Monday, November 24, 2003


I like John Waters. I read his Jiving at the Crossroads at a time when I didn't know Ireland that well, but thought it was entertaining and that his perception of the Irish media seemed to be roughly accurate. I remember telling someone back in the early 90s that John Waters used small words to illustrate big ideas whereas his colleague Fintan O'Toole used big words to illustrate his small ideas.

Then he went through his Sinead O'Connor phase and he sort of lost me. However, his writings on Irish politics over the past few years - particularly as they relate to the US, especially after September 11 - have been excellent. I'm sorry to read that the Irish Times has fired him.

Still, I cannot see how he could have kept his job after criticizing the management of the company and stating that the editor was "compromised". It doesn't matter if he was right about the payments to the directors and former editor, he had to go. If he wasn't fired, there's no way the editor could have kept her job. The Irish Times is a business and I can think of no business that would have tolerated an employee publicly condemning the Board of Directors and questioning the ethics of his manager.

I presume he'll find a position elsewhere - the Sunday Times could use him, but I'm not sure Waters would enjoy working for a Murdoch publication.

UPDATE (5:25pm): Waters has been reinstated. What do I know?