Internet killed the TV star
One may suspect, that since the growth in popularity of internet (with its wide range of easily available and accessible) information pools, as well as ever decreasing interest in (less and less relevant, thus until recently still) mainstream media in Ireland, some sort of a deal occured between the state and the media; where an agreement was made, for the media to propagandize and do PR stunts in alignment with state wishes in return for funds aquired by TV licencing fees. We don't have to look far to find substantial evidence of state media doing PR (public relations) stunts to raise support numbers for state actors in Ireland.
During the coronavirus lockdown the Minister of Health in Ireland, Simon Harris, deemed the Easter Bunny an essential worker in a tweet, soon followed by a plethora of articles and news bites, some going as far as praising Harris as well as Leo Varadkar (the prime minister, in Ireland referred to by title 'Taoiseach') and their hard work in assuring Easter Egg delivery to save the children of Eire from disappointment.
"What a farce" you may say, yet, this is simply but one example of the Irish lamestream media acting in tandem with the state, instead of standing independently in truth and bringing attention to real issues, so those may be taken care of. Isn't such the duty of a jurnalist? While the task of a reporter is to bring us clear facts and not manipulated stories, that shift perception of the public in accordance to some corporate agenda.
The trend of Irish media servitude to the state has revealed itself again two months later, when a video of the prime ministers speech, from June 5th, followed by a viewer pulling out his phone to show how part of the speech repeats a scene from movie Lord of the Rings verbatim, went viral on social media and other internet platforms of communication. Irish media quickly came to the rescue and called the mishap a quotation. Why not plagiarism..?
Let's look at this closer. The hawk eyes of culturally savvy people caught the Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, "quoting" Winston Churchill on March 17th, movie Terminator on March 27th, song "All my friends" by Dermot Kennedy on April 1st and the earlier mentioned Lord of the Rings in by now, infamously viral speech on June 5th.
The media soon followed up with a PR damage control, when Sean Astin of the Lord of the Rings cast has said on 2FM videocast, that he bets "50 quid" the prime minister couldn't fit a quote from movie Mean Girls into the next speech. Which of course was done and instantly covered in puff pieces by the lapdog media outlets.
The Irish Times went as far as calling this fiasko pop culture referencing in an article published on their website with video reel that presents plagiarised speeches together with an actual quotation in speech from 10th of April, when Varadkar used Seamus Heaneys poem and before reading the quote states the name of the author and says "as he wrote".
We shouldn't be too critical and consider the non verbatim quotes of Winston Churchill, Dermot Kennedy and a scene from the movie Terminator nothing more but mere inspiration drawn from those sources. In case of the June 5th speech, that became infamous only because of the viral internet video, we must admit that it has revealed the Irish prime ministers speeches to be below the standard of college essays written by students in Universities worldwide, where author of original must be referred to.
We shouldn't assume, that Sean Astin who played the role of Samwise Gamgee in the Lord of the Rings and whose lines the prime minister "quoted" is in on the PR stunt simply because he challenged the minister, but it is more than possible. What we can be sure of, is that coverage of this by the fake news media outlets as cultural savviness of the Taoiseach, is nothing but a mere deflection from plagiarism and inability of the Irish prime minister to write his own speeches that would touch Irish peoples hearts in an authentic way and using words of others in a failed attempt to achieve this.
Let us ponder, what is truly expected of a leader when it comes to speaking to his people in the time of crisis? Is concerned facial expressions and blatant plagiarism of movie quotes, by state media covered as cool "pop culture references" not a cruel joke and maybe even a shallow representation of what leadership and jurnalism mean? What kind of standard should be leaders held to? Should it not be higher than that we hold students to?
We live in the shadows of former glory misteriously hidden from our eyes by the sands of time. Those who do not feel it, nor commit to understanding of its complexity fail to grasp its true meaning and don't act accordingly. Remember; to be open to learning and growing is to welcome expansion of yourself with joy and as such is a sure path to greatness.