Who Dares Pins



Labour junior minister Aodhán Ó Ríordáin asked to remove his rainbow badge on tonight’s Saturday Night Show On RTÉ One by host Brendan O’Connor. Literally bonkers. We had more of an issue with the open second button.


Screen Shot 2015-05-10 at 17.21.09

Previously: Goodbye RTÉ

88 thoughts on “Who Dares Pins

    1. newsjustin

      No, you wouldn’t. Because in North Korea there is no dissent tolerated. In Ireland, the impartiality of a state-owned public service broadcaster during a referendum campaign is assumed and, thankfully, largely what we get.

    2. Paolo

      Why do people think that political impartiality only applies to issues that they agree with?

      Do you not understand that concept? Apart from anything else, if RTE failed to act in this way it, as a state funded body, would be opening up the possibility of legal attacks from the No side. The No side will use ANY means of undermining a Yes decision at the referendum.

      Play by the rules, they are there for everyone.

        1. You People!

          For every wrong there must be a right.
          My mission from this moment onwards is to get MY badge onto RTÉ’s screens.

          If you will permit me to preempt the reaction I’d like it to be remembered as the ‘Sticky Brown Star’ incident.

          [exit stage left]

    1. Taramurf

      The Yes Campaign have a pop up store in St Stephens Green Centre (ground floor opposite Carroll’s) where you can buy badges, pins, posters etc.

  1. David

    Should’ve asked him to take it off before appearing of they were terrified of having action taken against them? Still though, absolute joke!

    1. Liam from Lixnaw

      im sure they would have spotted it – he must have stuck it on walking out on set – de sneaky Labour b0ll1x

  2. Twunt

    I still think Gaydon O’Queerdon is a fantastic schoolyard nickname. He should have punched the first guy that called him that square on the nose, but he didn’t, and he had to listen to it every day.

    1. You People!

      I sent my first ever e-mail to a TD last week, and it was to Aodhán Ó Ríordáin.
      I wasn’t provoked by anything but his enlightened view towards decriminalising Cannabis.
      I wanted him to know he had my support.

      I also support his right to ‘switch off for a bit’.
      I wouldn’t want a politician who didn’t do that once in a while.

      I don’t know what you want, ‘Wife Ainé’.
      It sounds like you expect some kinda Sub super-human, like Willie O’Dea, (He can attend TWO funerals at once!), or a new Healy-Rae. (He can wear a cap).

      I have no affiliation or allegiance to ANY party, but A’OR deserves some support.
      The rest of them deserve none, but that’s just MY opinion for now, and I wouldn’t call it ‘informed’.

      1. FortyCoats

        Well here is some information to help you become informed:

        He voted for the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Bill, because of which a person can be sentenced for 14 years imprisonment for procuring an abortion.

        He voted against Clare Daly’s bill to allow for abortion in cases of fatal foetal abnormality.

        He is a member of a government that refuses to hold a referendum to repeal the Eighth Amendment.

        If he had any conviction he would have refused to remove the pin.

        1. Sam

          ^This^ … an easy gesture that he knows will play well with voters without being seen as too staunch by more conservative elements.

          1. Stephanenny

            We’ll never know because literally no-one in RTE or in government has the balls to stand up these ridiculous broadcasting rules.

          2. Claire

            A No Vote advocate dominating next weeks show and a grovelling apology from Brendan O’Connor.

  3. Anyways

    The ‘balance’ was tragic and humiliating. You should not have to balance everything including a friggin PIN from the point of view of reactionary counter arguments! Jesus! rte you’re mad.
    Its time for equality folks, I’ve been begging (75% marriage support at times). Ireland its time, we are ready x

    1. newsjustin

      The impartiality (as best they can muster) of a state-run public service broadcaster during a referendum is really important. Balance is only a dirty word for people who would like to use a state broadcaster to further their own ends. That’s a bad road to go down.

      1. d4n

        RTE have to be impartial, their guests don’t. It’s absolutely ridiculous that a politician should hide their views on an upcoming referendum.

        1. Paolo

          That is just silly. Are RTE allowed to have foul-mouthed rants broadcast on the Marian Finucane show so long as it is a guest doing the cursing? Of course not. The broadcaster must do everything reasonably within its power to ensure impartiality.

  4. Casey

    Hang on, if (cough, choke, ahem) balance was the problem. Was Brendan wearing a badge? No? Then there was balance. Should have cracked on with interview with nary a remark passed.

  5. Tá Frilly Keane

    Wha: is it anyway

    I can’t make it out

    Best I can do is think I see some combat / conflict ribbon

    BTW Brendan. In due course, which could in a few weeks I suppose, when you’re PickYerArsing around, an’ your wondering what the Phup went wrong
    Take full stock of your guests this season
    And audit them with the following tests

    Shared post codes
    Shared Employers
    Shared connection / circles
    Shared professional services ( PR, Agent, Hair n Make Up n’ Frock Borrowing)
    Shared services – did they provide appearance duties to other RTE productions.
    Shared Fee Sources – Do they provide other duties to RTE and Your other Employers and Clients.

