A REVIEW OF THE ANTI-CATHOLIC BROADCAST YEAR
The following is a short study on the past year with special emphasis on material relating to the Catholic Church. This study was mainly produced in the first six months of the year. I decided to make notes whenever programmes mentioned the Church for good or bad. The programmes mentioned are only those, which I have personally seen or heard about. Nevertheless the proportion of detrimental comment to good is massive.
Whilst watching this programme I came to realise just how clever the BBC are in using their skills to undermine Church teaching. Whilst giving the appearance of a balanced and fair programme the general thrust was of unorthodoxy. No theologian or historian is shown to have the usual view as per the Bible or tradition. The Catholic view is hardly taken into account, which is surprising considering how much we venerate Our Lady. No scholarly backup given to Jesus as God.
Attack on traditional views of Our Lady
Channel 5 Inquisition –late December 2002
This was a nasty and provocative little play. John Guilgood played a Cardinal. It portrayed the Cardinal and one of his monks as mean cold fanatical bigots. It also suggests that the Catholic Church is in league with the devil.
Attack on the Catholic Church in history
BBC or ITV Midnight Mass – 2002
There was no Catholic midnight mass broadcast on TV.
No Catholic midnight Mass for the third year in a row on TV. There was one only on the radio.
BBC Radio 5 live – 10th January 2003 3pm
Two dissident Catholics interviewed, one an ex-monk the other who once trained for the priesthood. The main thrust of this feature was that celibacy is wrong with words like ‘repressed sexuality’ being used. No normal Catholic views given
Attack on the Catholic teaching of priestly celibacy.
BBC admits anti-Catholic bias – The Today programme – and offers a rare apology.
Not only did they admit to anti-Catholic bias but issued an apology to Catholic journalist Clifford Longley (but not Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor as they should have). The following is reprinted from the Telegraph Newspaper:
In the course of its campaign, Today interviewed Mr Longley as a defender of the cardinal. Mr Longley complained that his best argument was cut, while his opponent was permitted to make unfair allegations. The BBC’s head of complaints admitted that “the overall impression” given was “a degree of bias”. The response of most viewers and listeners to such partiality ranges from indignation to cynicism. But they do not complain. If more people followed Mr Longley’s example, the BBC might think twice.
The campaign, which is referred to is the attempt by Today and Newsnight to make Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor resign because of cover up allegations over child abuse. Although no evidence was ever found it was for the secular media a good chance to bring as much bad publicity as possible. It is interesting to note that even though the Church of England has had similar problems there has been nothing like the same kind of animosity towards them!
Attack on the moral authority of the Catholic Church
BBC Radio 4 - Pick of the week 9th March 9th 6.20pm
The presenter said that Evelyn Waugh joined a ‘reactionary religion’ the Catholic Church.
Unfair to give such a name to the Catholic Church.
Channel 4 – Good Friday – a programme on Elizabeth 1st
Very biased against Catholic Mary. The Old myth about Good Queen Bess and Bloody Mary continues.
Biased and Anti-Catholic view of history
BBC TV Channel 4 – A profile on Cardinal Ratzinger 7th May 2003
This programme is a typical example of BBC’s self-proclaimed but specious assertion to even-handedness. It is quite easy if you look at the structure to see how they do it for example the presenter interviewed an Oxford Catholic
Theology tutor who said that there is a great revival in the Southern Europe it’s the North that’s the Sick Man of Europe and that there is no problem in the Third World. The presenter contradicted him completely after the interview by saying the Church is ‘Haemorrhaging’ in the Third World. The BBC presents their views as facts when there is no one to contradict them. This shallow duplicity is almost standard screenplay for the modern BBC documentary when dealing with the Catholic Church.
The programme seemed to be really about Hans Kung and his views about the Church and Cardinal Ratzinger. This programme tried to give the impression that it was a fair and learned documentary on the Cardinal. However its main aim was to undermined and misinform. The producer and presenter by the comments and summing up after every interview could clearly be seen to be anti-Catholic moral teaching.
This programme tried to undermine the Church on: Contraception, celibacy, woman priests, and Catholic moral teaching.
BBC TV Channel 4 – The Celibacy Debate, 7th May 2003
This programme followed hard on the heels of the profile on Cardinal Ratzinger. The panel balance was not achieved therefore to call this a debate was ambitious.
This programme tried to undermine traditional priestly celibacy.
There were many other incidences of anti-Catholic bias in the first six months of the year mainly by the BBC but there is not enough room to print them all here. However in the name of fairness I must report that the BBC did broadcast Urbi et Orbi from St Peters square at Easter and a Mass from Portsmouth Cathedral. However these did not involve comments on the Catholic faith and morels.
When the BBC and the other TV channels have been accused of anti-Catholic bias they have always say that they do not understand what we are talking about and that no such bias exists. However what they actually do is attack Catholic moral teaching and our faith is mostly ignored (apart from BBC 1’s The Virgin Mary). From the above survey it is clear that they try and undermine Catholic teaching on: Priestly celibacy, contraception, woman priests, homosexuality and Catholic moral teaching generally. Why is the BBC against Catholic moral teaching? CUT believes the reasons are quite clear; the BBC is for want of a better phrase ‘politically correct’ and are in favour of woman priests, contraception and homosexually they are also pro choice (abortion). It is also quite clear from the programmes mentioned that they are against celibacy and Catholic moral teaching in general.
After the survey finished (due to the author unplugging his TV and not watching anymore broadcast television). There was a plethora of letters and articles in the Catholic press regarding continued anti-Catholic bias such as Panorama’s Sex and the Vatican, in which, they actually had the temerity to blame the African AIDS crises on Catholic moral teaching. Kenyon Confronts which raked over old and well aired allegations of Child abuse broadcast on prime time BBC TV on the eve of the Popes jubilee celebrations. There were several other incidents of media bigotry towards Catholic moral teaching. Again in the name fairness and balance that CUT hopes the BBC will imitate we report that there was one or two incidence of fairness reported regarding the panel on the broadcast of the Mass from St Peters square of the beatification of Mother Teresa of Calcutta. However after that there was a return to attacks on Catholic moral teaching mainly on BBC radio.
BBC Radio 5 live - 24th August BBC subjective with the news
The BBC went to great lengths to report on the death of a Catholic priest in America who was a paedophile whilst totally ignoring the case of the choirmaster at St Paul’s. This item came from the Daily Telegraph.
Are the BBC biased in favour of the Church of England? Should the BBC look at what happening there? Perhaps they need to look at themselves as well, before they point the finger? Cf Matt 7:3-5, Lk :41-42.
Although this month’s newsletter deals mainly with anti-Catholic bias we feel we must mention a truly awful programme called Beijing Swings.
Channel 4 Beijing Swings – Baby cooked and eaten on TV!
Channel 4 ever trying to carve a niche in depravity below its broadcasting competitors produced a programme that must seriously worry any decent thinking person. Beijing Swings involved the cooking and eating of a dead baby by a performance artist. Is this the result of the re-emergence of paganism and atheism, which in turn is the result of decades of anti-Church propaganda from the media? Beijing Swings shows how desensitised the viewing public have become. Muslims, Catholics and other decent people where horrified by this.
The Catholic Times of 23rd January 2003 stated:
Jess Search a Channel 4 editor informed Lord Alton that "this film had a very serious editorial purpose to gain greater understanding of a new generation of Chinese young people… The BBC and Channel 4 refused to show a pro-life election broadcast saying that it offended against taste and decency!
How right the Holy Father is when he calls this society "The Culture of Death".