A few months back myself and fionnuala ni chiobhain edited a show called ‘The Naked Election’ which followed a range of candidates as they ran in Irelands General Election 2011. Among those we followed was former Green Party TD Paul Gogarty, he probably came out of the show the worst and has blogged about the experience on his website in an article about singing
“I mentioned in passing during an election documentary shown after the event that I would love to write a book or record and album.
I also mentioned that I was a journalist by profession and would be looking for media work as my bread and butter, but that was obviously too conventional because they edited that bit out. In fact they edited all the positive, professional and sensible bits out in favour of a grand parody that made great television but an unbalanced personality profile. I would say that, wouldn’t I? Thankfully so would my friends, who know what an eejit I can be, but who can also see someone worth being friends with.”
It’s an interesting viewpoint but I would say that I found Paul to be great value and that we went out of our way to show that he was human. It would have been very easy for us to just paint him as a cartoon charachter, we had the footage but often left out even more damning footage in lieu of pieces that showed he was a somewhat regular guy with very real concerns a lot of people could relate to. In fact, while I would not have voted for him, I grew to quite like the guy. I think people often complain about politicians playing it safe but then at the same time they ridicule a guy like Gogarty who speaks his mind and is passionate about the things he believes in. I hope people can give him a fair chance in his journalism career.