BAI rejects viewer complaints of RTÉ's coverage of Donald Trump and the US election 2 months ago

BAI rejects viewer complaints of RTÉ's coverage of Donald Trump and the US election

One viewer complained RTÉ had shown bias by calling Joe Biden the 'President Elect'.

The Broadcasting Authority of Ireland has rejected a complaint made regarding RTÉ's coverage of Donald Trump and the aftermath of the US Presidential Election.

Advertisement

Complaints are assessed at Executive level in the BAI by the Executive Complaints Forum.

The complaint was made about a news report on the Six One News on RTÉ One aired on 9 November 2020, which was covering the 2020 US election.

Aidan McGrath took exception to RTÉ referring to Joe Biden as the 'President Elect' and claimed RTÉ had shown bias by giving Biden the title when the other candidate, Donald Trump, had not conceded the election.

The Forum also said the complainant was of the view that the use of the words “without evidence” by the reporter when referring to allegations of irregularities in voting in the election, displayed bias on the part of the broadcaster.

RTÉ argued it was factually accurate, fair and impartial in its coverage of the election.

It said many world leaders and international organisations had acknowledged Biden as the 'President Elect' and that various Republican representatives had stated that there is no evidence of widespread voter fraud or electoral irregularities.

In its ruling on the complaint, the BAI said the term ‘President-Elect’ is a commonly used term, which has often been used to describe incoming presidents and it did not consider the use of the term as impartial or inaccurate.

Advertisement

As for the complaint that the use of the words "without evidence" by the reporter displayed bias, the BAI said there is no evidence in the broadcast to support the view that this statement, or any element of the report, was presented without due accuracy.

The Forum said it did not consider that the broadcast infringed the Code of Fairness, Objectivity and Impartiality in News and Current Affairs in the manner described by the complainant and rejected the complaint.