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NORTHERN IRELAND’S WORST JOURNALIST?

By ATWadmin On November 3rd, 2007

I wonder if Deborah McAleese is Northern Ireland’s worst journalist? Since she writes for Northern Ireland’s worst daily newspaper, the Belfast Telegraph, she seems eminently well qualified.

Last evening she published this story citing…

 ..how abusive comments about murdered Cullyhanna man Paul Quinn are being posted on the internet. Web users are utilising a popular UK political commentary site to insult the 21 year-old who was beaten to death by a gang in Co Monaghan almost two weeks ago. Logging in under names like Local, Local 2 and Anon, they have posted comments stating that Mr Quinn was an "anti-social scumbag" and one user said that while he did not deserve to die he deserved a "severe hammering".

Now, it appears she may be referring to A Tangled Web, though it is possible that another "popular" UK commentary has also the same comments posted on it. Here’s a few points for Deborah and any of her associates reading this;

1. Have the grace to mention the web site you quote from, and of course, be careful what you say about it.

2. Along with the overwhelming number of ATW readers, I have consistently condemned the IRA murder of Mr Quinn. I have done so on ATW and on the BBC. My views could not be clearer, the editorial view of ATW on this issue could not be clearer, so why imply that somehow ATW is a receptacle for an alternative view?

3. The MSM is welcome to challenge all view on the blogosphere, just as I challenge views portrayed on the MSM. But it is a cowardly or stupid journalist who only gives half the tale.

In future, I would advise any journalist who wants to quote from ATW to ensure attribution is given and fairness is applied. I believe the MSM like to pretend they are independent seekers of truth, so let’s start seeing evidence of it. 

38 Responses to “NORTHERN IRELAND’S WORST JOURNALIST?”

  1. What a ridiculous piece of journalism, the story amounts to an anonymous idiot said something obnoxious on a website and was roundly condemned for it. If every time a blog gets a troll the Belfast Telegraph is going to make it headline news then each edition is going to be the size of the London telephone directory.

  2. David, I must ask, how come you haven’t challenged some of the spurious comments written about you on balrog (blarag?)?

    A lot of journalists cite internet sites without referring to them by name, infact only last night on BBC news on the murder of the judges daughter the commentator cited an internet site claiming one of the people charged had been a police informer.
    (How sad for the poor judge who’s daughter was murdered and the investigation seems to have come to nothing – like so many others)
    The name of the site wasn’t used – only a reference made to it. Which is perfectly acceptable practice.

    In one way its good journalism, since readers then will not be invited to go there, if they are undesirable sites, and lets face it some are.

  3. Typhoo,

    To answer your question, I rarely read Balrog. I quite like Chris Gaskin – don’t agree with him very often – but I suppose he, like me, has no control over what those who visit his site say about people like me.

    There are a gang of trolls – Jo / Percy / Pimpernel, who seem to have an obsession with me and say the most stupid things. I feel they are demented people and I don’t have any interest in them.

    But when the MSM, and here I include the BT, make comment on ATW content without attribution or any sense of balance, then I do take exception. Ross is 100% right in what he says here. It’s Micky Mouse journalism – maybe I should send Deborah some cheese?

  4. ”but I suppose he, like me, has no control over what those who visit his site say about people like me”.

    I dunno what you mean by this, we’re all a product of our past in this place – can’t say you’re any different to the rest of us, other than you’re in the public eye. No wonder you don’t read it much neither do I but when I do its usually about you, which I find, (no offense) pretty blo**dy boring!

    I still think the BT refering to it is no big deal-it happens all the time. She may have felt naming the site would damage it and so didn’t. Her motives may be different to what you think.

  5. ps you do have control, and so does he.

  6. Deborah McAleese…I wonder…

  7. "For someone as public as David is, with his writings out ther for all the world to see,"

    Why then desn’t he present these views when he appears on local radio and tv? Guess?

    Plus, if you’re genuinely as agitated about political events as he is now, imagine what he was like 20 years ago when as a younger man, one of his neigbours went around engaged in
    sectarian murder and bombing Dublin and Monaghan?

