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Thursday, November 25, 2004

Shall we dance?

One of the more entertaining half hours on local TV in Northern Ireland for political junkies is BBCNI's Hearts and Minds. This is a programme (note the UK spelling! I may not come home with the brogue, but my Word settings are definitely reset) with an attitude, e.g. the most recent lead in at the web site:

With the DUP and Sinn Fein keeping schtum about the proposals the governments have given them, we engage in what Gerry Adams calls unhelpful speculation.

And speculate they do. The host is Noel Thompson, perhaps one of the sharpest news interviewers I have ever seen. Commentary (accompanied by some wonderful caricatures of local pols) is provided by Danny Morrison.

There is obviously enough material for both to work with in tracking the on-again, off-again negotations over the suspended Northern Ireland Assembly. But they also spread their wings into other topics, e.g., the competition between Belfast and Lisburn over which will be the major retail center for Northern Ireland. Believe it or not, this is really great stuff. So I say to my US colleagues: take a break from Fox News and CNN and "tune in" to Hearts and Minds....

PS: Keep your ear tuned to the taxi driver commentary at the end of each show....
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