Allowing bias to take over Yle’s A-studio

by , under Enrique Tessieri


When you leave out the context in a news story, you leave the door open for bias.

One topic in Tuesday’s A-studio talk show was whether it’s ok to burn the Quran in Finland. Contrary to other Nordic countries like Sweden and Denmark, burning the Koran in Finland is illegal.

While it’s generally known that it is illegal to burn the Quran, the talk show’s choice of inviting Perussuomalaiset (PS)* MP Sebastian Tynkkynen with Marja Sannikka hosting raises some questions.

PS Tynkkynen, a radical right Islamophobic party member, was convicted three times for ethnic agitation. Sannikka, specializes in editorializing topics like youth gangs and not even stopping a guest from using the n-word repeatedly on her show.

From left to right: Professor Kimmo Nuotio, Perussuomalaiset MP Sebastian Tynkkynen, and host Marja Sannikka. Source: Yle

Rambling on about freedom of speech and why hate speech should not be persecuted, Tynkkynen claimed that “it looks like this [present law] is going to be a kind of Islam-protecting article.”

Apart from the shallowness of the talk show in treating such a sensitive topic, the program never answered the question it posed: Can the Quran be burned?

Sannikka never revealed to us what Tynkkynen thought about that question. She did not even ask the guest what he thought if burning the Jewish holy book, the Torah, was ok.

What would Tynkkynen say if she asked him such a question?

Would he ramble about “free speech” and that such an act, committed in front of the Israeli embassy, would be fine?

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