Standard Practice

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Further to this morning’s story in the Ireland edition of The Times, above, about the post-Budget phone-in on the Today With Sean O’Rourke Show yesterday, RTÉ has released the following statement…

This morning’s article in The Times is factually incorrect. At no time was a threat delivered that a Minister would not appear on the programme as a result of his press advisers not seeing the questions in advance.”

“In the case of yesterday’s programme, advance access to audience questions on specific individuals’ circumstances post-budget queries was given to ministerial advisers as standard practice.

The primary purpose of the post-budget programme is to enable the more detailed, personal and specific queries raised by individual voters and businesses to be addressed to the most accurate degree possible, and that requires some research to be done by government advisers on the individuals’ specific questions.”

This protocol was agreed in advance as has been standard practice for years and there was no debate about access to the questions prior to going on air for that specific programme.”

“We would like to reiterate that RTÉ does not advise Ministers or guests of questions in advance of interviews. The Today with Sean O’ Rourke editorial team have complete and total editorial control of the programme and only they determine which calls go to air and in which order.”

Meanwhile editor of the Ireland edition of The Times, Richie Oakley has tweeted…

UPDATE:

RTÉ’s response to ‘The Times’ article (RTÉ)

Earlier: A Phoney Phone-In

22 thoughts on “Standard Practice

  1. Zuppy International

    Conflicted statement is conflicted:

    “In the case of yesterday’s programme, advance access to audience questions on specific individuals’ circumstances post-budget queries was given to ministerial advisers as standard practice.”

    VS

    “RTÉ does not advise Ministers or guests of questions in advance of interviews.”

      1. donal

        Are they arguing that RTE is a different entity to the Sean O’Rourke and his producers? What he/they do is nothing to do with them as management?

  2. scottser

    “In the case of yesterday’s programme, advance access to audience questions on specific individuals’ circumstances post-budget queries was given to ministerial advisers as standard practice.

    “We would like to reiterate that RTÉ does not advise Ministers or guests of questions in advance of interviews.

    hmm.

  3. je suis charlie

    Well done to The Times Online Irish Edition. Do you think the Indo or The Irish Times would have written such a piece and revealed this sham? No. They’d like to but they’d be afraid they’d antagonise the RTE Press Officers and not be invited back to RTE again.

  4. Fergus the magic postman

    I was flicking through the radio channels on budget day right after the budget, and George hook was beginning interviewing Brendan Howlin. Very early in the interview, George Hook said something along the lines of; I’m just an ordinary Joe here, & I don’t have access to 25 civil servants to help me with this interview,
    to which Brendan Howlin just answered simply I’m sitting in a conference room or something like that.

    Sounds like something similar might have been afoot there.

  5. phil

    Ive had it with RTE, it disappoints me to the point of rage, I do however understand the desire of the majority to have a PS broadcaster, but I want nothing to do with it anymore, I would happily donate x2 times the license fee to a charity of the minister for communications choosing… its time for some sort of opt out…

    1. nellyb

      I wouldn’t mind paying the fee if RTE run the Irish Pictorials Daily and Saturday Night with Savage Eye on a regular basis

  6. The Bad Ambassador

    The primary purpose of the post-budget programme is to enable the more detailed, personal and specific queries raised by individual voters and businesses to be addressed to the most accurate degree possible

    Hang on – these guys have been preparing the details of the budget for months. They have run it by Angela in German, argued the small print at the cabinet table and leaked details to interest groups and lobbyists. If they don’t know it in immense detail at this stage, they can’t be on top of their brief, they can’t be up to the job and there is no way they can’t be worth all that money.

  7. Truth in the News

    It was an Election Budget and RTE obliged their masters, whats new
    Scrap the TV licience, this would concentrate minds at the Royal Television
    Establishment.

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