Labour has accused PBS of accommodating Richard Cachia Caruana to suit his partisan ends. Photo: Ray Attard/Mediatoday
The Labour Party has published a right-of-reply that was turned down by TVM's head of news Natalino Fenech, in which they accused the Public Broadcasting Services of being unabashed in its confrontational tactics against the Opposition.
The source of disagreement concerns a rare occasion in which a recorded interview with Opposition leader Joseph Muscat on Reno Bugeja's Dissett was rapidly followed up by a right-of-reply from Richard Cachia Caruana, the former permanent representative to the EU who was ousted in a motion moved by the Opposition in parliament.
The PL is protesting with the Broadcasting Authority, Fenech's decision to allow Cachia Caruana a right-of-reply on the basis of a recorded interview when the party was unaware Muscat's recorded interview would precede the former ambassador's forceful defence.
"National broadcasting is being used unashamedly as a GonziPN propaganda machine to accommodate Richard Cachia Caruana," the party said in a statement.
"Cachia Caruana's riposte to Joseph Muscat's interview was partisan and a substantial part had nothing to do with what Muscat said on Dissett. If this was a right-of-reply, the parts of his reply that had nothing to do with what Muscat said should have not been broadcast."
The PL also said that in its report on the interview, the TVM news bulletin reported Muscat's comments - ostensibly in paraphrasing Cachia Caruana - as "false and misleading allegations".
"In a most partisan manner, they appropriated the disparaging and malicious comments made by Cachia Caruana. One would now expect that the expedite manner in which PBS broadcast this right-of-reply becomes standard practice."