IrishCentral on camera - the perks and the pitfalls

"Inside Edition" doesn’t like Irish accents – or maybe Irish people. At least that's the conclusion I have drawn since they rejected me from the program.

The CBS television syndicated show hosted by Deborah Norville is the No. 2 rated program in its market.

Yesterday they called this office looking to interview someone about our exclusive Billionaire’s Ball story; the gathering of 15 or so of the wealthiest Americans in New York at a secret meeting in early May.

There was a lot of media attention: ABC News led with it online and The New York Times picked it up so we were thrilled that our new Web site was getting such a break.

Given that I had written the piece, I was the obvious choice, or so I thought.

I also mentioned that Meghan Sweeney one of our reporters was also available.

The staffer seemed fine with me and said she would call back with a time for the interview.

An hour or so later, our reporter came to me and mentioned that CBS had called her, which I found peculiar given I had not given out her number.

What they told her was even more interesting. It seemed because I had an Irish accent they didn’t want to put me on. Now if they had told me I was too ugly maybe I’d have agreed – but my accent?

"The producers don’t like accents,”  Meghan said.

Indeed, and what would they do with Colin Farrell or Arnold Schwarzenegger? And, for that matter, I'm sure they’d have no problem with Hugh Grant.

Have we really become so white bread in America that accents are not allowed on T.V. any more?

I’m proud of my Irish accent (I'd better be seeing as it's the one I was born with) and I’ve not had any problems before.

My closest friends tell me I speak reasonably slowly and am somewhat articulate. They even tell me I can put the occasional sentence together.

Indeed, many believe I spend far too much time communicating just about every thought I have.

But "Inside Edition" clearly thought otherwise.

It’s a shameful verdict on how insanely preoccupied television has become with image and accents and not substance.

Meghan went on and did a great job, in fact, such a great job that they took her comments this morning and ran them as their own on the Web site.

Hmm. What would you expect from a pig but a grunt?

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