    Poor Brendan.
    Your stint as the lad on the Wurlitzer that spins the yoke and makes every squeal is over.

  6. More_Bermuda_than_Berlin

    To the victors, go the spoils – Iona are still on the crest of a wave after defeating the bloated, tax-cash rich RTE last year.

    There’s no question the anti-equality side are more focused on winning than the Yes voters. The latter are too worried about being right, but the former just want to win.

  7. mthead

    Probably did more good for the Yes side, exposing the fear of litigation from the powerful elite on the No camp.
    Also, who watches this shit anyway? TV has never been better, why suffer this BOC twerp on your Saturday night? Jesus, read a.book, stare at the light bulb, ANYTHING else is more fun!!! :)

  8. The Old Boy

    I know it’s a completely different issue, but RTÉ have had a long standing policy of not allowing people to wear pins and badges of any political significance. The example usually cited is the remembrance poppy, which they always justified internally on the grounds that if they allowed it, they would have to allow Easter Lilies as well.

    I don’t have any problem with having either on the television, and without defending the policy in any way, it’s worth pointing out that it’s not necessarily been cooked up for this referendum.

    1. newsjustin

      It only becomes an issue, for most people (myself included) when the pin is something one agrees with. It’s a sensible rule.

    2. Stephanenny

      I’d concede this if BOC hadn’t specifically referred to the issue of “balance”. An internal rule on pins was not why he was asked to remove it. It was because there was no “no” on camera.

      1. The Old Boy

        That was just O’Connor conflating the rules and getting it wrong, as far as I can tell.

  9. Sam

    Balance… on a channel that delays the news for the Angelus… not that the Catholic Church have a dog in this fight *cough*

      1. Stephanenny

        So? The BAI rule about balance came long before the referendum date was announced. The broadcasting rules regarding referenda did not apply then. It’s not about fairness in referenda. It’s about some spurious b0llocks about balance.

        1. newsjustin

          The balance related to a matter that is to be decided upon, imminently, by referendum.
          The comment above about the Angelus is off the mark. There is loads of stuff on RTE that’s not the Angelus. And the Angelus, or Catholicism, or people staring into the distance, or pausing to ponder, is not the subject of any referendum. The Angelus is a programming decision by RTE – the same as having the Sunday Game on a sunday night, Faircity a few times a week and the weather after the news.

          1. Sam

            In what way is the Angelus ‘programme’ the same as the Sunday game?

            People play many different sports in Ireland, and RTE doesn’t give just one sport a favoured spot twice a day, 7 days a week.

            The state broadcaster doesn’t broadcast the Islamic call to prayer, nor a weekly recital of ‘Pale Blue Dot’ or other appropriate contemplative segment for non-believers.

            You’re not very convincing about ‘not seeing the difference’.

          2. newsjustin

            You only see the Angelus as different to other programming because you have a hang up about religion. A public-service broadcaster should cover a wide spread of topics, issues, viewpoints. There is nothing wrong with the Angelus programme sitting alongside programmes that poke holes in faith, criticise the church, report of current affairs, tell us how to renovate our homes, show sport, interview celebrities, etc, etc.

            Variety is the spice of life. I hate Gaelic Football, but I fully understand that RTE wants to report on it and show games.

          3. Sam

            “You only see the Angelus as different to other programming because you have a hang up about religion. “

            If you’re going to try to fudge, then at least come up with something less transparent would ya?
            That wide berth you gave the point I clearly made, should have given you some time to come up with almost anything better than ‘you just don’t like religion’. Troll again, troll harder.

          4. newsjustin


            Sam, the Angelus is the same as the Sunday Game in the sense that that Fair City is the same as the Late Late Show and the Six-One News and Neighbours.

            They are all programmes that RTE choses to show to appeal to different parts of its audience or to fulfil parts of its public-service remit. Not everyone likes everything or agrees that it should be on air. Some people might be vehemently opposed to some programmes or programme content.

            My point is, they are all just programmes. You clearly view one programme (the Angelus) as different because it doesn’t appeal to you. I’m not that big a fan of Gaelic Football, but I’ll get over it. I wouldn’t expect RTE to not show it. I’ve sent them an email asking them to show more golf. We’ll see how that goes.

          5. Stephanenny

            Sorry, no, that’s a complete load of sh1te. The angelus is a televised religious rite of a single religion paid for by the state broadcaster and played on television 728 times a year. Fair City is a terrible television programme that is equally appealing, or more likely unappealing, to people of all faiths. The angelus provides no information, there is no story line, there is no new content week to week, no ratings are taken into account when making decisions on it. It is utterly different from other programming and to claim otherwise is obtuse in the extreme.

