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Friday 15 December 2017

Complaint against Duffy for 'biased' interview upheld

Allison Bray

Allison Bray

LIVELINE presenter Joe Duffy has been censured for a third time by the broadcasting watchdog for a "biased" interview with a priest over the abortion debate.

The popular presenter of the State broadcaster's radio phone-in show had a third complaint upheld against him by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) this month.

The complaint concerned a discussion on the programme on March 5, 2013, about an article written in the Catholic newspaper 'Alive' by the editor Fr Brian McKevitt.

UNFAIRLY

Some callers to the programme alleged that Fr McKevitt's article had unfairly compared Taoiseach Enda Kenny with King Herod – who according to biblical scripture murdered his children and family – due to his Government's support of abortion legislation.

The BAI agreed with the most recent complainant's claims that the broadcaster's handling of the discussion "was not in the interest of listeners and lacked fairness, objectivity and impartiality".

The watchdog's compliance committee also found that Mr Duffy "interrupted the contribution from Fr McKevitt on a regular basis" during the discussion, in which the priest denied any implied comparison between the Taoiseach and the murderous king.

RTE read out a statement on the finding on Monday's 'Liveline' programme after the BAI last month upheld two complaints related to the same broadcast in which the first complainant claimed that Mr Duffy "harassed the priest on air and that the line-up of callers abused the priest".

RTE last night refused to comment on the matter except to say that RTE aired a statement about the broadcast as required by the BAI.

Irish Independent

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