Reviewed And Rejected

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Ryan Tubridy interviewing Stefanie Preissner, Michael Harding and Blindboy Boatclub, of The Rubberbandits, on the Late Late Show on January 6; from the BAI’s most recent report on complaint decisions

This afternoon.

The Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) has announced its most recent decisions concerning complaints from the public.

It reviewed and rejected 11 complaints it received about Blindboy Boatclub, of The Rubberbandits, referring to the eucharist as “haunted bread” and Stefanie Preissner saying how, as a child, the eucharist being described as body and blood conjured up images of cannibalism, on the Late Late Show in January.

In reference to one of the complaints, the BAI decided:

The Committee noted the discussion as a whole. In this respect, the comments that were deemed by the complainant to be offensive were articulated as part of a broad conversation on faith, which arose from the presenter asking the panellists about the manner in which they spent the Christmas period.

The first contributor, Mr. Michael Harding, outlined how he shied away from the traditional Christmas dinner and instead ate Indian food. He noted his fondness for Diwali, the Indian festival of lights and commented on the beauty of this festival.

The conversation turned to Mr. David Cambers of The Rubberbandits who detailed his Christmas celebrations in a surrealist manner that is the hallmark of the artistic/comedy act of which he is one member.

Finally, Ms. Stefanie Preissner spoke about her disillusionment with the commercial nature of Christmas festivities. The conversation then progressed to a discussion about the Catholic belief and practice, in terms of the decline of vocations and the rise and impact of secularisation on Irish life and faith, the issue of how young people have responded to a decline in traditional Catholic faith and practices and the question of where they can find spiritual ‘refuge’, if at all or indeed if even necessary.

It was at this point in the programme that one of the contributors also featured made reference to The Eucharist as ‘haunted bread’.

While not agreeing with the contention by the broadcaster that this panellist was speaking for his generation, the Committee considered it legitimate for a panellist to articulate their own personal views. In this instance, his views dealt with a religious tenet which rests on a belief in the real presence of Jesus Christ in The Eucharist, a belief which may be difficult to reconcile for those who hold other religious beliefs or or no religious belief and one which the panellist did not appear to hold.

At that point in the programme, the other contributors reflected on this topic. Ms. Preissner spoke about how, as a child, The Eucharist being described as the body and blood of Christ conjured up images of cannibalism.

Mr. Harding spoke about how, over time, the belief in Transubstantiation has for some become difficult to understand, either for those who may only value the empirical or those who value only their own perspective regardless of facts.

Mr. Harding also spoke about the value of belief once it is not a belief that is imposed on others. Learning that Mr. Harding was a former priest, Mr. Chambers apologised for any offence that his description of The Eucharist may have caused him.

The Committee did not agree with the view of the complainant that Ms. Preissner was equating The Eucharist with cannibalism as it was clear that she was describing her thoughts as a child.

Regarding the comments by Mr. Chambers, the Committee considered his comments an expression of his own views rather than a comment on the views of others and did not agree that they were intended to mock the faith of others.

Regarding the view of the complainant that a reference to the attendance at Christmas midnight mass of people who are ‘half-cut’ with drink as being offensive; the Committee considered this a humorous reference to what may, on occasion, have been the experience of some parishioners at Christmas.

Read the complaints and decisions in full here

Previously: Maligning The Host

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33 thoughts on “Reviewed And Rejected

  1. Daisy Chainsaw

    The perpetually offended looking for notice again! Funny how their “deeply held beliefs” have to be respected, but not the deeply held beliefs of the panellists!

    1. Milo

      I think you are missing the irony of that remark Daisy. Your ability to be perpetually offended on the behalf of strangers is a vom to behold.

  2. Rugbyfan

    Dear RTE
    You pay your staff too much.
    You remind us every hour via ads on the radio that we have to pay out licence fee to subsidise these salaries.
    Please shut yourself down.
    That is all.

  3. Murtles

    Dammit wouldn’t it be great to have that ability to be so infuriated at something you see on the telly that you put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) and write a letter of complaint to the BAI. The internet has ruined me, nothing shocks or infuriates me anymore, well I do scream and shout at the screen but I’m not writing letters to anyone about it. Ain’t nobody got time for that…… except for writing in the comments section on BS :)

  4. postmanpat

    “The Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) has announced its most recent decisions concerning complaints from the public.” or as I would put it. “The BAI under instruction from RTE/Government perpetuates the lie that people still watch the Late Late show and pretend that its still relevant, but in reality all RTE programming is obsolete and the ratings are made up to justify the RTE personalities salaries in a last minute cash grab from license payers . They pretend that they received complaints and/or hire people to complain to drum up some controversy but at the end of the day everyone is watching youtube or Netflix on a Friday night instead of watching a presenter who got a job through nepotism, interview a man no one knows or cares anything about , a woman no one knows or cares anything about and a guy with a plastic bag on his face making scripted comments that no one finds offensive, but we are meant to think some people did. ” Join us on the Late Late show next week were Tubs interviews that guy who used to go out with that woman who used to go out with that Riverdance guy. (with music by the band whos founder just happens to be the son of Mary Black. ) Rating to be in the expected region of 3 million viewers. Also, pay your TV license. Its the law.

  5. ivan

    It’s over fifty years since folk in the States got into a lather about John Lennon saying that the Beatles were Bigger than Jesus (in the context of engagement with young people etc).

    You’d think that after all that time people would just calm the heck down?

      1. Lord Snowflakee

        Depends on the circumstances but in many cases I would, yes.
        Especially about the whole circumcision thing. Big deal.

      2. Listrade

        Yes if they got in a lather about someone offending an aspect of their faith rather than them as a people.

      3. ivan

        I’m not sure what that’s got to do with anything…There’s a difference between a person brought up in a certain faith deciding, after x years to make a decision on not adhering to that faith and going on the record, in public, about this personal choice they’ve made. If people who’ve chosen to adhere to the faith see the need to complain about people having the affront to criticise the faith – admittedly in rather a robust fashion – then maybe the faith of the adherents isn’t that strong in the first instance.

        If any of the people involved in that Late Late had gone on the telly and said ‘Jews are hoopty-noodlers and should be tweety-deedled and fluffy-pantsed’, then your question might have had relevance.

        They didn’t and it doesn’t.

  6. I'm "alright" Jack. Mad Jack is on annual leave.

    It’s outrageous that public money gets wasted in answering these dumb cranks

  7. Termagant

    The bread’s specifically not haunted though, it’s just the meat bit of Jesus, the ghost flew away.

  8. Increasing Displacement

    RTE go away and stop charging me 160 for something I never EVER use.
    I pay Sky for my ads, thank you.

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