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Monday 11 December 2023 Dublin: 7°C
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RTÉ received 27 formal complaints after contributor to US inauguration coverage called Joe Biden a 'criminal'

The broadcaster also received over 90 emails and a number of phone calls with “negative feedback” over the broadcast.

RTÉ HAS RECEIVED 27 formal complaints over its coverage of the inauguration of Joe Biden yesterday, where a commentator referred to the new US President as a “criminal”.

It also received 92 emails and three phone calls with negative feedback, a spokesperson for the State broadcaster said this evening. 

The coverage featured a number of contributors and was hosted by presenter and former Washington correspondent Caitríona Perry. 

It was subsequently criticised after comments made by one commentator.

During the broadcast, James Conner of Republicans Overseas called Joe Biden and Kamala Harris “two frauds” and falsely claimed one was “a bona fide criminal”.

Conner was previously criticised following an appearance on the Today programme with Philip Boucher-Hayes a fortnight ago, when he suggested Antifa was to blame for the attack by supporters of Donald Trump on the US Capitol.

Following Biden’s inauguration as US President, Conner said “there you have it, two frauds sworn in” and added that one was a “bona fide criminal, complicit in the violation of multiple directives”.

Perry intervened to say “you don’t have evidence of that here James”.

Labour TD Aodhan Ó Ríordáin and Rise TD Paul Murphy were among those critical of RTÉ’s decision to put him on the programme. 

A spokesperson for RTÉ this evening confirmed that it received one email with negative feedback following Conner’s appearance on the Today programme on 7 January. 

“In relation to his contribution to the US Inauguration coverage on Wednesday afternoon, RTÉ has received 27 formal complaints,” the spokesperson added. “RTÉ also received 92 emails and three phone calls with negative feedback.”

With reporting from Rónán Duffy

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