It seems to be the season for videos on social media to cause a stir in the abortion debate in Ireland. A few days ago, LifeNews reported on a video that challenged arguments for repeal of the Eighth Amendment which has received almost 600,000 views to date on Facebook. (The Eighth Amendment is Ireland’s last remaining constitutional protection for unborn children).
Now, another video is starting to gather pace. Posted by the Hear Both Sides organisation, the video, entitled “RTE – Views Dressed Up As News” – was posted online just a few days ago but already it is striking a chord with the public. It documents effectively just how out of control media bias has become on the abortion issue.
Even though aspects of the video are presented in a slightly tongue-in-cheek way, the video has a very serious message. On its youtube channel, the Hear Both Sides group highlight the “biased, distorted, one-sided reporting” that RTE engages in, and unfortunately this will not come as any surprise to people who follow the debate in Ireland closely.
Just one of the examples in the video shows this clearly. In one month alone, RTE dedicated 81 minutes to presenting the case for removing the Eighth Amendment and just 4 minutes were given to the pro-life side during the same month.
As Ireland’s National Broadcaster, RTE is in a privileged position. It receives close to €200 million of taxpayers’ money every year. But just as with all privileges, it also has responsibilities – including the requirement to produce fair and objective current affairs programmes. It’s this area where RTE is falling down, time and time again, when it comes to abortion. Instead of providing both sides of the argument and facilitating a situation where the public is able to come to an informed conclusion on how they feel about the rights of unborn children and the place they should hold in our society, RTE constantly pushes one side of the narrative only and as a result, the public lose out.
It isn’t just social media groups like Hear Both Sides that have pulled RTE up on this. The Broadcasting Authority of Ireland, which is tasked with ensuring that RTE meets its requirements as National Broadcaster, has upheld complaints against shows on RTE a remarkable 3 times where it was found to be failing in its obligations in this regard. Each one of these is a serious matter because each complaint upheld highlights a failure on the part of RTE to provide the kind of service that the taxpayer is funding.
One aspect that the Hear Both Sides video aptly represents is RTE’s determination to stereotype the pro-life movement in Ireland. Instead of presenting it accurately as the diverse, motivated and growing movement which crosses all age groups, all faiths and none, RTE prefers to pretend that the only people interested in protecting unborn children are those who want an old-fashioned society. In reality, pro-life supporters know that their movement is genuinely modern, one that acknowledges the humanity of the unborn child in the womb, so clearly identified by advances in science.
It’s time that RTE stopped its campaign of painting pro-lifers as people stuck in the dark ages. As tax-payers, supporters of the Eighth Amendment deserve to have their voices heard on the National Broadcaster and shouldn’t have to feel that RTE is lining up with pro-choice campaigners to bring about the removal of the last remaining constitutional protection for unborn children.
LifeNews readers are encouraged to watch the video and share it with a friend to help to highlight the problem of media bias in Ireland. It’s available here: