Opinion: Stop giving these people a platform

Inviting people with unacceptable views on national TV simply helps them stay relevant.
Phylisienne Brincat. Photo: Screenshot from TVM’s Popolin.

Let’s be honest. There are some people who don’t really need to say anything. They’ve advertised their weird and misguided beliefs far and wide and loudly, too. We know what their opinions are. And we know that they’re neither acceptable nor clever. Not to reasonable people, anyway.

Latest case in point – Phylisienne Brincat’s assertion that people with disabilities owe it to original sin. She has been making her extreme religious views known for years now. Her outburst yesterday came as a surprise to no-one. Not that her predictability makes her views any less reprehensible, of course. But no one can say they didn’t see this coming.

So why in the name of all good sense is she being invited to share what we know perfectly well will be a point of view that’s unacceptable to many? If the invitation were extended on some conspiracy theorist platform I’d get it. But mainstream TV?

I’m not singling out only Phylisienne, mind. Gordon Manche? Ditto. Norman Lowell? Same. It’s not like we don’t know what these people will say. So if you disagree with their views, just don’t give them a platform. Make them irrelevant. It’s very simple really.

Now, before anyone accuses me of censorship, no I’m not suggesting muzzling them. If they want to make their views public they are perfectly at liberty to do so by using their own platforms. A podcast, a site, their own TV show. I don’t care quite frankly because I won’t be following.

But to invite them on a mainstream platform where I’m pretty sure the editorial line is diametrically opposed to these views begs the question. Why?

Is it simply to court controversy? To create notch up a few angry clicks? To be the subject of conversation? It’s gone too far. If you are a media person and you want us to believe that you disagree with views that preach intolerance and insensitivity, then don’t invite these people full-stop.

Otherwise we will be forced to conclude that the reason behind the invitation is less than honourable.

Once again, for those readers who need a refresher about the definition of censorship. Censorship is when anyone is stopped, legally or forcibly, from expressing themselves publicly. In this case these people are perfectly at liberty to express themselves on like-minded platforms where they won’t bother anyone.

But no, let’s ensure they stay relevant just so we can enjoy some extra views huh?

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