People don’t get corrupted but they do get deceived. The gombeen has been transformed from the days of collecting the landlord’s rent to now sowing regime illusions.
The monster propaganda machine (RRR T EEEE!!) has no more important role within it than to anchor the Late Late. The host, the self-confessed nerd, the Blackrock boy, the Peter Pan of Donnybrook, known to us as Ryan Tubridy, is there to tell us what we should think.
Witness Tubridy’s hostile trial by video of Paul Murphy on the Jobstown protest. Or him bristling in disbelief when John Connors says he thinks Travellers are not fairly portrayed in the media. But the greatest example came when Oliver Callan dared to talk about the business dealings of Denis O’Brien. Ryan stomps in to say that DOB “is not here to defend his good name” and “big companies win big contracts”. Shutting down this momentary outbreak of truth from the funnyman.
A West Wing fan, Ryan, knows the power of manipulation, and that the system is operated by clever fellows like him, in smart suits. His deep DNA links to the institutional ruling party of this state Fianna Fáil, makes him a natural choice as the regime gombeen. For this he is handsomely rewarded, picking up €723,000 in 2011.
Eventually Tubs had to take a pay cut, He now pockets almost half a million a year, and we are sure that the voice of his dead mentor, Gerry Ryan is there with him whispering, “you are worth it”.
Illustration by Darragh Lynch.