The last few weeks have made for interesting viewing and listening no doubt. The following are the things I have taken away from the controversy:
- That RTE was run very poorly for many years and that there were a number of levels of people working there. There was certainly an elite who were a law unto themselves all of whom have commanded massive salaries and pay. The licence payers and the public were the very last people that they thought about. Then there were those at the coal face who worked hard and who suffered as wages and costs were cut over the years. They suffered as the elite prospered,
- Ryan Tubridy and Noel Kelly obviously decided that they would face the music and get it all done in a day. The idea put forward by Ryan Tubridy that he ‘was not a man who understood business’ is far fetched in the extreme. He is a smart guy and any notion that he didn’t know what payments he was receiving in simply not credible. In a strange way he was happy enough to throw his ‘friend’ Noel Kelly under the bus and blame him, although RTE got most of the blame. Tubridy was the good cop while Kelly was the bad cop.
- What a lot of people (which includes me) are angry about is that Tubridy spent many months during covid preaching to people on the Late Late Show every Friday night pleading with them to ‘wear the green jersey’ and that ‘we are all in this together’ which we know now was utter hypocrisy. Treating people like idiots might be the hardest thing Tubridy will have to get over as he tries to rebuild trust with the public.
- I would contend that Tubridy is not a bad broadcaster at all, but there are many others in RTE who are earning obscene remuneration for what is a few hours a week presenting radio programmes. I have done it for over 35 years and it is certainly not rocket science. None of them should be paid any more than 150,000 Euro a year at the very most. The ‘talent’ idea is a concept largely down to these over paid presenters promoting themselves, and the idea that they could get the same or more elsewhere is just not credible on any level. Paying people three or four hundred thousand euro per year for a couple of hours of radio per week is simply not sustainable and a waste of public money.
- Whether Ryan Tubridy goes back on air or not makes no difference to me but his appearance in front of the Dail committees this week struck me as a cynical exercise to placate the public. How many times did he mention ‘the children’ ‘my team’ and ‘the Irish people’ Fair play to him, he pulled at the heart strings, and you know something, he might just get away with it. But there are troubled times ahead for RTE and Kevin Bakhurst will have the unenviable job of trying to convince the politicians and the public that things have indeed changed.
- In terms of the hearings themselves, there were some excellent contributions from SOME of the politicians while others were there just to make a name for themselves and they were only wasting time and grandstanding. As the day went on the process became bogged down and the same questions were being asked again and again. However the advent of the committee system to address issues of public concern has proven a welcome development in the political system
- The days of disdain for the public and the licence holder which was endemic at the top in RTE has to go or the organisation is doomed.
- Over to you Mr Bakhurst.