© 2018, The Author(s) 2018. Populism, or at the very least a ‘populist zeitgeist’ has advanced across the globe with populist actors from across the ideological spectrum at the forefront of politics in Europe, North and South America and Southeast Asia. One of the major components is the media and specifically hybrid media, which can inhibit or magnify populist political tendencies among both parties and voters. We utilised both hand-coded traditional media data and machine learning on social media data in order to disengage the hybrid media nuances for populist storytelling. We find that the media system in Ireland largely inhibits populist politics and messaging and thereby dampens all anti-out-group messaging. Thus, contrary to the literature identifying an inclination towards populism in some types of new media, and the emergence of media populism in similar media systems in the United States and the United Kingdom, we find that the Irish media, across all platforms, tend not to focus on populist messaging. In addition, the norms appear to bleed over to social media. These results are important because they potentially provide lessons for other European countries in covering populist actors and they contribute to a more nuanced understanding of the role of different kinds of media in the representation of populist politics.