The Blog

What Kind of Week Has It Been? 25 January 2013

Kevin Ward fills in again this week, wondering where Paddy Duffy has gone to with that tea he was promised. He sighs sadly at Liverpool FC here.

The Kicked Ballboy of News

We all love to see cheats found out, that's why every time I turn on Eastenders that sneaky Max Branning is either having a sexy love affair, leaving his long-suffering wife reeling upon her discovery of said sexy love affair, or about to embark on another SLA. The viewers, I assume, lap up the amorous adventures of this russet Romeo with a spoon. Which is why Lance Armstrong's opening of his blackened heart to Oprah Winfrey was simulcast this side of the Atlantic by the Discovery channel ("Do it again now!" - gratuitous Bloodhound Gang reference). Unbroken Lance probably viewed the interview as a chance to begin the process of self-rehabilitation, the idea being that the great American people love nothing more than a comeback. Yeah, just ask Mel Gibson, sitting top of the Tinseltown tree. Personally, I'm disappointed he didn't hop up and down on the couch like old-skool Donkey Kong whilst disclosing "Oprah, I'm in love...with DRUGS! Wooooo!". Armstrong's 'apology' was measured so as not to have to go one inch further than what is in the public domain, so no meaningful apology for someone he dismissed as a "whore" and an "alcoholic", no admission of doping guilt beyond what he can semi-plausibly deny. Hardly surprising, given the towering stature of the man's ego.

This week provided a twofer in Texan tricksters, as Beyoncé put the cause of big-lunged maidens of melisma back by years through miming the US national anthem at the Barack Obama's inauguration. Or did she? This scandal will no doubt see President Obama's approval ratings tank and lead to his resignation from office. After the Chief Justice flubbed the Oath of Office at his first inauguration and now this, Obama can take comfort that the chances of something going wrong third time out in 2017 are very slim. Oh, right.

If I were a PR hotshot, I'd be warm-footing it right now to Kerry, for a unique study into how to continually remain popular with your core audience, while maintaining name-recognition with everyone else. the reason for the Kerry sojourn being the curious case of the Healy-Raes, part cute hoors, part backward-looking rabble-rousers. In making the bonkers case for drink-driving permits for the lonely, Danny Healy-Rae pleases his constituents, rattles the cages of the Dublin media and gets publicity for his pub. The last man to hit such key targets, it was on the promise of a Cadillac El Dorado from Alec Baldwin. Good luck to anyone on the 'Kerry Pass' who seeks insurance on their DUI-mobile. There is a serious point in there, relating to rural solitude and the slow death of such communities, but to wrap it in such urban-baiting guff does nobody any favours. Still, the only way Danny Healy-Rae will now get voted out of his council seat is if he's unmasked as a secret plant from leafy Dublin 4, sent as a fifth columnist to do down the good men and women of the soil.