Picturegate or whatever we call it is not about a Facebook Group

See what Twitter is saying about picturegate

Damnit, I thought a snarky comment and the YouTube video would be enough but it’s not. I guess I can’t sleep until I write this down somewhere. What happened last night with RTE apologising and giving in to the bullshit from the Government and the statements from those fucktards in Fianna Fáil show how bad things are.

Last night part of the freedom of the press was murdered in front of our eyes, in prime time hours. We should be crying at that apology. Hope is quickly diminishing in Ireland and more of it went tonight. The country is going to hell in a handcart and now they’re attacking satire in a most brutal way. RTE News has been shut down. RTE cannot report news anymore without having to secondguess themselves and the reaction from Government press officers.

This is not the time for just a Facebook Group. I think this is time to attend clinics and say what we can say to Fianna Fáil before they stop that too. Because they will. Nob Nation was killed and we pay for that, not Eamon Ryan, not Brian Cowen, now our news that we pay for is censored. Did we vote for this? Did those that voted for the Green Party vote for those and of those who said they should go into Government? Did members of Fianna Fáil vote for this?

There is a meme starting on the Internet where Irish people are posting naked pictures of Brian Cowen on their blogs and Facebook profiles. Not enough. Let’s gather together with A1, A2 posters of these and protest outside the offices of the Taoiseach. At every public event we need to track Brian Cowen and his staff and display these posters. Brian Cowen’s office needs to apologise over this. RTE need to apologise to us over this. There needs to be more done though. There should be transparency when it comes to contacts from the Goverment on the direction of a state broadcaster.

On one point I agree with Fianna Fáil. The RTE DG needs to go but not for Fianna Fáil to be happy but to get someone else in instead:

Fianna Fáil TD Michael Kennedy last night called on RTÉ director general Cathal Goan to consider his position. The report “represented a gross insult to the position of An Taoiseach, not to mention a personal affront to the dignity of the man himself”, Mr Kennedy said in a statement

Let’s set a date and start a protest, let’s bring all the world’s press together and have them record caricatures of a naked man from the sticks. Let’s keep the momentum going. Let’s send naked pics of Cowen via MMS to each other and wave our phones, let’s encourage the opposition parties to wave these phones in the Dáil. Have them wear t-shirts under their shirts/blouses. Let’s walk up and down outside RTE news broadcasts. Please please please don’t roll over on this because next time we won’t know what else the news is hiding from us.

Caricature by Alan Cavanagh
Brian Cowen naked

72 Responses to “Picturegate or whatever we call it is not about a Facebook Group”

  1. Simon McGarr says:

    Taking a cue from Fustar’s Durty Postcards- a now stunningly prescient comment on the creeping denial of our right to make a point effectively through abandoning politeness- I would suggest a postcard campaign to the Editor of RTE News.

    On one side, a sober defence of the duty of a broadcaster to report to citizens the events of the day without fear or favour.

    On the other side, an example of the citizen’s right to mock the powerful to make a political point.

  2. fustar says:

    It’s time to take the gloves off. “Funny” voices and “gas” piss-takes will no longer serve or save us. We need satire that is absurd, obscene, and savage. And, even, silly. Anything that fucks with the heads of the joy-suckers that threaten to piss on us.

    My own effort can be found here: http://tinyurl.com/c2kxyj

    And, if anyone’s interested, my thingy on obscenity and satire (mentioned above) be here: http://tinyurl.com/d6t6by

    We’re through the looking glass.

  3. Assuming he’s ok with reproduction rights, Allan’s cartoon would make a fine tshirt.

  4. Aidan says:

    they wet too far asking for an apology, and rte was worse to give it.

  5. […] than I am, but more angry. Damien Mulley, who posted the first video here, just wrote his own blog post about RTÉ’s apology, and other artists are now starting to publish more naked pictures of […]

  6. If anyone wants to use it for a not for sale t-shirt, by all means. I’ll put a hi-res on my site tomorrow.

  7. Christine says:

    I thought that Pat Kenny asking that breakdancing kid if he was going to black up was my ‘Seriously RTÉ, WTF?’ moment of the week. I was wrong…

    @Simon: Excellent idea. Effective, pointed and easy to do. RTÉ need to be held accountable for this and explain their actions. Their credibility is shot but judging by the report in tomorrow’s Irish Times, they’re going to get away lightly unless people start putting pressure on them.

  8. […] Damien has some excellent suggestions, and the Irish blogosphere is up in arms. Let’s start by posting Alan’s excellent cartoon of Mr Cowen. […]

  9. Eamonn Carey says:

    I’ve been veering between sadness and anger ever since I saw the apology last night. I can’t believe how craven RTE have been in this. Before I started out in business, I worked as a journalist for several years – two of those were spent as a producer in RTE. While I never experienced any political interference in any of my programs, I was always conscious that a day like this would come along. However, I never really gave it much thought, as I always thought the editorial staff, RTE Authority and others would always fight for their independence and their right to broadcast items that they saw fit to class as news. Obviously I was wrong.

    The news story that caused all of this kerfuffle was a legitimate story. RTE would have run with it had it been a nude picture of Enda Kenny, Brian O’Driscoll, Bernard Dunne, Michael Fingleton or anyone else who is sufficiently newsworthy at the moment. It was a piece of satire. And it was quite funny. The Government Press Office and the Office of the Taoiseach obviously have very little to worry about, and very little to occupy their time with if this is the type of thing that exercises such a reaction.

    As for Michael Kennedy – it’s quite ironic to hear that clown talking about a ‘gross insult’ to the ‘dignity’ of anyone. Lest we forget – this is the same Michael Kennedy that tried to score political points at the protest against the changes to the medical card last year by suggesting that single mothers with ’10 kids’ were getting ‘free houses’ in Dublin – http://redmum.blogspot.com/2008/10/calling-all-single-parents-in-dublin.html.

    The more I type, the more my blood boils. I think I need a cigarette.

    Fianna Fail are cunts. Worse than that, they are bullying, overly sensitive cunts. Exactly what we need to be running our country at a time like this…..

  10. roosta says:

    one of the funniest things about this is them thinking pulling it from the RTE website would stop it.

  11. Polly Pierce says:

    I was raised in England at a time when civil unrest in the North of Ireland spilled over into the cities of Guildford & Birmingham. As such, I am all too familiar with the propaganda machine, ie censured reporting on the events according to the British government.

    I am disgusted that our Taoiseach and his spin doctors see fit to resurrect this form of censure in these times. Admittedly RTE behaved distastefully in their reporting of the incident, however one has to ask what is the real effect of such acts? It was a prank…

    In turning the thumb screws and demanding an apology, Fianna Fail are showing themselves and Brian Cowen in their true light. Yes, they are dealing with some tough issues at present, but does this really have to result in the proverbial sense of humour failure?

    Whatever harm the prankster artist, or indeed RTE, may have done it is nothing compared with the official reaction to it. This latest episode serves to undermine what little public confidence is left in the government and also the news as presented by RTE. I am appalled…

  12. Grannymar says:

    Posters on Lamposts next, all over the country like at Election time.

  13. This nonsense is evidence that the class in Fianna Fail died with Haughey.

    The Squire would not have condoned this petty attack on RTE. He’d have bought the paintings. And then had the artist assasinated because paintings by dead painters appreciate in value. He knew his art did the late Squire.

    Did the Ff press office have a total humour bypass or what?

  14. Nat King Coleslaw says:



  15. Mark Waters says:

    RTÉ is making itself irrelevant. The internet is routing around the blockage.

    The only loose end to be tied up is that the TV licence is mandatory. The internet’s routing around that one too.

  16. one of the funniest things about this is them thinking pulling it from the RTE website would stop it.

    Make enough noise, and TV3 will run the story, the BBC will run the story, Sky will run the story, ITN wll run the story, and those with a “not in front of the neighbours” mentality will squirm.

  17. […] Picturegate or whatever we call it is not about a Facebook Group, Not even a Fr. Jack style sorry, RTE apologise to Cowen and Brian Cowen – Balls naked from Damien. […]

  18. Have to say I disagree with you on this one. When I saw that broadcast I thought it was out of order – not newsworthy and prolonged shots of the painting showed that the central part of the story was the picture itself. If it was on a satirical show – fair enough, but not the main evening news. The very personal nature of it meant that a complaint was warranted and an apology appropriate.

  19. […] 10:08 am on March 25, 2009 | 0 Reply Tags: ireland (58), politics (61) Damien Mulley calling on the people of Ireland to protest against the censorship of RTE. Print t-shirts, make placards, […]

  20. […] Media, TV So I’m sure this post is already pretty redundant. Damien has been been pretty on the ball. Alexia covered it (here and here) Gavin, Alan, Suzy… basically I’m the one of the last […]

  21. Aisling Ryan says:

    RTE should never have apologies for this!

    Well done Pat Kenny on his radio programme this morning telling a North Dublin FF TD on the radio this morning that Pat wants to buy the painting himself and hang it in his toilet! He attacks the TD for wanting to censor the news reported by our public broadcaster. A wonderful interview!

  22. […] Here is the original RTE piece on the Cowen nudes that they removed from their site and then apologised for mentioning. Thanks to Mr Mulley. […]

  23. Woesinger says:

    Can I suggest that if there’s a mass protest, there be a mass burning of TV licences?

    And a boycott of the RTE channels and their advertisers until they reverse their shameful capitulation?

    I don’t want my money subsidising the broadcasting wing of the Fianna Fail party.

