Thursday, 10 April 2008

The Cardinal's Lectures...

I was unlucky enough to arrange to go to this... Mark Thompson, the Director General of the BBC, was giving a talk on Faith and the Media. I figured that it might be interesting, and I'm on my hols. I should have known better.

The talk was excruciatingly tedious... nothing more than a piece of self-congratulatory advertising for the BBC. Mr Thompson repeatedly stressed that the BBC stood for accuracy and impartiality. Try not to laugh (well, not too loudly.)

An example of how the BBC actually listens to the opinions of its viewers (and listeners) was mentioned several times: Mr Thompson stressed that they had decided to drop the controversial programme Popetown. Strange to say, he failed to mention that the BBC hadn't actually dropped it, but had decided that it might not be expedient to show it on the BBC... not even on BBC3. Instead they decided to sell it overseas... not quite my idea of listening...

Oh yes, Mr. Thompson... I consider the programme offensive, so I don't want to see it on TV, but I'm quite happy for the BBC to peddle the lies and offensiveness about the Church overseas... and please use my licence fee to do this...

The most interesting part of the talk was the question session at the end. Mr Thompson was asked why Christianity (and Catholicism) was considered a valid target for comedy and satire, while Islam and other religions were not. The answer was rather vague, and Mr Thompson's defence was that he'd commissioned "Goodness Gracious Me" which he said lampooned Islam. Actually, I watched a few episodes... it was more a dig at the cultural side of things, certainly not the religious aspects.

When challenged about the decision to show "Jerry Springer, The Opera" Mark Thompson countered with his "but we didn't show Popetown" argument. He also pointed out that there had been several warnings about the content's possible capacity to offend (Oh ! I thought it was advertising... silly me! It was a warning to turn off the TV !!)

One quote which was rather telling: "If you're going to be offended by the subject matter, please don't watch it."

Right. I pay my licence fee so that I can not watch the programmes.

It was rather amusing to note that, despite mentioning the internet, and BBC's I-player site, Mr. Thompson made no mention of the blogs and their role in holding the traditional media to account!

I was very disappointed to see that the "facilitator" for this evening's lecture was none other than Baroness Kennedy of the Shaws, QC. The same Helena Kennedy who has spoken publicly in favour of contraception and a woman's "right to choose" an abortion. She's a great friend of Tony and Cherie Blair - another example of the Cafeteria Catholics so fêted by Cardinal Murphy-O'Connor.

If you can bear it, you can read the lecture HERE.

4 comments:

leutgeb said...

Luck I had a Parents' Evening, really.....

Mrs Jackie Parkes MJ said...

Nah! You've put me right off!

bernadette said...

What did you expect, Mac ? come on...

George said...

What is the Cardinal's agenda??? This question is now being asked right across the Catholic Blogs in the UK. Why is Westminster Cathedral being turned into a media circus? Why do we have an English Catholic Heirarchy who appear to be 'hands on' in helping the secularists, humanists and purveyors of a 'one-world-modern-faith' religion in scuppering the Catholic Church!

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