is little doubt but that the Andersonstown News
faithfully reflects the views and outlook of the Sinn
Fein leadership in a fashion similar to how Belfasts
other nationalist newspaper The Irish News
once carried the views of the Roman Catholic pontiff
and hierarchy. There is something very disturbing
therefore when we see the management of the A/Town
News use its financial and political muscle to
curb alternative publications such as Anthony McIntyres
website The Blanket.
latest round in what has been an ongoing tiff over
the past couple of years began when major media outlets
named a West Belfast man as the informer known as
Stakeknife. Most of the Irish based media gorged itself
on the story and few bothered to pull any punches.
Most of the local commentators displayed scant regard
for the unfortunate Mr. Scapatticci or his family
and speculation was intense. The Blanket website
also commented on the story but was restrained by
comparison with other better known brands and certainly
was much less explicit than at least one well known
local political figure.
umbrage was however apparently reserved for Anthony
McIntyre and his website and when he ran with a skit
about an Andersonstown News interview with
Fred Scapatticci, the newspaper threatened legal action
against any other publication carrying the piece.
There has been a few outlets scared off by the threats
and the latest casualty in this row is a New York
journalist who has felt obliged to resign from the
US based Irish Echo because he commented unfavourably
on the A/Town News behaviour.
all is said and done, the campaign against Anthony
McIntyre is the unprincipled act of a bully. He has
said nothing that others have not said and less than
many. He is perhaps an irritating voice in the middle
of West Belfast yet that should be welcomed
by not only the A/Town News but by those whose
views inspire its editorial policy. The existence
of a tormentor in the heart of Ballymurphy would be
proof positive that the scurrilous old slander about
Provo fascists was just that - untruthful slander.
to attempt to crush him and his website leaves more
substance to the claim than those of us who fought
for a better tomorrow deserve to be labelled with.
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