        2. Anne

          The Angelus is a great programme altogether.
          What’s your favourite episode?

          Mine is the one where people stare into the clouds to the bong of a bell.

    1. Paolo

      The Angelus is nothing to do with politics or the upcoming referendum. If there was a section in the angelus that promoted a No vote then perhaps you would have an argument but, as far as I am aware, there isn’t.

  10. SOMK

    RTÉ aren’t afraid of the marriage referendum, but I bet their management are pissing themselves that the broadcasting charge could end up being the centre of a new wave of protests, so they’re on best boy behaviour. As for O’Ríordáin, classic 21st century Labour party.

    Authority figure: “Oh excuse me there I see you have some principles, could you please remove them?”,

    Labour party: ” Oh my apologies sir! I didn’t realise, ho! ho!” (meek-ish smile, audience applaud).

    Try and imagine a scenario where Winston Churchill is asked to remove a poppy on Wogan because some unelected pseudo-state body decreed that it’s a political issue and therefore Nazis might get offended.

    Did O’Ríordáin or Brendan O’Connor say anything about Charlie Hebdo? Free speech is something people die for in other countries, not in D4 obviously, there they politely apologise for it’s absence, still their newsroom staff can hold up those “Je Suis Charlie” signs like it means something.

    1. newsjustin

      Free speech is really important, as are the responsibilities of a state-owned, public service broadcaster during a referendum campaign.

      1. Stephanenny

        Responsibilities like not capitulating to an organisation run by the spouse of one of their board members? Responsibilities like having ethics?

        1. newsjustin

          Yes. They too are responsibilities. I’m sure you’ll find RTE has ethics – probably even an Ethics board/manager. On the first point, RTE have an obligation not to get themselves (licence payers) taken to the cleaners in the courts too. As most organisations do, they presumably took legal advice and though better of making a hysterical stand for free speech based on the name-calling of a guy on a chat-show.

      2. Joe the Lion

        I hope you respect my free speech right to tell you to shut the fupp up you whinnying jackass

        1. newsjustin

          I sure do Joe. I affirm your right to say that.

          Would you like to offer a counter argument against my view that impartiality of state-owned broadcasters is important?

          1. Joe the Lion

            Sure but I’m certain that you can just define impartiality for me first Justin

          2. newsjustin

            In this case, not knowingly giving advantage to either side of the referendum debate.

          3. Joe the Lion

            Great. How does allowing a man wear a pin on his lapel, practically invisible to viewers at home, and whom most viewers would also automatically assume is in favour of the yes side in the referendum “knowingly give advantage “?

          4. newsjustin

            It allows him to advertise his point of view in the referendum and encourage people to vote Yes, without any counter argument from the No side.

            Your assertions that “it was barely visible” or “most people will know where he stands anyway” are really neither here nor there. But for arguments sake, many people don’t know who he is and the pin and text was plainly visible.

        2. Joe the Lion

          They’re not neither here nor there Justin

          If most people already know where he stood, which you don’t deny, how did wearing the pin confer an advantage?

          1. Joe the Lion

            As for people not knowing who he is I assume he was introduced as Minister for Equality Aodhan O Riordan. Your arguments fail.

          2. newsjustin

            If just one person was influenced (or, crucially, potentially influenced) by him displaying that logo, it matters. You can’t escape the need for impartiality by saying it was only a tiny, tiny, tiny bit of advantage to one side of the other.

          3. Joe the Lion

            To clarify. I’m saying it was no advantage. Seeing as you’re clearly a bit stupid and have had to resort to hypotheticals in the absence of any evidence based reasoning.

  11. jeremy kyle

    Also, can you make out a cheque for John Waters while you’re taking off the badge…?

  12. neil

    RTE are a bag of s****, but they have a responsibility to remain impartial in the run up to a referendum. It’s only a problem in a referendum like this where the morally right answer is cut and dry.

    If a minister had appeared on an RTE chat show before the last referendum wearing a badge promoting a yes vote to abolish the Seanad, I would have been fairly pissed off.

  13. You People!

    Cop yourselves on. please.

    RTÉ;s ‘rules’ which allow this kind of nonsense to become an issue is the issue.
    Using them as an excuse is not an excuse.

    Ewe people!

  14. You People!

    Hang on.
    I need to get a grip on meself.

    I actually e-mailed him twice, because I wasn’t at all satisfied with the response I got on my first try, from his secretary. Y’know, the standard one that says she’s passed it onto the Minister.

    He replied ;
    I promise [REDACTED]… I do read all the emails…
    Sent from my iPhone.

    Maybe he’s just pissed off at me for spelling his name wrong.
    -In my defence, it’s a bloody difficult name to care about enough to care about whether you spelt it right or not.

    I retract all my support for this opportunist.
    -The fxxxing audacity of the k**t, wearing a badge on TV.
    Hanging is too good for him.

    Sent from my iPhone

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