It wasn’t against broadcasting rules, but it was “potentially inflammatory” for a UK radio host to suggest the public beat up public transportation staff, UK broadcast regulator OfCom ruled.
LBC radio station’s Steve Allen said last month that “I think we should go round and start beating up tube people, the people that bring them all out on strike,” according to the Guardian. His comment was in response to a caller who complained about the London Underground workers being on strike.
LBC is “talk radio for London on current affairs and news affecting London,” its website states.
In response to Allen’s Aug. 4 comment, the workers’ union, the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers complained it was “likely to encourage violent and criminal behavior,” the Guardian said. The comments were broadcast between 4 am and 6:30 AM, the Huffington Post UK reported.
OfCom said in a statement to iMediaEthics:
“After carefully investigating the RMT’s complaint, we concluded that Steve Allen’s comments were unlikely to have been understood by his listeners, who are familiar with the programme’s established style, as a serious encouragement to commit violent or criminal behaviour. However, we have reminded LBC that it must take care when making potentially inflammatory remarks, particularly around developing news events.”
iMediaEthics has written to LBC Radio, and the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers for comment.
iMediaEthics wrote in 2011 when the BBC received more than 21,000 complaints about host Jeremy Clarkson calling for public sector workers on strike to be shot, “executed in front of their families.” The BBC apologized for the comments.