O'Gorman Can't Expect Special Treatment
Irish Independent, 5 February 2007
Just how naive is Colm O'Gorman? The nation's most high profile victim of clerical abuse, and Progressive Democrat Dail candidate, enjoys a unique relationship with the media compared to any other political hopeful.
Since O'Gorman first appeared on our screens to talk about the monstrous abuse suffered by him and so many other young men in Wexford, he has gone on to become an articulate, intelligent man who gives good quote and, in the process, has become something of a media darling.
And in a week when the latest poll suggested that PD support has completely imploded, leaving them with only 1% of the vote, his party bosses will be forgiven for wondering if their golden boy isn't as smart as he makes out.
O'Gorman's decision to condemn the Late Late, and accuse Pat Kenny of ambushing him on the issue of gay adoptions, was the sign of a man who is either a total political naif or someone who has been enjoying an easy ride from the media for so long that he thinks he is entitled to set his own agenda.
Anyone who saw the interview will be surprised that he now claims to have been ambushed.
But he whined last week that: "Nobody was more surprised than myself to find I was being trailed by a question Pat Kenny asked the audience about whether they would allow two gay men to adopt children."
He claims that the interview was to be "broadly political" but again, this just shows a combination of naivety and arrogance.
After all, what other first-time Dail candidate could expect to be given a half-hour on the most watched programme in the country?
Pat Kenny had a duty as a journalist to probe O'Gorman, a gay man who has fostered two children, on the hot button issue of the day - which just happens to be gay adoption.
And while the interview seemed to go perfectly well, he said he was "surprised, uncomfortable and unhappy" at the line of questioning to which he was subjected.
For a man who has posed plenty of awkward questions of his own during his quest to get justice for child abuse victims, it's a pretty lame argument.
The irony is that O'Gorman had an opportunity to do some real good in the cause of gay adoptions.
He is in a unique position to pontificate. After all, nobody really wants to be seen to be harsh to the public face of child abuse.
Instead, O'Gorman has blown that precious capital and instead transformed himself into just another politician bellyaching over an interview which wasn't conducted to his taste.
O'Gorman remains an interesting, charismatic figure. But if he doesn't want to be held in the same bored contempt we hold so many other politicians, then he'll have to up his game.
Although if that opinion poll which predicts the demise of the PDs is correct, he may end up feeling nostalgic for the days when the Late Late were even interested in having him on the show.