In fairness

Now and then Pat Kenny (or AN Other) makes a silly argument.

Not because Pat Kenny is an idiot, but because he’s faced with only one interviewee, and so Pat is obliged to put the opposite case. And never mind if the opposite case is idiotic. Balance rules requires both sides of an argument.

Meanwhile, if Pat has two people in a studio, and one is talking nonsense, he’s unable to say its nonsense. All sorts of assertions get tossed out without factcheck, unless the other interview subject points out the error. And even then, Pat can’t declare for one side, he has to settle for something bland like “clearly there’s disagreement”.

This is fake balance.

This is the view from nowhere. And this is what the latest BAI code of conduct sanctions.

Then there’s the much trumpeted new BAI rule on social media.

It reads, in full: “Broadcasters shall have in place appropriate policies and procedures for handling contributions via social media.

That could mean anything. And so it means nothing. It’s so vague that, in any given case, it allows an adjudicator to reach any verdict they want in case of a complaint.

And that’s not fair.


By Gerard Cunningham

Gerard Cunningham occupies his time working as a journalist, writer, sub-editor, blogger and podcaster, yet still finds himself underemployed.