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Mr Controversial

Executive Producer Peter Charley writes for the Dateline blog about the huge response to this story...

When we sent Mark Davis to the Netherlands to film a profile on Geert Wilders, we knew he’d come back with a controversial story.

But nothing prepared us for the storm of comments that have flooded Dateline’s website since Mark’s video went to air on Sunday night.

Within just a few days, people had written more than 1,200 comments, either outraged that we’d broadcast Wilders’ anti-Moslem comments – or congratulating us for having the ‘courage’ to air his contentious point of view.

Dateline’s website recorded 12,974 visitors on Monday alone, boosting to 50,357 the number of pages of content viewed in one day. Nearly half of those visitors were from the Netherlands.

Clearly, the Dutch politician has touched a nerve. As Mark Davis told George Negus in a studio chat after his story, Wilders’ will cause an almighty stir when he visits New York’s Ground Zero to support the anti-mosque rally there on September 11.

We’ll be keeping a close eye on how that goes.

Read more blog entries from Executive Producer Peter Charley.

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