Complaint over George Hook calling listener ‘ignorant shit’ rejected by BAI

BAI also rejects complaints over broadcast of The Queen of Ireland documentary

 

A complaint made against radio presenter George Hook where he called an individual tweeting to the show an “ignorant shit” was not upheld by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI).

The complaint from May 2017 related to a tweet read out by Hook on his Newstalk radio show High Noon, which accused him of reading out fake text messages complimentary to himself.

In response, Hook said “listen you ignorant shit why don’t you come in here and say it to my face … And you’ll get a knuckleful straight up your nose.”

Newstalk said that following the accusation by the tweeter, Hook was “understandably upset” and responded in his “typically blustering manner”.

Responding to the complaint, the station said Hook “did concede afterwards that he would have preferred to have reacted in more temperate tones.”

The programme was discussing the Manchester terror bombing that took place in May.

The BAI rejected the complaint by a majority vote, the body said listening to the programme and the tone of the remarks, the statement “did not amount to a genuine threat of violence.”

The BAI decision outlined while Hook, who is currently suspended from the station following his comments on rape in victims, used “coarse and offensive language”, the committee considered the language would not cause “undue offence”.

Two complaints made to RTÉ 2 over the broadcast of a trailer for The Queen of Ireland documentary starring Panti Bliss (aka Rory O’Neill) have been rejected by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI). Photograph: Aidan Crawley.
Two complaints made to RTÉ 2 over the broadcast of a trailer for The Queen of Ireland documentary starring Panti Bliss (aka Rory O’Neill) have been rejected by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI). Photograph: Aidan Crawley.

Two complaints made to RTÉ 2 over the broadcast of a trailer for The Queen of Ireland documentary starring Panti Bliss (aka Rory O’Neill) were unanimously rejected by the BAI.

One complainant said showing the film trailer before an Ireland Six Nations rugby match, when it was seen by his two seven-year old sons, breached the BAI programming standards on the protection of children.

In a review of the complaint, the BAI said the individual raised issue with the trailer’s broadcast of “one or more drag queens” displaying “controversial sexual behaviour.” The complainant said he was “shocked” at the material in the trailer.

The BAI rejected the complaint and ruled there was nothing in the trailer which could be considered controversial sexual behaviour.

A second complaint said the decision to air the documentary on Easter Sunday could be interpreted as “mocking” those with religious views who voted against the legalisation of same-sex marriage.

Upheld

In total, 32 complaints were rejected by the BAI, one complaint made in April relating to Déise Today, a programme on Waterford’s WLR FM, was upheld.

The complaint was made by the Health Service Executive (HSE) over a programme that discussed a story in the Sunday Times newspaper on an increase in managers employed by the Health Service.

A summary of the incident by the BAI outlined that during the broadcast the presenter said “let’s see what HSE management has to say about this...” and then played the sound of a donkey braying.

The BAI upheld the complaint in part and found the programme had not adhered to elements of the news and current affairs code on presenting a variety of views, and ensuring presenters are sensitive to the impact of their tone and language on a topic.