So as we are already aware Former US President Jimmy Carter has come out in support of the 'Turn off the red light' campaign, a matter which was discussed on today's Drive Time on RTE One radio. Presenter Mary Wilson brought on Denise Charlton from the Immigrant Council of Ireland to discuss the matter, a link to the show is here starting 1 hour 39 minutes in http://www.rte.ie/radio/utils/radiop...2D09%2D2014%3A
Now typical I would expect the usual bias towards sex work and the people involved but a recent ruling by the BAI (Broadcasting Authority of Ireland) in regards to Derek Mooney show on the matter of same sex marriages is just highlighting how the narrow minded and bias our conservative media is.
To put into context the Derek Mooney show had a segment on the number of civil partnerships in Ireland, the contents of which related person experience of guest on the shows experience with civil partnership in Ireland. A complaint was made to the BAI on the grounds that the presenter did not challenge the guest position or opinions which the BAI upheld the complaint on the grounds of breaching 'Objectivity/Impartiality in News, Fairness, Objectivity & Impartiality in Current Affairs'. Although the segment discussion did not involve or discuss the referendum on same-sex unions the BAI upheld the complaint on the grounds that the segment constituted current affairs content on an issue of current public debate and so there were requirements of fairness, objectivity and impartiality governing the segment and that these had not been met due to the lack of representative voice against same sex marriages.
Here is the section on the BAI website about Objectivity/Impartiality in News, Fairness, Objectivity & Impartiality in Current Affairs
"All broadcast news must be presented and reported in an objective and impartial manner and without expression of the broadcasters’ own views. Current affairs broadcasts, including matters of public controversy or debate, must be treated in a manner which is fair to all interests concerned and the broadcast must be presented in an objective and impartial manner, without any expression of the broadcasters’ own views."
So having listened to today's Drive Time, which if you haven't please do, you can understand my annoyances that a piece that is actively targeted at a current public debate was allowed to carry such bias and one side debate. The presenter Mary Wilson not once challenged Denise Charlton position or asked for figures, instead her questions only served as a platform for Denise Charlton to speak on. At no point was even the notion of consensual sex workers brought up by either the presenter or her guest, from their perspective all sex worker were here against their will, whether through substance abuse, financial or physical pressure, with claims that most sex workers entered into sex work at age of 14, another 'fact' that went unchallenged by Mary Wilson.
Now I know I am bias and despite my own very positive interactions with escorting I do know however that this is not true for all. Trafficking exist, it is a serious problem which anyone aware or suspicious of has a duty to inform the relevant authorities but the portrayal of all involved both client and escort was overwhelmingly negative, the mere fact that the presenter of Drive Time had not even one question opposing Denise Charlton is insane.
I feel I should at this point that I would say deep down I have certain belief in my religion but even though I have I am dumbfounded to find the religious beliefs and organization can and are dictating so much of our lives in legislation. Given the seemly unending scandal of child sex abuse, neglect leading to death and the imprisonment and slavery of unmarried mothers under religious organizations that they should be acting in any capacity as moral authority backing these campaigns is unbelievable. Gay marriage is seen as such a controversial subject but at the end of the day why does it matter to society if the two consenting adults are of different sex or not. The same flawed moral judgement is been made in regards to sex work, that regardless if both are consenting adults that somehow because it does not fit the moral ethos base on personal beliefs of some it is allowed to negate the personal freedom of others. Yet here we are with our public (and publicly funded) media legitimizing one side of the debate, if this had been opposite where someone came to speak on behalf of the sex industry I can assure you the host would have actively and maybe even aggressively questioned the guest then the passive reinforcement of one side that we go today.