Prurient Reporting of Elaine O’Hara’s Sad Life Needs to Stop

Irish media behaving like dogs

Clichés become clichés because they’re mostly true, except when they happen to be utterly dishonest excuses for vile behaviour.

One that stands out for me is the utterly-discredited nonsense about hard cases making bad law, a pre-digested fallacy that has been used to justify every sort of oppression against women for as long as I can remember, and what’s more, a thoroughly meaningless mantra which is never challenged by our world-leading, cutting-edge journalists.

Sadly, our world-leading, cutting-edge journalists are now bowing the head to another truism: paper never refused ink, even when that paper is metaphorical and thus we see the tabloidisation of our broadcast media, including RTÉ.

We know the broad outlines of the Graham Dwyer murder case.  We also know that Elaine O’Hara was a woman with unusual and personally-harmful preferences.

Do we need to know any more than that?

Do we need to hear an RTÉ reporter, wearing a fake-respectful mask, intone the humiliating details of Elaine’s texts and interactions on social media?  We know what was going on.  We get it.  Do we need to hear Fergal Keane telling us in his particularly soulless delivery things that only Elaine and her therapist needed to know?

In my opinion, this is vampire journalism.

This is news porn dressed up as public-service broadcasting.

Shame on RTÉ.  Shame on the Independent.

We know what was going on with this poor, dead woman.  There is no need to drag the details around like a dog would drag some unspeakable thing found in a hedge.

Isn’t it about time to show some respect?



19 thoughts on “Prurient Reporting of Elaine O’Hara’s Sad Life Needs to Stop

  1. Well said Bock, I was also wondering why Mrs Dwyer was asked to tell the jury the names and dob of their children, and what relevence that has to the case ?

  2. Bock I couldn’t agree more. How come some of this “private information” is in the public domain? I do believe in free speech, but can’t understand how we cannot control this detail as unnecessary for public consumption. How must both their respective families feel? Shite I’d say.

  3. I don’t need to have this information. Nobody needs to know this. What public service does this reporting satisfy?

  4. “Isn’t it about time to show some respect?”

    Not referring to her life as sad might be a start.
    That doesn’t sound right to me. She just had a life..

  5. Well, to me it’s a pity that she was going about looking for attention/love in a messed up way, but I wouldn’t deem her life sad.. That other yoke up for her murder though, that’s another story.
    From what I understand, he progressively tried to normalize messed up shit with her, while giving her a lot of affection/attention at the same time, to get her to go along with what he wanted.. in other words, he seems like a twisted, manipulative, evil fucker – much sadder than the victim here. Not sure if I’m allowed say… that but I think the judgements should be reserved for him.

  6. It seems to me that most of the judgement is being aimed at the victim. We can’t yet say who committed the murder.

  7. Even saying it was murder seems a prejudgment here. Unless I’m missing something, one of the odd things about this trial is that somebody is being tried for murder when it hasn’t been established that that there was a murder in the first place.

    And this may be relevant to another more relevant consideration here. Given the gratuitously lurid reporting of the trial, one would almost think the whole thing is being stage managed to distract from the Ian Bailey trial. It is interesting after all that the two trials are running concurrently.

    On the other hand while one cannot be sceptical enough about the way things are run in this screwed up society, sometimes scepticism about scepticism is required.

  8. I confess to not being very knowledgeable about the case and to not knowing there was evidence of hiding the body.

  9. The body was found buried, with a spade nearby. That gave rise to suspicions that it might have been hidden by somebody.

  10. Maybe it’s just me, but media in general seems to have gotten a lot more macabre these days, not least the horrible horrible reporting on that poor woman.

    In the last three days I have seen videos of a man being shot dead in the US by police, a teenager being fatally stabbed in the UK and just now as I was reading up on the weekend’s soccer action across the pond I was treated to a full colour picture of a massive bloody gash on Stephen Ireland’s leg.

    Now I’m not trying to pretend that these things haven’t been happening all over the world for a long time but up until recently, you had to go looking for videos of them (not that I did…), now they are plastered all over news sites front pages.

    It seems that public blood and guts and shitty journalism are becoming all to common :(

  11. Bock;
    Agree with news porn, vampire journalism, victim is effectively on trial etc…..but is it not that we (as a society) have an appetite for this especially where the accused is ‘middle class’ and that the Journo’s are merely offering this trash for us to consume if we want?.

    We do have the choice to turn off the TV, change station etc & not buy the Indo, tabloids?

    With Free Speech/Responsible Reporting….who decides what is/is not reported?

  12. It’s not about people being offended by what they hear. It’s about basic respect for the victim’s family. And any editor worthy of the title makes decisions all the time about what to publish and what to omit. There’s nothing earth-shattering about that idea.

  13. The Marquis de Sade in several notorious writings formulated the theory. Sad and disgusting information emanating from this trial tells us something about the current practice. Irish newspapers 50 years ago used to report rape cases with a minimum of detail, while today all the shocking details are reported in full. Should judges have a discretionary power to hold some court cases partly in camera?

  14. I agree that this must be heartbreaking for the victim’s family but as this trial progresses, I have a feeling that this exposition, sad and intrusive as it is, may be necessary.

    This is not just about one woman sadly. As a woman, I think it’s necessary that every piece of this puzzle be turned over. Better I believe that every facet of this case is displayed.

  15. Absolutely concur, it’s highly disrespectful to Elaine O’Hara’s family and to her memory to have all these details that should be confidential splashed about all over the media for revenue purposes. Disgusting behaviour befitting only tabloids.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.