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Eilis O’hanlon

RTE Ra­dio One’s To­day With Sean O’rourke did a re­mark­able thing on Mon­day. Then it did it again on Tues­day, and on Wed­nes­day too. Strictly speak­ing, it was some­thing that the show didn’t do which was note­wor­thy, and that was to not talk about Don­ald Trump.

With the rest of the me­dia ob­sess­ing over the new tell-all book on life in­side the cur­rent White House, Sean O’rourke opted in­stead to talk about the Dis­clo­sures Tri­bunal, and the prop­erty tax, and the beds cri­sis in hos­pi­tals, and the gen­der pay gap — all ac­tual sto­ries, rather than some tit­tle­tat­tle about Trump eat­ing cheese­burg­ers in bed, or his daugh­ter mak­ing fun of his hair. This re­lent­less fix­a­tion on how dys­func­tion­ally aw­ful the US pres­i­dent is, far from un­der­min­ing him, re­peats the mis­take made by the me­dia in the run up to the 2016 elec­tion, when it gave Trump an un­prece­dented plat­form by mak­ing him the cen­tre of ev­ery story.

Even RTE’S arts show Arena got in on the act by ask­ing: “Could Oprah Win­frey be a pres­i­den­tial can­di­date?” Nigella Law­son Os­ten­si­bly Hi­cienda the er­ciam item was a pro­file of de­strum the TV pre­sen­ter rem in est, in il modia light of her em­pow­er­ing quatur Golden aut fugit Globes aturnnkkl speech, but re­ally it was just an­other as­pect of the jour­nal­is­tic “idee fixe” with Trump. O’rourke should be com­mended for re­sist­ing it, how­ever tem­po­rar­ily.

US pun­dit Cal Thomas, a reg­u­lar on To­day FM’S Last Word, saw the emer­gence out of nowhere of the “Oprah for Pres­i­dent” move­ment as a sign of how Amer­i­can pol­i­tics is now dom­i­nated by celebrity.

Trump’s crit­ics, he said, are wait­ing for “some kind of mes­sianic saviour to come in and fix ev­ery­thing… I think that’s the wrong ap­proach to pol­i­tics, I think it de­means the pro­fes­sion”. Fel­low reg­u­lar Mar­ion Mck­eone wasn’t sold on the idea of an Oprah can­di­dacy ei­ther; she just didn’t think Win­frey could be any worse.

Thomas was more pos­i­tive about the cur­rent in­cum­bent, point­ing out that growth, in­vest­ment and busi­ness con­fi­dence are all up in Amer­ica un­der Trump, with black un­em­ploy­ment at its low­est level ever. “I don’t like the per­son­al­ity,” he said, “but I like the re­sults.”

US talk show host Michael Gra­ham agreed as he teamed up again with Ge­orge Hook for the first edi­tion of the New­stalk pre­sen­ter’s new Satur­day Sit-in show.

“Who had bet­ter re­sults in 2017?” he asked. “Trump the dummy, or the su­per ge­niuses of Europe?” It’s an un­com­fort­able ques­tion, but one that needs to be asked if Trump’s Watch crit­ics IT NOW are ever go­ing to get over their Hardy hissy Bucks fit that is on he the won RTE and start un­til fig­ur­ing out a se­ri­ous strat­egy to beat him.

Hook’s Six Na­tions show Rugby was is an on odd 3Player con­coc­tion. un­til He be­gan De­cem­ber with an 16; al­most overly-com­pen­satory jaun­ti­ness, Sim­ply Nigella and the is on items, BBC iplayer mainly - cur­rently cen­tred not on health avail­able and to view­ers travel, in seemed Ire­land. a lit­tle un­de­mand­ing at first. In the sec­ond hour, he got more into his stride with meatier po­lit­i­cal sub­jects. Then he was back to his old self, but why was he not talk­ing di­rectly to Michael Gra­ham, as of old? In­stead Gra­ham sim­ply de­liv­ered a mono­logue. Ge­orge Hook is all about the in­ter­ac­tion, the bat­tle. That’s what lis­ten­ers want to hear, and what New­stalk has been miss­ing.


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