Posts Tagged ‘Newstalk’

The Right Hook needs a Left Hook

September 11, 2017

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




Bill Clinton – Understanding bread to avoid making toast!

October 5, 2010

Bill Clinton and the Irish Toast

Bill Clinton and the Irish Toast

Bill Clinton made a huge impression in Ireland last week during his visit and scored huge credibility points with his straight talk and in particular his comment that “Ireland needed to get a handle on the Economy and its Finances or else it would be toast

This speech came at the same time as we announced even bigger banking deficits and serious noises about four year austerity budgets. Doom and Gloom in mega portions. Would you like some despair with that?

Bill was quickly compared by the media to our own leaders and we all fell into a hole of depression as we know we are seriously lacking in credible and inspirational leadership that we can genuinely believe in. Bill did say we could take the tough medicine IF we believed in the results that would follow.

He is right – we need to get a handle on our economy before we are all toast.

The big issue is that no one seems to have a clue about bread and how to avoid our bread (or lack of it!) turning into toast – it just isn’t understood. I am getting no sense from anyone that there is anything close to a solution, a definite and a clear believable plan.

I had a meeting this morning with an accountant friend of mine and the subject of Irish toast came up.

Quite simply my friend made a statement “As accountants, both of us we know that you just can’t take any more money out of this economy. People are on their knees so this is an impossible situation.” The elephant in the room was let out! Of course you can’t get blood from a stone, that is so obvious.

There is a tricky dynamic between confidence, spending, investment, disposable income, indirect taxes and direct taxes, which has us barely hanging in there. Without confidence we have not been spending, which has impacted on tax take and look what’s happened.

The feeling and atmosphere I witnessed since last week reminds me of the terror and fear that gripped everyone and resulted in choking the life out of the economy at the start of 2009.

Without a huge package of Real Positive Initiatives (RPI and not RIP!) that help to generate spending and job creation in the economy, some of which we heard about from Grant Thornton last week on Newstalk (for example in Australia 100% Capital allowances were introduced to encourage spending and investment) to go with some necessary cutbacks, where there is still serious excess we will in serious bother.

Do we need to understand about making bread if we want to avoid being toast?

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion Communications