As the controversy about the Newstalk presenter refuses to die, the question needs to be asked: where does this poisonous stuff come from?
The controversy about George Hook has continues unabated this week, with a group of independent TDs announcing that they would no longer appear on his show.
Indeed, there has been widespread talk about boycotts not just of George Hook’s programme, but of the station. Increasingly the culture of male dominance effectively endorsed by the exclusion of women from the role of presenter throughout the daytime hours has been highlighted.
The issue is discussed by Hot Press editor Niall Stokes, in the new issue of the magazine – on the shelves today.
“Dammit, I had planned to write here about the black hole into which Ireland’s World Cup ambitions have collapsed,” the editor writes. “And then real life got int the way.”
In his regular editorial slot, The Message, he discusses the views initially expressed by George Hook, and zones in on the apology, and how seriously we can take the words of contrition that were said by George Hook on his show, on Monday.
“What George Hook said was thoroughly abhorrent,” Niall Stokes reflects today. “But I think we also need to think about, and to work out, where neanderthal views of sex and sexuality have their roots. My very strong feeling is that the finger of suspicion points in a familiar direction.”
Meanwhile, pressure grows on Newstalk to take serious action against the broadcaster, with senior members of The Irish Times - including Fintan O'Toole - refusing to go on the station until it addresses its problems, as well as Solidarity TDs announcing a boycott of Newstalk, and even members of staff at the station urging management to do more about Hook's comments and sexism at the station.
• Also in this issue: Anne Sexton on Tinder and sex; Eamonn McCann on people who make a fortune from bloodshed; Mark Conroy on Why We Must End Direct Provision; and The Whole Hog on the role of Fundamentalist Christians in US politics.