Three complaints in relation to Ryan Tubridy’s interview with Peter Casey on the Late Late Show on November 2 last year have been dismissed by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland.
The latest broadcasting complaints decisions were published by the BAI on Wednesday morning.
All three complainants called presenter Mr Tubridy into question for being biased and unfair to unsuccessful presidential candidate Mr Casey during his appearance on the Friday night chat show.
The interview became particularly heated when the presenter opened up the floor to members of the Traveller community who challenged Mr Casey on views expressed during the election campaign.
Two of the complaints focused on Mr Tubridy’s response to Mr Casey when he asked if the presenter “had lost control” in the show.
The presenter replied: “I have absolutely not Peter and I’ll tell you something, if I do, you’ll know all about it”.
The complainant believed that the presenter’s response was unacceptable and undermined the fairness of the interview, also demonstrating bias in his treatment of the guest.
The second complainant believed that the presenter’s response was threatening and again thought that it displayed bias towards the interviewee.
The complainant thought that the presenter gave his own views and allowed audience members to heckle the interviewee.
The third complainant also believed that Mr Tubridy’s behaviour during the interview “bordered on abusive” and that there was no objectivity displayed by him.
These complaints were all dismissed by the Compliance Committee of the BAI.
The Broadcaster defended the interview, saying in relation to the first complaint that Mr Casey had been “fully briefed on the format of the programme and was aware that the audience would be participation” and that Mr Tubridy had acted as “devil’s advocate” during the segment.
They also said that because of Mr Casey’s comments on the Traveller community during the presidential campaign it was appropriate to allow members from that community to participate in the show.
The committee found that a “robust” interview does not nessecarily amount to unfairness. It also found that the steps taken prior to the appearance were sufficient to provide the interviewee with enough information to allow him to prepare for the interview.
The Executive Complaints Forum of the BAI considered and rejected 12 other complaints in meetings held in January, February, and March 2019.
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