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Saturday, 3 November 2018

The Irish Examiner published a letter to the editor with two false claims about candidate Michael D Higgins on the morning of the presidential vote.

The Irish Examiner published a letter to the editor with two false claims about candidate Michael D Higgins on the morning of the presidential vote.

Readers' Blog: Higgins helps presidency in losing its religion Friday, October 26, 2018 - 12:00 AM
Not one presenter during radio and/or TV presidential election debates has thought to ask (particularly President Higgins) about their (his) religious beliefs, regarding the swearing of presidential oath of office on a holy book, while maintaining atheistic beliefs, and also being the guardian of Bunreacht na hÉireann, the Constitution, which has references to God and the Holy Trinity within its wording.
That's because they asked him the first time he ran for the presidency and he answered then, Miriam O'Callaghan asked him if he believed in God during the 2011 RTE Prime Time debate (at 15 minutes) and he said "Yes, I'm a believer" and that he would have no problem swearing the oath the is required to, to be President. He is not an atheist, its a myth.

That is the first false, check-able claim.

The letter writer continues,
Alone among first citizens of Christian nations across Europe, President Michael D Higgins has omitted any reference to Jesus Christ or God in his annual Christmas messages all during his seven years in office.
A Christmas and New Year's Message from President Michael D. Higgins 2015
Date: Sun 20th Dec, 2015
As we reflect on the story of Christmas and the birth of Jesus, on the plight of the homeless Joseph and Mary anticipating the birth of their child, and how they were aided by complete strangers, we can perhaps draw inspiration from what they experienced for our own lives and times. More than anything, the Christmas story gives us guidance on how to shape our own shared humanity with a regard for future generations. This year in particular, we welcome the acceptance of new obligations by nation states in relation to global poverty and climate change.

That's a second false, check-able claim.

The letter writer continues,
Surely the voters of Ireland should be reminded of this ‘religions omission’ by President Higgins before they go to the ballot box today?
Surely the voters of Ireland shouldn't read false claims about President Higgins published by the Irish Examiner the day they go to the ballot box.

The Irish Examiner should fact check letters to editor and not publish letters based entirely on false claims.
Code of Practice for Newspapers and Magazines Chairman of the Press Council
and the Press Ombudsman January 2014
It is important to remember that editors are responsible for all the material in their print editions and
material that has been posted to the web as part of editorial policy and as the result of an editorial
decision. This includes photographs, cartoons, news agency material, freelance contributors and
readers’ letters.


A message of complaint was sent but there has been no reply or clarification.

Sunday, 28 October 2018

Newspapers publish politicians false claim without pointing out its wrong.

The Irish Independent reported on press conference with the Taoiseach Leo Varadkar after the presidential election result was announced.

Leo Varadkar signals he'd like to see reduction in seven-year presidency term Irish Independent Cormac McQuinn October 27

But asked by reporters if there should be an election every seven years the Taoiseach said the Constitutional Convention had recommended a five-year term.

Mr Varadkar added: "I have to say my personal view is a five-year term would be more in line with modern norms than a seven-year term."

The Taoiseachs claim that the Constitutional Convention had recommended a five year term is incorrect.
First Report of the Convention on the Constitution March, 2013
Presidential Term
A majority of the Convention members voted against the reduction of the presidential term to five years and the alignment with the local and European elections.
Main
Recommendations:
The Convention therefore recommends that:
The Presidential term should not be reduced to 5 years, nor aligned with local and European
elections.
The voting results below show 57 convention members voted no and 43 voted yes.

I pointed this is out to the reporter and the emailed the the Independent. The article was changed to read,
The Taoiseach was asked by reporters if there should be an election every seven years.

Mr Varadkar added: "I have to say my personal view is a five-year term would be more in line with modern norms than a seven-year term."
This could be seen as near-live reporting of what a politician said but it could still be fact checked in the time it took to publish it and even then, why just delete the claim rather then add further information later?

The Irish Examiner and Breakingnews also repeated the Taoiseach's claim without pointing out to its readers that it was incorrect, I emailed them about it too, no further information has added as of yet.

Government open to greater transparency around spending at Áras an Uachtaráin, says Varadkar Saturday, October 27, 2018 By Fiachra Ó Cionnaith
"The constitutional convention actually recommended every five years, but again that would require a referendum. We want a 21st Century constitution for a 21st Century republic, but there are a lot of other issues on the agenda as well," he said.