- Feb 20, 2011
Outburst 'Shows Robinson Rattled Over Coverage Of Americas Trip' | News | The Irish NewsPETER Robinson's extraordinary call for the people of Northern Ireland to "stop reading The Irish News" exposed "clear embarrassment" over coverage of the ministers' trip to the Americas.
The DUP leader's outburst came on the day he and Martin McGuinness landed back in Belfast after a 12-day trip.
Their press office refused - and is still refusing - to answer journalists' inquiries about the nature of their visit, their itinerary and the number in their entourage.
Leading media commentator Steve Hewlett said that while first minister might have aimed to draw a line under the matter, his words have only added fuel to the debate.
"He's clearly embarrassed by what happened," he said.
Irish News editor Noel Doran said it was "remarkable that the person who is effectively our prime minister should be urging a boycott of the best-selling Northern Ireland-based paper simply for asking legitimate questions about the spending of taxpayers' money".
"It was particularly ironic that Mr Robinson said his intention was to attract new investment but he had no hesitation in issuing a demand which, if heeded, would lead to the closure of a very successful Northern Ireland company and the loss of 150 jobs," he said.
There is a terrific disadvantage in not having the abrasive quality of the press applied to you daily. Even though we never like it, and even though we wish they didn't write it, and even though we disapprove, there isn't any doubt that we could not do the job at all in a free society without a very, very active press.
John F. Kennedy (1917-1963) Thirty-fifth President of the USA
You would think peter would be used to dealing with media by now. Will be interesting to see what type of spin the DUP put on this.