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Dobson cleared over calling protesters 'idiots' live on TV


REMARKS: Bryan Dobson

REMARKS: Bryan Dobson

REMARKS: Bryan Dobson

NEWSREADER Bryan Dobson has been cleared of seven complaints after he referred to a group of protesters as "idiots" live on TV.

The Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) has rejected seven complaints over remarks made by the RTE Six One News presenter.

Mr Dobson was interviewing the economist Ronan Lyons about property prices but cut him short as the people who were protesting against bondholder payments came into view behind.

"Well I'll tell you what Ronan, I am going to stop that there because the idiots behind you are a bit of distraction so we'll try and get rid of those and come back to you," Dobson said in the live broadcast.

The Broadcasting Authority of Ireland's compliance committee said that the presenter "could have handled the situation in a better manner".

However, they judged that he was expressing his frustration at having to cut an interview short and wasn't trying to cause offence.

The incident occurred on November 27 when Dobson was interviewing the economic analyst about the cost of property.

But anti-bailout protesters holding a mask of Taoiseach Enda Kenny's face and placards reading "Burn the Bonds not the Billions" interrupted the segment.

Seven viewers complained under the Broadcasting Act 2009 and the BAI Code of Fairness, Objectivity and Impartiality in News and Current Affairs – Rule 4.1.

The BAI decided Mr Dobson's use of the term "idiots" was not in reference to the protesters' message but an expression of the news anchor's irritation.


The BAI concluded Mr Dobson was not commenting on the individuals' anti-bailout protest as the interview "was unrelated to their message."

Mr Dobson said at the time that he "never meant to cause offence" with the comments.