  24. Tom Raftery says:

    Greenpeace are having some spectacular successes with email campaigns.

    You go to their site, fill in your name and email address and a customisable email is sent on your behalf to whomever the particular campaign is targeting.

    Could someone setup something like this to email Brian Cowen and/or RTE?

  25. Dave says:

    ‘There should be transparency’. Good point Damien. Maybe the Dail should sit naked and we would be able to see the real differences between them all (Not much I suspect. Shock revelation: They are all people!).

    But seriously folks, this was not a ‘prank’ it was a protest. It had political intent. It’s working well in getting the point across; The emperor has no clothes on.

    The chump above who suggested that the original item had no place on RTE news because of it’s ‘personal nature’ needs a radical rethink.

    Tina Fey recently demonstrated the power of political satire. Lets hope this runs and runs. Let’s help give it wings.

  26. Joe Scanlon says:

    @DaraghOBrien – 100% COMPLETELY agree with you. Ahern would have used it to his advantage also.

  27. Sean Jeating says:

    ‘Sent’ here by A Doubtful Egg , I won’t leave without at least a short com(pli)ment: Chapeau.
    If you don’t mind, I’ll pinch above shown artwork which is so nicely illustrating The Taoiseach’s New Clothes.

  28. […] http://www.mulley.net/2009/03/25/picturegate-or-whatever-we-call-it-is-not-about-a-facebook-group/ Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)The Starternews reporting.dis[re] 013Stop OpenDNS’ hijack of Firefox […]

  29. Gav says:

    Grannymar actually has a point – during the loacls, why not put naked pictures up on lampposts? Why not make this a bona fide election issue?

  30. @Tom Raftery you’re pretty handy with computers aren’t you? 😉

  31. Tom Raftery says:

    @Allen Cavanagh – Not good enough to throw something like that together but I’d be happy to host something like that on my server if someone else had the code

  32. Fiona says:

    T-Shirts! I love it! Keep us posted . . .

  33. […] says it best in his outright disgust: Let’s set a date and start a protest, let’s bring all the world’s press together and have […]

  34. […] says it best in his outright disgust: Let’s set a date and start a protest, let’s bring all the world’s press together and have […]

  35. […] got a deserved roasting by Twenty, Damien and Gavin , but facts are still thin on the ground. Censor this […]

  36. […] Damien Mulley ; Adam Maguire ; Gav Reilly ; Twitter updates on #picturegate ; Sharona’s Shambles ; Mamam Poulet ; more to be added as time goes by Tags: art, brian cowen, cens, Irish politics, picturegate, satire Sphere: Related Content […]

  37. cementcircle says:

    Isn’t Karlin Lillington on the interim RTE authority now? Can she raise this? Will she?

  38. […] Today on Twitter, everyone in Ireland and outside may have been talking about #picturegate […]

  39. click here says:

    A file has been sent to the DPP following questioning of a man at Pearse Street Garda Station yesterday according to RTÉ.

    Fucking disgraceful.

  40. PaulSweeney says:

    Clearly someone has lost the plot here in Government-land. But there are interesting points to be discussed, for instance, “is the government becoming unhinged, mentally’?; this is clearly ‘reactionary’ and is it evidence of other “reactionary tendancies” instead of ‘proactive planning” or at least ‘considered adaptation’ (in the face of rapidly declining fortune). Dare i ask “would this happen with PD’s as any sort of power in Government?”.

  41. Pandabat says:

    Just a thought but I read that the paintings are to be stored away in archives or destroyed. As the creating artist (which he has admitted and which I believe is not a crime in itself), could Conor Casby demand them back in his possession and, if refused, bring the State to court for theft? As I say, just a thought. Also interesting that Charles Haughey and Bertie Ahern were never asked to apologise for their disrespect of the office of the Taoiseach. Nice to know that what little public finances that are left are being spent on this triviality instead of going after serious criminals but the Gardaí always love the easy target who won’t fight back.

  42. uvox says:

    yeah, Lillington – come on, for fucks sake. are you going to stand with those other FF Fucktards?

  43. uvox says:

    for the record, here’s the rest of the interim RTE Authority


    RTÉ (Interim) Authority members

    Tom Savage, Chairman – Current Chairman, Communications Clinic

    Patricia Quinn – Former CEO Arts Council

    Karlin Lillington – Technology Correspondent, the Irish Times

    Fergus Armstrong – Former Chairman, McCann Fitzgerald Solicitors

    Alan Gilsenan – Film/Documentary maker

    Seán O’Sullivan – Managing Director, Seabrook Research Ltd.

    Emer Finnan – Director of Strategic Development, EBS

    Cathal Goan – Director General, RTÉ

  44. T says:

    a file being prepared and sent to the DPP – that’s the Gardai’s favourite past time! and another waste of tax payers money.