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Monday 18 December 2017

Letting Hook rant on like a fat old windbag is a new low - even for the Late Late Show

The Late Late Show has been criticised for the quality of its recent programming, and a case in point was the decision to invite George Hook on last Friday.

It seemed for all the world like a stunt whose sole purpose was to allow a fat old windbag slag off someone he doesn't like.

Eamon Dunphy had the previous week made disparaging comments about Ireland, but at least he did so out of passion and didn't get personal.

Hooky's rant, on the other hand, was a bitchy, deeply personal attack on a man who wasn't there to defend himself.

Egged on by Tubbers, Hooky decided to play to the crowd and, let's be honest, George is as good at whipping up a crowd as he is at whipping up a lard omelette.

Though he's a bit less substantial when it comes to facts...

"There aren't many countries that would have survived the famine," quoteth the eminent historian.

"There aren't many countries that would have survived the 30s... the 40s and 50s were tough... the 80s were tough. But we came through them all."

All of which is utter baloney. The US survived the Great Depression -- a downturn far worse than our own. Many countries survived catastrophic world wars (did George ever hear of Germany or the UK?) from which we largely remained untouched.

African countries continue to survive, far more damaging and relentless famines than ours.

When it was suggested to him that Dunphy may have been brave in criticising Newstalk, Hooky championed his own fearless independence.

"If you think I'm a cypher for Denis O'Brien...or anybody else you can put that in your football and kick it."

Let's not forget, however, that Hook's last outburst about Dunphy, when he tweeted that "Dunphy is like Greece, full of crap but people keep giving him huge money" occurred when George was in Haiti, working on behalf of an O'Brien-linked charity in the country, and smacked to me as if George was trying to impress the boss.

And harping on about how Dunphy was the best paid presenter on Newstalk, Hook seems to imply that because he was so well paid, he should have toed the line.

But remember - the very fact that Dunphy is willing to walk away from his salary showed a huge amount of integrity.

Let's not forget, George took Sky's shilling for a series of cringeworthy TV ads, just a couple of years after wearing a black armband to protest about TV rights for Irish rugby being sold off to, well, Sky.

George even found time to quote JFK's famous line about "ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country" as though he was the first person to do it, rather than the latest in a long line of mediocre, clueless commentators to spout that hoary cliche.

Hearing those words spewing in a sea of phlegm out of Hooky's mouth, Kennedy must be turning in his grave...

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