Tubridy slapped on wrist for 'castration' comments
Published 20/05/2011 | 05:00
BROADCASTER RYAN Tubridy has got a slap on the wrist from a broadcasting watchdog after he told his listeners a paedophile should have "bits taken off".
The Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) upheld a complaint against Mr Tubridy who last November called a paedophile a "monster" and a "creature" on his morning radio show 'The Tubridy Show'.
He said then: "From what I gather these guys cannot be quote unquote cured . . . only one way to deal with them, and that's physiological . . . these guys should have bits taken off."
At the time Mr Tubridy was reviewing the morning papers. In one of them there was a report that detailed a court case about an award of damages to a woman who had been abused from the age of eight by a paedophile.
Mr Tubridy also described it as "disgusting" that the man still went to mass. The report also said Mr Tubridy then proceeded to read the address of the perpetrator aloud.
The man who made the complaint claimed that the show's segment was not "presented in a balanced manner".
He said Mr Tubridy used "dehumanising" language. He also complained that Mr Tubridy had no expertise to provide insight into research in the rehabilitation and treatment of men who sexually offend.
The BAI upheld the complaint, while at the same time acknowledging Mr Tubridy "was sensitive to, and appalled by the content of the story".
"The presenter was obliged to ensure that he treated the subject matter fairly. In this instance, the presenter made a general statement which was not substantiated and, further, not fair."
In particular, they said the comment that included "these guys should have bits taken off" was presented as statement of fact, which did not relate to the newspaper article.
They said his contribution of the review of the main news stories "crossed over to a contribution of unsubstantiated literal statement and that this was not permitted".
However, RTE, in its defence of Mr Tubridy, said his remarks were the presenter's own views.
"He believed the sentence given was too lenient and he went further to claim that, in his view, paedophiles are recidivist and likely to re-offend."
They compared a ban of a broadcaster's own views on air as "a straitjacket on all broadcasting" and said it would "lead to very dull radio and television".
Meanwhile, two other complaints were upheld. One was where the complainant felt that Mary Harney, the then Health Minister, was the subject of a personal attack from George Hook on Newstalk's 'The Right Hook'. The other related to the use of the 'F-word' repeatedly on 'The Ray D'Arcy Show' on Today FM.