Categorized | National

Prime Time Giving “dissidents” Publicity Is Wrong

Having watching the sickening spectacle of a masked CIRA terrorist appearing on Prime Time last night, I lodged the following complaint with RTE last night:

I find it utterly inappropriate that our Public Service Broadcaster gives the oxygen of publicity to CIRA terrorists, who representative cowardly hides his identity and used the opportunity solely to justify their illegal and hate ridden murderous campaign.

Such publicity can only serve to legitimise their existence and lead to further murders of the innocent by there terrorists.”

I received the following response from Ken O’Shea, Editor of Current Affairs this afternoon:

Thank you for your email. Audience feedback is essential to us in terms of our continuing efforts to improve the quality of our output and we very much appreciate you taking the time to write to us with your views on last night’s item on so-called dissident republicans.

I’m afraid I cannot concur with your view on the inclusion of a representative from the CIRA in the item. We produce Current Affairs journalism. The CIRA, and their ilk, are responsible for an ever increasing level of violent attacks, culminating recently in the murder of a PSNI constable. Part of our job is to put a spotlight on their activities and to examine and challenge the ethos which underpins their activities. This must, of course, be done with the appropriate context around it and last night you will have noticed the inclusion of a number of people, including a former senior Garda Special Branch member, who spoke of the effects of their violent campaigns and what they describe as the almost total lack of any kind of popular support for their activities. We also exhaustively outlined the full extent of the violence which CIRA and their ilk are responsible for. Their representative was also fully challenged by the reporter. I think our viewers are sophisticated enough to make their own decisions on issues such as these, once they are presented with all of the information.

So while I acknowledge your right to argue for censorship, it is my view that last night’s report was fully in accordance with our responsibilities. I also reject your claim that our journalism will be responsible for the murder of innocent people.”

I’ve no problem with objective reporting of their views, no matter how repugnant they are to the vast majority of citizens North and South, Mr O’Shea seems to think  I’m arguing for censorship of their views, while in fact I’m calling into question RTE’s decision to broadcast an interview with a terrorist, an act that in itself is likely to give them legitimacy.

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