WITH about as much clout as a ten-year bottle of whisky, Independent News and Media’s International “Advisory Board” is meeting in Cape Town to deflect growing criticism of the group as a whole. Pitted against mounting calls for a media tribunal that will address issues of public accountability, there are still unanswered questions raised by a damaging report tabled last year which labeled, chief executive O’Reilly nothing more than a crony capitalist.
“Sir Anthony O’Reilly” has become extraordinarily adept at lording it over the masses, driving content, interfering with editorials, pushing the Irish Model and feathering his own nest in the process. The man has staged rampant mergers and acquisitions that blur the line separating media from business, sport, entertainment, advertising and public relations with the resulting loss in respect for the press as a whole. Independent hacks in their slavish obedience to higher authority, failed to note criticism of the company, one actually praised the IAB for being an O’Reilly brainchild “formed 13 years ago to provide the group’s executives with intellectual soundings on the world scene.” Okay, so a 13-year bottle of Mulroney.
Eager to dip into the Canadian and Irish Whisky fortune behind the Irish Model was Sean Johnson, the class idiot who has created a masterful symbiosis between the Mandela legacy and the Rhodes club, with the usual problems associated with alcoholism. Board-members most likely to gain from group ventures into property and the petroleum industry are Ivor Roberts, career diplomat and former British Ambassador, to Ireland.