Every now and again, we here at Balls.ie step down from our high cultural sports blogging perch to examine the sorry state of culture. We like the talkies as much as the next guy, but we have never been sure what to make of Irish Times film writer Donald Clarke. Prig or dilettante? Both at once? His Screenwriter blog can be a useful distraction from monitoring football injuries and sometime around mid-morning yesterday, a Clarke-authored post about Nicole Kidman appeared on the Irish Times website. The post prodded Ms Kidman for becoming the godmother of Rupert Murdoch’s youngest daughters. I believe Clarke cast the News Corp mogul in a satanic light, possibly calling him the Dark Lord.
I say possibly because by lunchtime, the post had disappeared into the ether. Google “Donald Clarke Nicole Kidman” and the story pops up, but the link is dead. In this era of libel paranoia and newspaper freefall, did someone high up in Tara Street spike the post for fear that Murdoch’s minions might come looking for libel lurce? Have sarcasm, satire and hyperbole all died at the Irish Times (were they ever alive- Ed.)? And if he was in a libelous mood, how exactly would Rupert Murdoch go about proving his saintliness in an Irish courtroom?
Alas, we’ll never know.