THE Broadcasting Authority has confirmed the receipt of emails complaining about TV3’s news report on Finance Minister Brian Lenihan’s health.
TV3 revealed in a report on St Stephen’s Day that Mr Lenihan had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.
The report caused anger in Government circles because of its timing and the fact that it dealt with a personal issue. Opposition politicians also criticised the report, saying it was an inappropriate intrusion into the minister’s privacy, especially at Christmas.
TV3 defended the report, however, arguing that the story was in the public interest and that the station had given Mr Lenihan sufficient time to inform his family of the diagnosis.
The station’s news director Andrew Hanlon was quoted as saying: “TV3 has handled the matter with sensitivity and compassion. We had the story on Christmas Eve and we decided to hold it for two days to enable him to inform members of his family.
“We believe this to be a story of national importance. He is the most important minister in the Government at the moment.”
The report has generated discussion in online forums and blogs.
The authority confirmed to the Irish Examiner yesterday that it had receiveda number of emails complaining about the TV3 report. However, the authority stressed complaints would only be formally considered if submitted via an official complaints form, copies of which are available on its website.
The Government press office has said it is a personal matter for Mr Lenihan, while the department has said the minister will not be making any comment about any issue until the new year.
Mr Lenihan’s brother, junior minister Conor, was quoted yesterday as saying: “He will see it through. That has always been his way. He is very determined.”
Meanwhile, hundreds of well-wishers have left messages of support for Mr Lenihan on pages set up on the Facebook website.
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