certainly be under-represented. Rather however than feeling jaded about one crisis folding in on top of another crisis, hopefully this issue highlights that anger is being converted into some form of political energy in the housing movement, language rights campaigns and more you’ll read about inside.
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