What was Justice Minister Alan Shatter thinking when he decided to mouth off about one of RTE’s finest journalists Paul Reynolds?
Let’s get things straight, to accuse an RTE journalist of ‘constantly engaging in tabloid sensationalism’ is actually a compliment.
Writing in a tabloid style is a craft that many have tried and few have mastered. But we’ll leave the mechanics of journalism aside for a while.
But to question a journalist’s accuracy is, to quote a former Taoiseach, ‘beyond the Pale’.
Shatter later apologised for his remarks that he made at a meeting of Templemore Town Council last week - and rightly so. He called the journalist’s integrity into question and he had no option but to issue a grovelling apology.
But it seems that Shatter seems to like the tabloid form of journalism.
Just look what he put in the letterboxes of the people of Dublin South in 2007 when he was hoping to regain the seat he had lost in 2002!
His newsletter was like a cheap British gossip magazine, complete with strap lines ‘Real Life Free’ and ‘The Only Read You Need’.
The cover featured a posed photo of Shatter - looking all relaxed in his jeans and denim shirt with his jacket casually thrown over his shoulder.
But what beats Banagher is his attempt at dress-up - comparing himself to actor William Shatner and his Star Trek Captain Kirk character.
What is quite obviously a photoshopped picture, Shatter superimposed his head on Shatner’s body to make him look like Captain Kirk.
“Only one of these men needs your number one vote” - the strapline reads.
Not only is Shatter a talented lawyer and a senior Minister, it seems he is a dab hand at a bit of ‘tabloid sensationalism’ himself.
So Alan, if you tire of politics - we are standing by waiting for your CV. Your portfolio is impressive!!
And Paul, you are welcome to The Star’s mothership anytime!!