The Right Hook needs a Left Hook

George Hook

Whoah ….another storm with another high profile media personality saying the wrong thing and BOOM, the backlash erupts.

This time (I’m referencing the Kevin Myers storm) it happened live on air and a filter was impossible.

George Hook, the successful and very popular 76 year old Newstalk broadcaster said way too much when he was discussing the ongoing case involving a 19 year woman in the UK who alleges she was raped by a former member of the British swim team.

While discussing this case he spoke about the ‘personal responsibility‘ of the rape victim, he spoke about “modern day social activity means that she goes back with him” and then he put his foot totally in the biggest bucket of crap when he said “But is there no blame now to the person who puts themselves in danger?”.

George ….oh my God what are you saying??

There was then some more insight from him when he spoke about parenting: “There is personal responsibility because it’s your daughter and it’s my daughter. And what determines the daughter who goes out, gets drunk, passes out and is with strangers in her room and the daughter that goes out, stays halfway sober and comes home, I don’t know. I wish I knew.

I wish I knew what the secret of parenting is. But there is a point of responsibility. The real issues nowadays and increasingly is the question of the personal responsibility that young girls are taking for their own safety.

Now George was trying to say something else and this point tells you a little more about his “lens” when he is discussing the topic.

Was there a simple message about being careful, that came out all wrong?

Quite rightly there was outcry from many quarters and this continues..

Colm O’Gorman, the director of Amnesty Ireland said on Twitter, “I get that @NewstalkFM wants to lead on ‘opinion led content’, but @ghook increasingly stupid, ignorant rants are grossly irresponsible.

Chris Donoghue, (who must know George quite well?) the group political editor at Communicorp, a media company that owns Newstalk, tweeted saying, “Someone needs to go to town on Hook. It’s disgusting.”

Needless to say George Hook has apologised and Patricia Station, Managing Editor said the comments made by Mr Hook were “totally wrong and inappropriate and should never have been made.”

On Twitter a poll has been set up to get George Hook off air and most of the tweets are calling for him to be fired.

One tweeter went as far as analysing all of the brands that advertised during the show and there was another group who were questioning Clayton Hotels for their sponsorship and suggesting that they should pull immediately.

Dalata Hotels (Clayton Hotels is one of the hotel brands) in the middle of all the twitter storm on Sunday tweeted “We will be engaging with Newstalk as soon as possible to terminate our commercial relationship.

While George was clearly wrong with what he said I wanted to discuss it with my folks, great people from the same generation just to test their perspective.

Not for one second did they absolve the rapist but they were very concerned about a 19 year old who would put herself in such a vulnerable situation. This generation do see things through a different lens in the same way that new generations will most likely see things differently to us. The word blame was not used once in their conversation and this is where George went totally wrong.

So……what should happen with the very popular, talented and opinionated 76 year old broadcaster (is this why he is so popular?)?

I don’t think he should be burnt at the stake and I don’t think he should be fired.

He made a big mistake and he should be given a big warning but I feel he should be allowed to continue as it is important to have valuable voices on air from this generation.

However, if George is to continue on air maybe the ‘Right Hook’ should be accompanied by a younger ‘Left Hook’  to maintain balance and help to keep that ‘lens’ always focused.

Update: 12th Sept

George Hook’s colleagues at Newstalk have written a letter to the station’s owners asking that he is removed from his position – this is not good.

Is this black and white that one cannot be forgiven for such a mistake or is there something else going on?

Greg Canty 

Greg Canty is a Partner of Fuzion Communications, a full-service agency that offers Marketing, PR and Branding  services from our offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland

 

 

 

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2 Responses to “The Right Hook needs a Left Hook”

  1. David Kennedy Says:

    Hi Greg,

    Always enjoy your blog posts and i’m happy to see you add some balance to this argument.

    George is certainly up against it on this one but i cant help but think that the motivation behind his comments is, ultimately, for there to be less incidents of rape!

    It reminds me of advice i got as a young adult from my parents. I was brought up living a mile or two outside a small village in Co. Tipperary. On Saturday nights my friends and i would meet for a few beers down the local. Taxis were hard to come by but the advice was never to walk the mile or so home for fear of getting hit by a driver with or without a few drinks on board. Making a call home for a lift or paying for a taxi was small price to pay… even if getting hit by a car was someone else’s fault!

    I am liberal and champion equal rights but i sometimes worry about the witch-hunt element that these issues are now garnering. If we don’t welcome alternative views then we’ll live in an echo-chamber of perceived consensus and isn’t that a dangerous place to be and something we’ve ironically spent decades trying to escape?

    Keep up the good work,

    David

    Sent from my Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge – powered by Three

    • Greg Canty Says:

      Hi David, Thanks a million for reading and committing your views online.

      I agree totally with what you say and I feel the same pressure about the “witch-hunt” element as you put it. These says you end up being fearful opening your mouth with a viewpoint, in fear of having the whole head being taken off.

      I love your analogy and it was really sensible advice by your folks – they would be doing a great disservice if they did not give you that advice.

      Thank you..

      Greg

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