    When questioned about Ulster Resistance, his response has repeatedly been "I wasn’t in the country when it was founded." That’s not QUITE good enough. Plenty of video evidence exists, as does the personal tesimony of people who, like him, were around at that time and who don’t really like him because they see him now as "all talk". Sound like a familiar relationship?
    Jo | 11.03.07 – 10:08 am | #

    WOW now that is some comment. when even your neighbour gets it – and you don’t object?

  8. David,

    I have read the coverage on Paul Quinn , both the bloggers and posters have being unanimous , I can’t think of one comment where the implication was that he deserved it. What could possibly make you think that this journalists was talking about your site. Its just not logical. If someone told you she was talking about you then that was rediculeous. It does not make sense to think like this

  9. Typhoo,

    Jo is a moonbat par excellence. I pay no attention to her other than to point out where she to find the guts to put her name to her comments, my lawyers would have her.

    Paul,

    I qualified the connection but as Charles from Texas points out the names of the commentators and one of the comments quoted appear on an ATW thread. Coincidence?

    All,

    She failed to provide attribution. Poor journalism.

  10. Maybe I missed it, but I saw no such comments about young Paul Quinn on ATW.

    It brings to mind the death of the wee lad in Balymena when Bebo was full of obscenities related to the lad and his killers.

    The internet is a great gift to us all, but it has many pitfalls, some of them potentially quite dangerous- Of course it is not the actual internet itself that is dangerous, but the people that use it.

    In any medium, hateful/abusive/obscene/dangerous comments are to me just a reflection of the person issuing them. Now, most of us are prone to lively debate and even the ‘hint’ of sarcasm; but when people get enraged enough to become abusive or obscene to their verbal opponents, it is more of a reflection of the state of their own life, I believe. In fact, when it becomes abusive or obscene, it is time to sit back and wonder what is wrong with the person. It is really a look into their mental well-being or some serious shortcoming/unhappiness in their own life.

  11. I agree with you David.

    Of course there are those who use the internet to try to make spurious diagnosis about people they don’t know while being totally abusive themselves in many posts. Pot and kettle seem to be the order of the day when annonymity is involved. Perhaps a reflection of an underdeveloped ego or just sore when the truth hurts. Either way they are laughable idiots.

  12. As I was telling David last night, if the writer did quote from ATW, it’s no shame one the site that a republican troll posted here. We, including DV and me argued with him/them.

    As David said, it’s using ATW comments without attribution that may be the problem.

  13. I never thought that the article referred to ATW, and know that if any lowlife made such comments here that you’d have been on him like a ton of bricks.

    Yes, it was weak journalism for McAleese not to have mentioned the name of the website she was referring to, if not the address of same.

  14. ‘I never thought that the article referred to ATW, and know that if any lowlife made such comments here that you’d have been on him like a ton of bricks.’

    I agree. And as I said on another thread, that type of language, relating to the incident, could be found on many sites if one cared to look. Just perverse! And cowardly, not to mention, shabby journalism.

  15. Pinky, re many web sites. The writer uses the singular.

    "Web users are utilising a popular UK political commentary site"

  16. The article was definitely referring to ATW:

    http://atangledweb.squarespace.com/httpatangledwebsquarespace/northern-irelands-worst-journalist.html#comments

    Although when you look at "Local’s" comments they came about two days after the thread had essentially drawn to a close, so few people would have noticed it. Although those that did, David, Charles and Colm, all took the writer to task over them.

  17. ‘Pinky, re many web sites. The writer uses the singular.

    "Web users are utilising a popular UK political commentary site"’

    Right Charles, but the singular could be any site, as the language is commonly used ( disgracefully).

    I think we are agreed that this is cowardly journalism.

    David, have you ever thought that maybe that crazy one Jo from UI fame and now a regular feature on Balrog may be a journalist?

  18. Ross

    I can’t follow that link. Say the date of the original posting please?

  19. Phan Sunday Oct 21, "Ira denies Ira Murder"

  20. David,
    I agree ,she should have named the site. If she was having a go then its a joke , the people here could not have condemed that murder enough. Maybe you should write in and ask her to clarify.

  21. I stand corrected. I had not seen these comments.

    But the point will be made that DV does counter one of these comments, that he never criticized Mr.Quinn, and that all the postings here entail severe criticism of the beating murder that took place.

    And –it must be said– that there was no questioning of Mr. Quinn’s mother here, and of her "motives" for identifying those who had threatened her son’s life just before he was killed. There was such a comment on the other site, which I took the greatest exception to.

