The Broadcasting Authority of Ireland censured Vincent Browne, upholding a formal complaint filed against the veteran TV3 presenter.
Last October, Browne called Israel “the cancer in foreign affairs,” said that Israel “polarises the Islamic community of the world against the rest of the world,” and claimed that through the creation of the state, the Jews “stole the land from the Arabs.” The on-air bigotry earned Browne special recognition in last year’s Dishonest Reporting awards.
Responding to a complaint filed by Paul Rossiter, the BAI wrote in its ruling (pdf format):
However, it was the view of the Committee that the references by the programme presenter to the State of Israel during the programme were included without any apparent context or relevance to the discussion of the then forthcoming Presidential election in the United States of America, the focus of the programme.
Furthermore, it was the view of the Committee that the remarks constituted an editorial statement by the presenter that was not balanced by contributions from the programme guests. The item was therefore deemed to have failed to meet the requirement for fair, objective and impartial treatment of news and current affairs.
The ruling, however, didn’t agree with Rossiter that Browne’s comments were anti-Semitic.
A BAI spokesman told the Irish Independent that no further appeal is possible for TV3 and that the station must air an apology within 21 days.