The Non-Ideology of Jim Power

“The perpetrators of the extreme negativity should question their real motives and ask themselves if their comments are doing more harm than good,” Mr Power said. 

 Irish Independent: Consumer confidence higher but fragile,  1/5/2007 

Today on RTE radio celebrity economist and Friend’s First  lobbyist Jim Power declared “I don’t take an ideological approach to anything”. This statement is interesting as it underlines the mainstream media relationship to ideology; that is that ideology is anything outside market norms while dominant market based ideologies remain ‘practical’ even when proven wrong. The idea of ideology goes beyond academic interest as RTE and other media continue to disproportionately use such ‘non-ideological’ sources from the financial world without any consideration of either political positions or interests. As discussed  in an earlier piece:

The mass media act as an economic ideological apparatus in a number of ways: Firstly the media may act to favour certain narratives above others when describing historical or contemporary events. It may do so by the use of sources biased in favour of officialdom or corporate business. As Herman and many others point out, economics is an intrinsically contested area ideologically, as ‘those expressing opinions favoured by ‘the market’ (i.e. the business elite) have been provided with disproportionate resources and access to influence and power through their sponsorships in grants, access to the mass media, and in influence in the political arena’ (Herman 1982) The media may also operate ideologically by ‘significant silences’, by the framing of issues in certain ways (Entman 2004) or by narrow agenda setting

For one of the best examples of  ‘non-ideology’ ideology in action one has to go no further than the debate between Jim Power and Morgan Kelly back in 2007. This debate took place two months before the general election in 2007 when Jim Power led the Green Jersey brigade in defending in the most absolutist and ideological terms the Irish economic model and housing market; the only question that remains is why is Jim Power still one of the most ubiquitous economic sources on Irish media?



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