Rush to courts risks chilling debate: Rabbitte
The Communications Minister has chided RTE for only focusing on commercial factors in its response to Pantigate, says John Drennan
COMMUNICATIONS Minister Pat Rabbitte says RTE must find the correct balance between commercial and editorial factors in settling defamation cases. In the wake if the Pantigate affair, Mr Rabbitte also slammed those with "zealous views" who call for robust debate on moral issues and then "run down to the Four Goldmines" at the first sign of offence.
Mr Rabbitte warned RTE its status as a national broadcaster means it cannot just be guided by commercial considerations when responding to defamation issues. In an apparent rebuke to the speed with which the station settled the homophobe row, he said the broadcaster has to take other factors into account in issues that are "sensitive, that go to the heart of human rights".
"I think it is a reasonable request that there should be both commercial and editorial judgement involved in decision-making," he told the Sunday Independent.