Saturday 18 November 2017

Bryan Dobson's relief over 'idiots' remark

Bryan Dobson
Bryan Dobson
Melanie Finn

Melanie Finn

RTE's Bryan Dobson has told of his relief after the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland cleared him of any wrongdoing over his "idiots" comment.

And the senior news anchor said that everyone was entitled to "a slip-up" now and then.

The BAI received seven complaints as a result of the incident last year but they subsequently cleared him.

Bryan said: "I was very pleased with the BAI decision and thought it was very important. And the point we made to the BAI, and the people who complained, the comment I made was not directed at the protest but the disruption of the interview.

"So I am glad that was upheld by the BAI," he said.

Mr Dobson was conducting an interview live on air with economist Ronan Lyons at Government Buildings when protesters with placards appeared in the background of the shot.

At the time of the broadcast, the producer back in the studio decided to cut the segment short due to the interruption. Mr Dobson then explained to his guest it was due to the 'idiots' behind them.

The Compliance Committee of the BAI found that the subject of the interview was not related to the message on the placards.


It recognised that the term was used out of frustration and could not be seen as a comment on the protesters' message.

The BAI committee decided the comments did not infringe broadcasting rules on fairness objectivity and impartiality.

In a statement released at the time, Mr Dobson said: "I never meant to cause offence with my remarks last night which were in reference to the interruption of an interview during a live broadcast rather than the topic of any protest."

One of RTE's best-known anchormen, he joined the national broadcaster in 1987 and previously worked for BBC Northern Ireland.

(The Herald)

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