  22. Charles,

    Sometimes I wonder if they are talking about the same David over there on blagrag that we know here. I dunno why there is such feeling against him, since he comes accross here so differently!

  23. Typhoo, hatred is a hard emotion to explain, I guess!

  24. Saw the comments now , they were bad but all in all the Local guy was brought to task by many posters. The people that posted against Paul Quinn said that he should not have died but that he was a problem to the local community. Considering the manner of his death , there comments on his character , regardless of who Quinn was are evil. The man was mashed to death by clubs and bars

  25. Agreed Paul. To be fair about the BT piece, the writer was saying that someone was trying to smear Quinn’s reputation via the internet.

  26. ‘The people that posted against Paul Quinn said that he should not have died but that he was a problem to the local community. Considering the manner of his death , there comments on his character , regardless of who Quinn was are evil. The man was mashed to death by clubs and bars’

    I hadn’t seen the comments in question until today, but I still say they probably could be found on any site discussing the issue.

    Paul Quinn’s character is not the question/issue. Those who attempt to make it so, are usually rabid adherents to militant Republicanism.

    The issue IS, that a young man was savagely beaten to death and those responsible for this act must be severly punished.

    The larger issue is, will the community involved, accept the law and order of the country, in deed not just in word, and hand over those responsible so they can face the music.

  27. Also a few years back I remember that the Dup had the gall to criticise David Trimble and others for attending Catholic services. I dont know how this young lad went to the grave , were there many their , probably no one. The DUP should have gone and so should the UUP and the SDLP where were all their representatives.

  28. Paul

    The SDLP Deputy Leader, the SDLP MLA and the SDLP local counselor attended Paul Quinn’s funeral. How many SF representatives, the largest party in the area, were there?

  29. David, have you ever thought that maybe that crazy one Jo from UI fame and now a regular feature on Balrog may be a journalist?

    Mmmmmmm…I wonder.

  30. She’s a civil servant, albeit not very civil. I don’t wonder.

  31. Civil servant? Well now it all makes sense. Too much time on hands, may be the diagnosis. Isn’t it wonderful what our taxes can do, LOL

  32. It’s not at all difficult to filch IP numbers.
    And it would be an extremely stupid person to use a traceable public-sector IP address to deliver abuse/libel.

    And there’s more than enough nutters (and IT-savvy enough) in the MSM profession to be canditates.

    But I’m only teasing in this case, it’s much more likely a two-bit journalist not acknowledging sources, reading this article on its own without the required references is abit like "this bloke down the pub said…."

  33. New Yorker,

    In fairness they wouldn’t have being wanted their. Its greate that the SDLP were their though. Considering the way he went out its nice to see representation if only on the grounds that no man should die this way

  34. "that there was no questioning of Mr. Quinn’s mother here, and of her "motives" for identifying those who had threatened her son’s life just before he was killed. There was such a comment on the other site, which I took the greatest exception to."

    I hope you are not referring to Balrog because no such comment was posted

  35. Chris

    You must have forgotten this comment, added to the "No Republican Involvement" post:

    To use what should be a personal expression of grief can strike many as bizarre but it is entirely in keeping with what a political family would see (and rightly so) as to what the deceased would in fact want.

    That’s my take on how the Quinn family are reacting to the tragic murder of their son. It strikes me (and I’ll accept if I’m wrong in this) that the family has dissident views and are not disturbed at expressing this view in the form of criticism of SF/PIRA and indeed, given the cirucmstances of their son’e death, are consistent in attacking those groups using the death as another weapon.
    Jo | 10.24.07 – 9:12 am

    I have no quarrel with the person who said that, but that particular comment was indefensible.It was irresponsible to speculate about the family’s politics, and wrong to be talking about the grief being in sync with a political world-view that no one then or now in the now has said that they hold.

    That comment was indeed speculating about, questioning the motives of the family–the mother.

    Happy to clear that up for you.

  36. Sorry Phantom, I had not seen that commment. The comment is incorrect, the family are not dissidents.

  37. No problem

    When sites are busy and discussions last over many days, its easy to miss something.

  38. […] Studies at Queen’s University Belfast, and journalist Deborah McAleese, who has previous been called “Northern Ireland’s worst journalist” have further sought to amplify the […]