Why Did CBS-TV Provide Subtitles of Dr. Paul Nolan’s Comments About Lahardane, County Mayo Titanic Memorial?
Live from Belfast- – I’m suffering from jetlag from today’s crossing of the Atlantic Ocean from Newark’s Liberty Airport to Belfast, Northern Ireland and it’s not a joke although I just popped my first ‘Electric Car Joke’ into my Tweets! So if you want to keep up with my travels through Ireland and ramblings resulting from jetlag, this is the place to be! I keep dozing off over my laptop but you need to know about what you won’t hear much about in the US. And one of those items is the outrage being felt in Ireland because CBS-TV added subtitles to an interview they did with Dr. Paul Nolan, the physician from County Mayo who has a practice (or surgery as its known here) in Lahardane where he is commonly acknowledged for the time, energy and resources that he puts into helping to create an impressive permanent memorial to remember the 13 people who lived in the Lahdardane/Addergoole area of Mayo and sailed on the Titanic of which only 3 survived.
I met Paul’s brother, Brian, at the Tourism Ireland tent in Boston Harbor on May 16, 2009. We had both been invited to be there for the launch of the Boston-Galway leg of the Volvo Ocean Races and we were rooting for the Green Dragon, Ireland’s entry. Brian, who used to live in Boston but moved back to Galway a few years ago, gave me his contact info and invited me to follow up with him and his brother to learn more about the plans for the Lahardane memorial. One week later, on May 23, 2009, I was in Galway Harbour awaiting the arrival of the Volvo Ocean Races entries in the middle of the night. That was an incredible night that I’ll never forget but it also gave me another opportunity to interface with Briam which led to my knowing Paul.
As a result of those meetings, I had Dr. Paul Nolan on the air with me in telephone interviews that we broadcast on my nationally syndicated radio shows in live interviews. I read today in The Irish Mail, a tabloid newspaper, that Paul and others in Ireland are outraged that CBS felt the need to add subtitles to his interview about what’s going on in Lahardane related to their new Titanic memorial explaining that their audience in the US might have difficulty understanding him.
I try to rationalize the need for subtitles. Clearly, on radio, either you’re understood or your not! I’ve now had Paul on the air with me at least 2 more times and I’ve never had an issue with hsi speaking well and clearly. It makes me wonder if perhaps CBS had some techinical difficulties like static or a poor connection that would necessitate having the special effects of subtitles.
On the otherhand, I watch CBS news broadcasts from time to time and they, like CNN and so many other networks, have taken to providing subtitles when a voice mail message or recorded conversation is being discussed or when the guest has any kind of accent, no matter how slight, just to make sure every viewer understands the content being presented. In both cases, it’s often a question of how well can the listener hear the message and not how well does the guestdeliver the message.
Not only can I tell you from my own experience interviewing Paul Nolan multiple times, but you can find out for yourself, that Paul doesn’t need any subtitled interpreter to be understood. You can test this hypothesis yourself just by clicking on this link to one of the archived interviews I’ve done with him. Not only will you understand the language he speaks and the meaning of the words he pronounces with his charming Irish lilt and humor, you’ll learn about the energy, care, resources and passion that have goine into creating the new Titanial Memorial by the Addergoole Titanic Society in Lahdardane,County Mayo, Ireland. Here’s the one-stop link that will take you to archived audio of one of the interviews I’ve done with Paul, show notes, and other reltated info:
Maybe the way to think about the CBS subtitling of Dr.Paul Nolan’s interview is that CBS thought this information was so important that they didn’t want even one unfocused or hearing-impaired listener to miss out on a single syllable of what Paul had to say so they went to the extra trouble and cost to be sure his message was delivered completely. Philosophically, that’s a very Irish interpretation of the facts, something I’ve learned from my multiple yearly visits to Ireland! And maybe the lesson of this flap is: When the wind isn’t blowing in the right direction, position your boat in a spot that fills your sails! That’s one of those, “Make lemonade when life hands you lemons!” lessons.
Now, if you can’t get to the airport and fly to Ireland to stand next to me at the Lahardane Memorial Service in the wee hours of the morning on this Sunday morning, be sure to keep up with my blog and with my Twitter messaging. Follow@iTripU. You can be with me every day as I keep you in the loop! Become and active part of my travels! We’re going to have such fun together on this trip blended with touching and emotional moments. You don’t want to miss that!
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve dozed off writing this blog while my brain went to mush but my hands kept typing! Haven’t done that since graduate school! So please forgive any errors. . . I’ll look for them and correct them tomorrow when my I’m solidly on Irish time!
Good night, now and suit dreams!
Hugs from Herself the Elf,
--Gotta Fly Now!sm
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Nationally syndiated radio show host