My brother criticises me for calling Irish journalist and broadcaster Vicente Browne ‘Brilliant’ and ‘I’m a fan’ on my Facebook after posting a video of Browne’s attack on a EU banker for side stepping his questions (see video below )
For those who know little about Vincent Brown here is a short synopsis of the highly controversial Irish journalist: He is a columnist with The Irish Times and The Sunday Business Post and a non-practising barrister. From 1996 until 2007, he presented a nightly talk-show on RTÉ Radio, Tonight with Vincent Browne, which focused on politics, the proceedings of tribunals on political corruption and police misconduct. He now presents Tonight with Vincent Browne on TV3. The Guardian newspaper has described him as an "acerbic host...Ireland's Jeremy Paxman."
Irish Independent journalist Fionnan Sheahan wrote of Browne: ‘He displays all the traits of the archetypal bully who can dole out abuse and insults, but when they are directed at him it is a different story’
Irelands President, Michael D Higgens said of Browne: ‘That man can just ruin your reputation!’ This was in reference to President Higgens appearance on Vincent Browne’s radio show where he was mischievously harassed by the presenter.
A complaint was made to TV3 about the treatment of journalist Fiach Kelly, when on his first appearance on Browne’s show he was stitched up and subjected to one of his tirades for 20 minutes.
TV3's head of news Andrew Hanlon admitted that the behaviour of Browne was unacceptable but said he had no control over the host – an astonishing admission from the man who was supposed to be Browne's boss!
On October 2010, Browne was forced to make a public apology to Ireland’s Taoiseach (prime minister) Enda Kenny after jokingly asking whether Fine Gael was requesting that he go into a dark room with a gun and bottle of whiskey. This was in reference to Fine Gael's position in the polls, where they were in second place to Labour, and a previous leadership challenge to Kenny by Richard Bruton. Kenny refused to appear on the leaders' debate hosted by Browne on TV3 during the 2011 general election campaign.
My brother Gary was correct in his post when he said of Browne that he was basically a loud mouthed anti Zionist. On 23 October 2012, while presenting Tonight with Vincent Browne, he referred to Israel as "the cancer in foreign affairs", and said Israel "polarises the Islamic community of the world against the rest of the world" and that the Jews "stole the land from the Arabs" with the creation of Israel. Israel's deputy ambassador to Ireland considered Browne's comments to be "racist, anti-Semitic remarks". Browne responded that he was not anti-Semitic, but a critic of Israel. He admitted that his choice of language could have been better but said his criticism was justified.
Mark McFly wrote on my Facebook re Browne: ‘I love this man's tenacity. He's like a little terrier; once he has hold, he won't let go. He pays attention and does not get distracted or confused. I wish there were more journalists like him, able to stay on purpose, and holding those criminals accountable’.
Here is the video that caused this debate.
NOTE: My Brother Gary Boland is not the same Gary who is a regular contributor on my blog.