Sunday, November 05, 2006

Podcast with Irish TV Reporters

Have you ever wondered what people in other countries think of our politics and how they perceive our upcoming elections? Mark Little and Ken O'shea of the Irish TV program Prime Time--a kind of Irish version of Nightline--were in Knoxville to cover the Ford/Corker race and met up with us at Calhoun's Barbeque. We talk with them about politics, religion, and American society from an outsider's perspective and what they have learned by visting the villes so far, Ashville, Knoxville, and Nashville.

You can listen to the podcast here, if for no other reason than to hear their lovely Irish accents (and they're smart and interesting too!). you can get a lo-fi version suitable for dialup by clicking here and selecting the lo-fi version. Better still, you can subscribe via iTunes by clicking here. If you would like to listen to more of our podcasts, go to our podcast archive at

This podcast is sponsored by Volvo at


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love hearing Dr. Helen out-and-about. She's even livelier that way.

9:55 AM, November 06, 2006  
Blogger Helen said...


Yeah, I need to get out more!

9:57 AM, November 06, 2006  
Blogger Maddad said...

Wow, speaking of out and about, these guys don't get out much, do they. Pretty uninformed for a guy who spent 6 years in DC.

Or maybe not.

10:59 AM, November 06, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I thought it was interesting that when you asked why the Irish economy was doing so well, the Irish guys said it was due to EU investment and construction. For anyone who has seriously looked at the Irish economic phenomenon, this completely ignores the two MAIN reasons - lower taxes and foreign direct investment - from the US!

Obviously there would be no need for construction and 100,000 new housing units if there wasn't a driving economic force behind the growth. The EU has been bringing law suits against Ireland for their low taxes - low taxes that were part of the deals that brought so many American companies to the country.

I worked in Ireland in the early '90s and watched as Irish-American CEOs at various companies made a conscience effort to put their European distribution operations in Ireland - not the most natural place for such efforts. Symantic, Microsoft, Intel, Wyeth and many other US multi-nationals took a flier on the Irish economy mostly, as far as I could tell, for sentimental reasons. But they demanded tax incentives for their foreign direct investment, which resulted in explosive growth in the local economy. If the EU had had its way, those tax rates would still be as high as in France or Sweden and Ireland would still be exporting people to America, New Zealand and other places, as they had been for the previous 400 years.

It is so disheartening to hear Irish journalists, who are so much like the denizens of the US MSM, completely ignore the significant contribution Americans and American companies made in creating the "Irish Tiger" economy. I don't expect people to thank American businesspeople for the efforts they made to help that country, but you would think that while on tour in the US, they might mention the fact.

I encourage anyone on holiday in Dublin to take a short trip south and west of the city center to an office park or two. Count the logos on the buildings that are easily recognizable as American, and then try to make the case that it is EU investment in the "infrastructure" that is driving that economy.

You are American. You can't win for losing.


PS And how many of those CEOs were Clinton Democrats? Not many...

11:50 AM, November 06, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can you put up the interview with you and Glenn by the Irish team up when it comes out. I would like to see it.

1:17 PM, November 06, 2006  
Blogger Helen said...

Hi Larry,

You can check at to see when or if they put up the transrcipt on this particular show. If I see it, I will link it. Thanks for your interest.


Thanks for the information. Certainly sounds like there is some Republican-leaning politics involved in Irish economics. I wonder why these ideas are left out of the discussion in their media coverage?

1:58 PM, November 06, 2006  
Blogger Peregrine John said...

I'll give you 3 guesses, and the first 2 don't count.

5:20 PM, November 06, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Helen -

If they are left out of the discussion in Irish political discourse, it is because the power of lower tax rates in Ireland is so well understood that no one really questions it. Taxes dropped in the late eighties, early nineties and the economy immediately took off. It was such an obvious cause and effect that it would be political suicide for anyone to start monkeying with it now. The EU continues to pressure Ireland to raise taxes but they simply refuse. And as your guests remarked about the political process in Ireland, there is consensus on the matter.

Here is an interesting anecdote. The Philadelphia Daily News had a expose several years ago on how to "save" the modern city. They went around the world looking at cities that had gone through significant rejuvenations. Dublin led their list. They asked the Dubliners what they had done and they were told it was very simple - lower taxes

It was a bit of a shock when the liberal Philly News offered this as a solution to rejuvenating decrepit old Philadelphia, but they did. And when the next mayoral election came along, they endorsed the tax and spend Democrat.

Welcome to journalism.



7:59 PM, November 06, 2006  
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