Fr Renè Camilleri (February 3) implies that the Xarabank programme discussing homosexuality was imbalanced because there was only one priest in the panel, flanked by two gays, a declared pro-gay supporter and an atheist.
The following are the facts:
1. A promotion was aired inviting people to phone Xarabank and subsequently attend the programme. Those who advocate the Church's position on this issue did not call.
2. We invited the Bishop of Gozo to take part in the programme. At the time we went on air, we still had not received any reply.
3. We also invited three priests, all of whom told us that they couldn't attend.
4. Six persons who are known to support the Church's views were asked to come to express their views during the programme, but they refused to take part.
5. Moreover, we invited members from religious youth organisations all of whom decided not to take part.
Two days before the programme we were informed that Fr Anton Gouder would be representing the Church. The following day I asked Fr Gouder to give us any names of potential guests who support the Church's views. I contacted Fr Gouder again in person, and he was of the opinion that it would be best that he be left alone on the panel in representation of the Church, because the subject was extremely delicate.
Fr Camilleri mentions all the persons who took part in the programme but failed to mention the fact that we aired an extensive interview with Archbishop Paul Cremona.
In this regard we decided to ana-lyse the allocation of time given to each speaker during the programme. The results show that Fr Gouder had much more airtime (31 minutes) allocated to him than the rest of the panel put together (22 minutes). Moreover if Fr Gouder's allotted time were to be added to the duration of the Archbishop's interview (47 minutes), one would find that the resulting time allocation would match the time allotted to the rest of the panel and all the members of the audience put together (48 minutes).
I rest my case.
[Click on the hyperlink above to view the comments.]