Letter To RTE In Response To #Pantigate

This is a letter I wrote to complaints@rte.ie about the recent appearance of Rory O Neill (aka Panti) on the Saturday Night Show. Mr. O Neill claimed that journalists like John Waters and religious ‘thinktanks’ like the Iona Institute are “homophobes”, which prompted an apology and a payout from our national broadcaster.

Outrage below. Please contact RTE to make yourselves heard.

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Dear Sir / Madam,
I am sure I am only one of many writing to express my disappointment at the national broadcaster’s recent apology over remarks made by Rory O’ Neill on the Saturday Night Show.
Mr. O Neill’s comments were not only his own opinions, but they are opinions shared by a sizeable share of the Irish population — a double indemnity, if you will, against the idea that he was somehow libelling John Waters, the Iona Institute et al.
In the lead-up to a referendum where the majority will be voting on the rights of a minority (a deeply imbalanced starting point), it is shocking that RTE would be cowed into stifling the debate for fear of litigious groups.
The Iona Institute, John Waters et al. are regularly featured on television, radio and in newspaper columns claiming that LGBT people are unfit to be parents. Is this not libellous? Is the term “homophobe” more offensive than “a threat to society”, “a threat to marriage” or — so often — “a threat to children”? It appears that, as in many recent cases, he who sues first laughs last.
It is a point of personal shame that I come from a country where our national broadcaster can so easily be hobbled from a position of fairness and common sense by such groups.
A payout on top of this is doubly worrying, as it seems through your actions you are now funding these organisations. A little bit of bravery and you would have had the support of the country; instead you look weak and incapable of hosting a national debate on a vital referendum.
Maybe stick to Killinaskully.
Alan Flanagan
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About alfla

Playwright, screenwriter, sometime improv enthusiast and full-time television lover. You know, in THAT way.
This entry was posted in LGBT Rights, Sober Thoughts and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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