The Broadcasting Authority of Ireland has upheld a complaint against RTE for airing a programme in which two guests expressed the view that same-sex marriage was a good thing. The presenter Derek Mooney, an openly gay man, agreed with them as I do myself, but one man wasn’t too happy about this rampant gayfest.
In fact, one Donal O’Sullivan-Latchford was so outraged and so offended that he took it upon himself to complain to the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland, on the grounds, apparently, that the programme lacked balance. His point, it seems, is that there is an impending constitutional referendum on same-sex marriage, and therefore RTE is obliged to present both sides of the case, which it failed to do by having one raving homo interview two others.
To the best of my knowledge, while a constitutional amendment is in contemplation and under discussion, no legislation has yet been passed, and therefore, there is no basis for this objection. The Mooney Show is not a current affairs programme. It’s a light-hearted show with a strong emphasis on wildlife and environmental matters, a light sprinkling of human interest stories and an extremely annoying woman reporter whose name I mercifully can’t remember.
It’s a bit of fun, but not if you happen to be Donal O’Sullivan-Latchford, a representative of the defunct Family and Media Association, a private company set up by one Ivo O’Sullivan and a man called Gerald Anthony Tallon, who was also a director of the Opus Dei charity, Friends of Strathmore.
The Family and Media Association was just another of these ranting Irish Catholic fronts representing one or two ideologues but with a very pompous name, a bit like the Iona Institute though sadly, without their funding, since it went bust a couple of years back, leaving liabilities of €118k. However, the fact that it’s out of business didn’t stop Donal using it as a typically-Irish spurious badge of authority.
And the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland duly capitulated.
Boiled down to its essentials, what this O’Sullivan-Latchford character seems to be saying is as follows: Don’t talk about things I find disgusting unless I can call you a pervert in return and the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland, in its infinite stupidity, agreed with him, in the interest of balance, whatever that is.
Balance in the media is one of those canards that allows ideologues to gain air-space. Carried to its extremes, it permits demented homeopaths to present themselves as the other side of the artificial argument against evidence-based medicine. Balance permits anti-science anti-evolution know-nothings equal time with hardworking genetic researchers. Balance in the eyes of those who control our media involves giving the nutcase equal time with the reasonable, tolerant point of view, and that’s because unfortunately, neither our national media nor those who regulate it are especially adept at thinking rationally.
Who precisely are the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland?
Well, the compliance committee comprises the following.
Professor Chris Morash, professor of Irish writing in TCD.
John Reynolds, a music promoter,
Aidine O’Reilly, managing director of Real Event Solutions.
Edel Hackett, communications consultant.
Now, with all respect to this crowd, I’m quite sure they happen to be real winners in their own fields, but I’m not detecting a cutting-edge expertise in deciding what is a legitimate complaint and what is utter bullshit. As matters stand, taking the evidence at face value, my guess is that they don’t know their arse from their elbow when it comes to the sort of nonsense presented to them by Donal O’Sullivan-Latchford, and that’s why they took refuge in a politically-correct and entirely illogical decision to censure RTE.
You’d have to ask the question of Donal and his ideological companions, since their new Pope applied it to himself, who are they to judge?