Reporters from National Public Radio (NPR), the main public broadcaster in the US, had some choice words for three of Ireland’s government ministers yesterday, calling them ‘incompetent’ and ‘unprofessional.’
International correspondent Ari Shapiro and producer Rich Preston are currently in Ireland for a week-long reporting trip. Yesterday (Wednesday), they had interviews set up with three different Irish government ministers, for three separate stories. All three flaked out – two by canceling at the last minute; one by failing to show up at all or respond to phone calls.
Shapiro and Preston took to Twitter to vent their frustration, as The Journal first spotted:
I can't stand incompetence. I've experienced that in abundance today. Ireland: your professional politicians ain't so professional— Rich Preston (@RichPreston) November 18, 2014
Preston ranked the experience as the most frustrating in his long list of interviews with politicians from around the world:
I've interviewed prime/first ministers, ministers, mayors & councilors from Europe to the US to Africa. Worst experiences to date: Ireland— Rich Preston (@RichPreston) November 18, 2014
Shapiro put it simply – “Slainte, dudes”
Incredibly, 3 Irish government ministers have cancelled interviews with us at the last minute today, for 3 separate stories. Slainte, dudes.— Ari Shapiro (@arishapiro) November 18, 2014
It gets a little worse:
Though to be fair, one didn't officially cancel; he just failed to show up and his press officer didn't answer the phone. So there's that.— Ari Shapiro (@arishapiro) November 18, 2014
The Irish government’s official news service, MerrionStreet.ie, asked Shapiro for more information.
@arishapiro Hi Ari, Government Information Services here in Dublin. Could you please contact us re your tweet? +35316194033— MerrionStreet.ie (@merrionstreet) November 19, 2014
Speaking to The Journal he declined to name the ministers, as he is still apparently hoping to re-schedule the interviews for later this week.
The site also reported that the government is attempting to get to the bottom of what happened, indicating that “it was unacceptable if three ministers canceled scheduled interviews.”
Preston and Shapiro wasted no time getting back on track with their reporting, visiting a farm where dairy meets tech and taking in the dark sky preserve in Co. Kerry.
This is the sun disappearing over one of the darkest places in the world, the dark sky preserve in Kerry. Primeval. pic.twitter.com/kWBtXNguga— Ari Shapiro (@arishapiro) November 19, 2014