Adversarial relationships and agenda-driven campaigns

On Tonight with Vincent Browne, Sinead Ryan, Sam Smyth and Tom McGurk will analyse the media’s coverage of the Fiscal Compact treaty debate, the water charge, the household tax debacle and the issue of social welfare fraud - as well as looking at the coverage of business in the media. Vincent Browne gives a run-down of his thoughts before the show. {jathumbnailoff}

Is the media biased against the Catholic Church; has the media been biased against Denis O’Brien; why does the media hype up social welfare fraud and crime; was Ray D'Arcy’s use of the F-word at quarter past nine in the morning unacceptable?

 In my view, the media generally is not biased against the Catholic Church or Denis O’Brien.

The Catholic Church is an institution of power in this society. There should always be an adversarial relationship between the media and institutions of power - the government, the police force, large corporations, trade unions, and the Catholic Church. But, invariably, this entirely appropriate edgy relationship between the media and institutions of power is perceived as bias.

RE: Denis O’Brien, there is a quite proper adversarial relationship between him and the media, made all the more adversarial by the findings against him by the Moriarty Tribunal.

The agenda-driven campaign against him of late by the Sunday Independent is in a different category, however, in that was driven, it would seem, by partisanship in a corporate battle within Independent News and Media - and the Sunday Independent opted for the wrong side.

The waving of the white flag last Sunday was very evident. Bruce Arnold’s opinion piece in the Irish Independent today is a hilarious piece of sycophancy.

The hyping of social welfare fraud and crime is certainly reflective of a bias in the media.

As for Ray D'Arcy’s use of the F-word, while the complaint by Martin Long of the Catholic Press Office is just prissy, the use of that word is problematic in terms of gender relations, although us men rarely acknowledge that.

We'll be curating #vinb tweets below, and Vincent will respond afterward. Refresh the page for updates.