Following its tedious and interminable coverage of the passing of George Best last year, BBC Radio Ulster continues to wallow in its cult of celebrity death. This time, David Ervine of the Progressive Unionist Party is the subject of adoration.
Mr Ervine died just over a week ago and, as expected, BBC Northern Ireland's airwaves have since been awash with lachrymose eulogies. Yesterday's edition of Talkback dedicated its first thirty-five minutes to mewing over Mr Ervine, often plumbing the most moronic and laughable depths.
One commentator noted that Mr Ervine was an icon for Protestant youth and a leader akin to Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King. I restrained myself from falling off my chair at such comparisons, although I couldn't help my mouth falling open.
"He gave me hope for Ulster," said one caller. Another noted that perhaps a scholarship should be offered in Mr Ervine's name, or a college established to "help bring people together."
It was suggested that the new Northern Irish stadium should be called 'The David Ervine Stadium' or that a bronze bust be located in City Hall.
The mewling and rending of garments continued. Blinding light poured from the radio. Phrases such as "The other persuasion" and "The Province" littered the discussion. Presenter, David Dunseith sighed with remorse. A pastor, and friend of Mr Ervine, spoke about hymns.
A caller noted: "I wish there was another airport we could name after him."
At this point, I abandoned restraint and fell off my chair.
Such is the state of reasoned journalism at BBC Radio Ulster. There was no significant exploration of Mr Ervine's role as a representative of an armed sectarian organisation committed to ensuring Unionist privelage through the killing of Catholics. Dissenting voices were absent, doubtless excised at the switchboard. Those whose comments managed to get read out were described as individuals unable to move on. The airbrushed cult of celebrity prevailed.
I searched for an antidote to these exaltations and came across this rather stark post by Liam Mac Uaid. I suggest Mr Mac Uaid be given a slot on Radio Ulster sometime this week, preferably just prior to Hugo Duncan's inane twittering, when an entire nation races for the off-switch.