Friday, March 13, 2009


Veronica Guerin, right, pictured with son Cathal and husband Graham Turley

One thing we generally agree about is the lack of dedicated, or even honest, reporters in our country. It seems that all they do now is sit in their office, take phone calls and cue videos of the horrors that abound.

Although some do get off their bums during a presidential campaign, the truth seldom is in them and they are far from even-handed in their coverage of the candidates. Especially true in the recent campaign where they fell head over teakettle in love with one of the candidates. Some even admitted their bias.

Investigative reporters seem to be a dying breed so we are thrilled one did exist fairly recently. That’s part of what makes the story of Ireland’s Veronica Guerin so fascinating despite the fact that her reporting ended tragically 13 years ago followed by attempts to discredit her.

For two years, Reporter Guerin single handedly went after the drug lords in her city of Dublin. She and her family were harassed and threatened. She was beaten up but she kept on digging and reporting the facts. Her life ended in a hail of bullets.

“When the renowned crime reporter Veronica Guerin was gunned down on the outskirts of Dublin in June 1996 she became a modern-day Irish saint.” A movie was made about her and authorities vowed to punish her killers.

Two years later another Irish reporter, Emily O’Reilly wrote a book claiming that Guerin was “ruthless, devious and – worst of all – a bad mother”.

"Mrs O'Reilly says Ms Guerin blurred the line between journalist and detective in her hunt for a story and made herself and her son a target.

Veronica had a child-like ignorance of danger. No Gardai would have done what she done without back up from six squad cars and a direct phone line to the commissioner of police _ I think it was done to disarm these hard men she was interviewing."

While reluctant to criticise Ms Guerin outright she says: "It's always difficult for journalists but (former BBC war correspondent) Martin Bell didn't bring his children along to the frontline in Bosnia.

It’s not difficult to see the pattern here, a pattern of squelching the important work and life of a woman who was doing what no man dared to do. And of using a woman to do it so hopefully no one will notice the blatant sexism employed to rob a brave woman of her rightful place in history.

Expect more of this kind of reporting as SoS Clinton continues to be extreamly effective.
"NBC's Andrea Mitchell utilizes the International Women of Courage award ceremony to compare the First Lady careers of Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and current First Lady Michelle Obama. Andrea presents Michelle as clearly more traditional, or wifely, than Hillary." TGW

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