In a republic the citizens are engaged in public controversies. They rely on their mass media for the information and arguments necessary to deliberation and discussion. If the media fall short, the republic is ill served.
Glib references to “the politicians” is, as Michael D. Higgins argues in the Irish Times of 22nd August 2009, evasive but it is also poor journalism which does nothing to provoke or nourish public debate in the republic.
It is long past time that some prominent journalist, editor or media manager in the state-owned or private sector media initiated an editorial guideline which would serve to limit the use of the term “the politicians” to the odd occasion on which it might have relevance. On all other occasions the citizen would be better served by language which seeks to categorise and divide politics and politicians.