RTÉ Rebuked Over Persistent Pro-Abortion Bias
For the second time in six months, the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) has upheld a complaint against RTÉ radio’s Ray D'Arcy over his blatant pro-abortion bias. A spokesman for RTÉ said the national broadcaster accepted the BAI’s decision but had no further comment to make.
In a complaint lodged by June Twomey, it was claimed the October 15 programme which featured an interview with Graham and Helen Linehan was “unfair and biased”.
In the second complaint, lodged by Brendan O’Regan and upheld in part, it was claimed the programme was “an attack on the Eighth Amendment of the Irish Constitution”. The complainant claimed the “attack” came from the Linehans but that they were given a “soft” interview which was lacking in balance.
The BAI upheld the complaint in part and said it did not find that Mr D’Arcy had not acted in a manner that amounted to advocating a partisan view.
Regarding June Twomey’s complaint, the BAI found the other perspectives provided were “insufficient” and that treatment of those other views were “cursory”.
The BAI rejected RTÉ’s claim that the item was a human interest interview, as the interviewees had created a video in support of a campaign to change the Irish Constitution (run by Amnesty International), which was discussed during the programme.
The BAI argued that the experiences of the Linehans were “set out so as to encourage support for the Amnesty International campaign and the interview could not therefore be considered simply or primarily as an exploration of the interviewee’s personal experiences”.
In December the BAI upheld a number of complaints against the same programme following an interview conducted by Ray D’Arcy with Colm O’Gorman of Amnesty International.
Mr O’Gorman was on the show last June speaking about Amnesty’s campaign against Ireland’s abortion laws. Complainants claimed D’Arcy showed a lack of balance in the interview and that he did not challenge O’Gorman’s view. RTÉ defended the item but of the six complaints regarding the content of the show, three were upheld in full and two in part.