LBC presenter James O'Brien has hit out at his own station for their reporting of an exchange on his show today.
The 48-year-old, who has been with the talk radio station for 18 years, was discussing the issue of children going back to school in the coming weeks despite the ongoing threat posed by coronavirus.
Talking to a listener named Michael who advocated the return of schoolchildren, O'Brien said he was on the fence on the issue but told his caller multiple times that "it's on you" if just one child died from coronavirus as a result of that decision.
O'Brien, who is one of the few left-leaning voices on LBC, provoked controversy for his admonishment of the caller and the furore was amplified by LBC posting a version of the story on its website and Twitter account.
The presenter was angered by their account of the exchange, however, writing on Twitter: "There's something very 2020 about trending on Twitter after explaining, at length, why I couldn't pick a 'side' on school returns because both decisions involve dangerous consequences. Obviously, I'm stunned by the incredibly crass way the clip was written up & promoted by @LBC."
Piers Morgan was among those to call out O'Brien for the exchange, telling him: "Wow. You tell a listener the death of ANY schoolchild from covid is personally on him if he thinks (as most people do) that kids should now return to school - and now chuck your network & its social media team under the bus for tweeting accurately what you said? Shameless."
LBC's Twitter account later apologised for tweeting "an edited version" of O'Brien's call and published it in full, which the radio host appeared to take as a vindication of his position.
Listen to the exchange in full below:
Earlier today we published a tweet linking to an edited version of this call to James O'Brien. The tweet lacked important context and we apologise to James for the way it unintentionally misrepresented his view. To set record straight, here is the call in full. pic.twitter.com/ZrrIhOSLB2— LBC (@LBC) August 24, 2020