Under draconian legislation introduced this year Irish broadcasters are strictly forbidden from expressing an opinion on air.
Clearly Bryan Dobson expressed an opinion when he referred to protesters as idiots.
I have submitted the following complaint to RTE.
To Whom It May Concern:
I wish to lodge a formal complaint against RTE news presenter Bryan Dobson for a breach of sections 21 and 22 of the Code of Fairness, Objectivity and Impartiality in News and Current Affairs which came into effect on 1 July 2013 under Section 42 of the Broadcasting Act 2009.
Under this code Irish broadcasters are specifically forbidden from expressing an opinion on air.
On Six One News of 27 November last, while interviewing economist Ronan Lyons, Mr. Dobson expressed a very strong opinion regarding protesters who had gathered behind Mr. Lyons.
Mr. Dobson said:
I’m going to stop that there because the idiots behind you are a bit of a distraction so we will try to get rid of those and get back to you.
Clearly Mr. Dobson had formed and expressed an opinion that the protesters were idiots.
That Mr. Dobson expressed an opinion in breach of the Code is further corroborated by his subsequent actions.
He made an immediate and independent editorial decision to terminate the interview based on his opinion that the ‘idiot’ protesters were a distraction.
He expressed an intention to ‘get rid of’ the idiots before resuming the interview at a later time.