Tuesday, 3 February 2009

Times: Xarabank and homosexuality

Tuesday, 3rd February 2009

Evarist Saliba, Ta' l-Ibrag

On January 30, Xarabank presented its TV audience with a discussion on homosexuality, provoked by the false reportage in the media, including the local one, on what the Pope had said a few days earlier on an unrelated subject. The producer chose a panel consisting of a spokesman for gay rights, a declared homosexual, an atheist, a person who said how glad he was to be on the panel to defend homosexuality, and a solitary priest. If the producer thought that this was a balanced representation of our society he must be living on another planet.

He also interviewed at great length a homosexual person, and the persons he chose to speak from the audience were either homosexuals, or persons who preferred to take newspaper reports, rather than the text of the Pope's speech, as the truth.

Bearing in mind the criticism that a sister programme had provoked when the Archbishop was systematically interrupted so that he could not convey his views in his natural affable manner, while persons with contrasting views were given the benefit of a recorded uninterrupted interview, this time the Archbishop was given the chance to give recorded answers without unwarranted interruptions. This was balanced by a similar treatment of a nun whose views had raised objections in Church circles.

I must congratulate the priest for the ability and clarity with which he fielded all that was thrown at him, as well as the homosexual on the panel for the honest way he expressed himself, with no axe to grind. They saved the programme from a totally anti-Church biased approach.

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Rev. Rene' Camilleri, Luqa

Whenever Peppi Azzopardi in his Xarabank shows discusses politics, there is a watchdog that makes him keep balance between all sides. Whenever he discusses hunting, all is done so that he is not accused of impartiality.

But when, like January 30, he discusses issues that concern the basics of society and its survival, there seems to be no authority to monitor equal hearing and fairness. Discussing homosexuality, in a panel of five, there was a priest, two gays, one declared pro-gay, and an atheist. Not to mention the bias on the floor. Is this representative of Maltese society? Is this not abuse of power? PBS please note!

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