RTE was forced to issue an apology on its 'Liveline' programme yesterday over a the "biased" treatment of one of its on-air guests during a debate on same-sex adoption.
The State broadcaster read out the apology to journalist Hermann Kelly after the Broadcasting Complaints Commission (BCC) responded to numerous complaints against the radio phone-in show's broadcast on February 12.
The broadcasting watchdog upheld the complaints of five listeners who took issue with the manner in which the Mail on Sunday columnist was treated when he took part in a discussion on the merits of same-sex adoption.
The BCC found that the line of questioning used by presenter Evelyn O'Rourke when challenging Mr Kelly on his traditional view of the family was "at times unfair to Mr Kelly in that it clearly indicated her own opinion".
It also found that Mr Kelly was not given the chance to defend himself and that the subject matter itself was not treated fairly.
"I'm pleased with the BCC's decision," said Mr Kelly. "In this instance, the programme was blatantly biased." He said he still stood over views expressed in his original story carried in the Mail on Sunday in which he wrote only heterosexual couples should be able to adopt children.