Last night, RTÉ ran a brief, accurate report about the two unflattering paintings of Brian Cowen that appeared recently in two different art galleries in Dublin.
Tonight, at the end of the 9 o'clock news, Eileen Dunne read out an apology to Brian Cowen and his family for "any personal offence caused...and for any disrespect shown to the office of the Taoiseach by our broadcast".
Here's the original report and here's the apology.
I thought that Pat Kenny asking that breakdancing kid if he was going to black up was my 'seriously RTÉ, wtf' moment of the week. Right now, my disbelief is matched only by my anger. The paintings, however tasteless, were newsworthy, and had been covered in a number of newspapers before being picked up by RTÉ.
Apologising after receiving complaints over the tastefulness of the item was cowardly and pathetic. It suggests that there are limits to what the national broadcaster can say about the Taoiseach and other political figures. Are there? Where is the line going to be drawn?