Desmond And The Irish Hacks

A Hamsard colleague from the Live Nation side said most media flak is aimed at Denis Desmond, which means the Irish promoter’s MCD shows up in more headlines than Live Nation.

“Denis Desmond’s MCD Hits Back,” was a recent offering from The Phoenix, a satirical mag that’s more focused on humor than fact.

“You know we don’t approve of gutter journalism and we don’t comment on it,” Desmond told Pollstar after what’s been described as the “Irish Private Eye” attacked what it called his “hardball” business tactics.

The paper poked at MCD for turning to lawyers at the first opportunity, “coming heavy” with any part of the media that criticizes the company, and shutting down a notice board on its MCD Web site when fans posted notes saying the festival heads were “loutish.”

MCD marketing head Justin Green reportedly told The Phoenix the site was closed because some of the notes were defamatory.

The paper has accumulated a listed of instances when MCD – and Green in particular – is said to have treated journalists as “pesky hacks who don’t do what they’re told,” although the details of each example were sketchy at best.

The Hamsard colleague, who only spoke on condition that he wasn’t named, said the hacks are only using Desmond for target practice because of their inherent “Build ‘em up to knock ‘em down” agenda.

It’s clear that Desmond and the Dublin journalists don’t take tea together. The attitude behind what Desmond describes as the “gutter journalism” of The Phoenix is starting to find kindred spirits at the Irish version of The Times, where the reporters feed their stories on to their colleagues on the British sister paper.

The Irish paper was slow to report that Desmond and Live Nation were bidding for a piece of Academy Music Group, but the U.K.’s The Sunday Times still picked up the story and ran it on the front page of its business section – fully five weeks after it had happened.

The irony is that the U.K. paper hadn’t picked up on the story when it broke mid-June, particularly as its business section has been telling readers that AMG was definitely a company worth watching closely.

Both versions were much quicker to report that the proposed deal had hit a snag when coming under scrutiny from the monopolies authorities, with the September 24th issue of The Sunday Times putting the Irish promoter in the spotlight by running a headline that said, “Desmond Bid For U.K. Venues Hits Sour Note.”

– John Gammon