Environmentalist Duncan Stewart broke down live on air this morning, refusing to discuss the topic of climate change unless he was given 10 minutes of unopposed airtime to speak about the issue.
Stewart, who himself used to be a presenter on the Irish Raidió Teilifís Éireann (RTE) public broadcaster, can be heard at the link below shouting the presenter down, demanding more time, and likening the issue of climate change to the Holocaust.
The Irish Independent called the episode “bizarre”, as Stewart threatened to get up and leave, mid-discussion: “Just minutes into the interview, he became annoyed as host Shane Coleman attempted to interrupt him”.
“How much time have I got?” He asked, before repeatedly shouting over Coleman, “Tell me how much I’ve got! I want to know. I can walk out of this studio this minute if you wish”.
Coleman tried to reason with him, asking him to get on with the discussion, but Stewart refused: “I don’t think I want to stay here”, he said.
“If I’ve only got seven minutes, I’m not staying. It’s not worth my time, I’m going to go to another station. There’s plenty of people that want to hear. Give me ten minutes or I’m not staying in the studio”.
Eventually, the producers caved, handing Stewart his 10 minutes, during which he likened climate change to the Holocaust, asking, “If there was a programme about the Holocaust, would we give equal time to Holocaust deniers?”
It also came to light that Stewart may have been using the interview as a platform to run in the upcoming European elections. Initially, he denied a desire to run, but then tripped up over his own words. “I have three or four options at the moment, and I will make a decision in the coming days whether I do or don’t [go into politics]”.
“I know its going to be dirty, I know people are going to knock me and going to judge me”.
“Believe me, nothing’s going to hold me back when I get to Europe. [Getting elected] is a simple matter”.
The presenter, Coleman, accused Stewart of using RTE as a platform for his controversial views: “All this stuff… I have to put it to you, sounds like a most cynical, opportunistic attempt to just ride a storm of controversy to get elected to the European Parliament”.
Stewart later tweeted, “Thanks to all at @BreakfastNT for interview. Not my finest hour :) but I can’t help how seriously I feel about the environment and our future”.