Tuesday, 14 September 2010

BBC Misrepresents Parish Views...

After I was interviewed by Mark Dowd for his Radio 4 programme, The Pope's British Divisions, I said that I feared a hatchet job.

As it transpired, I thought that Blackfen came out of the whole programme rather well, and, although I felt more could have been made of the (very articulate) young people in our parish, I do understand that not everything can be used in the final programme.

However, it seems that not all BBC journalism is as unbiased - Independent Catholic News carries a report of a shocking breach of trust by a BBC journalist in a North London parish.

Barbara O'Driscoll, a parishioner who was present at the Mass and saw exactly what happened felt so strongly that she wrote to Mark Thompson, the Director General of the BBC. She concluded that the BBC had misrepresented the parish and parishioners:

Penelope Middelboe, of the newly created Catholic Voices for Reform (May 2010) was shown attending the service at St John Vianney’s, including a close-up, and being interviewed outside the church, giving the impression that she was a parishioner and supposedly a spokesperson for the parish. (I do not understand why she was brought to St John Vianney’s when the interview could have been held elsewhere.)

When the reporter Robert Pigott was speaking, parishioners were shown in the background leaving the church. He said: "The poll shows that large numbers of ordinary Catholics are, by disputing important teachings on issues like celibacy and the role of women, prepared to challenge the Pope’s view on exactly what the church’s message should be".

The report does not show any of our parishioners expressing their opinions. So this could be understood that those parishioners who were filmed leaving the church shared the views of what the reporter referred to as 'ordinary Catholics'.?

It pains and saddens me that I now have to question the integrity of the BBC. It deceived our parish priest and did not do what it had explicitly received permission for, which was to seek the opinions of parishioners at St John Vianney’s.

I'm afraid that I have long distrusted anything produced by the BBC on the subject of Catholicism. It does make me wonder about the integrity of the BBC in other areas...


nazareth priest said...

"Devious" is just right...
prayers for our Holy Father's visit in a few short days.

Zephyrinus said...

The BBC will scandalise the Catholic Church whenever it can. If it were feasible, I would urge every Catholic in the U.K. to return their TV Licence to the BBC and throw away their TV sets. The vastly increased free time could then be utilised in attending Benediction and extra Masses.

gemoftheocean said...

"I'm afraid that I have long distrusted anything produced by the BBC on the subject of Catholicism. It does make me wonder about the integrity of the BBC in other areas..."

Precisely. My mother and I saw firsthand how the news media can often skew interviews to suit their playbook, in even trivial things ... so I always take any man in the street interviews with a grain of salt.

Years ago, the PAdres baseball team front office had wontonly traded away a star 3rd baseman for a total unknown and a "player to be named later" in a real firesale.
Fans were livid. So "the news" media took it upon themselves to interview people at the stadium and asked them if they could even remember the [unusual] name of the up and comer. My mother was interviewed, by chance, and DID know. [Mom was the family member who 20 years on knew who was traded for whom and when.]

But when "they" showed the news item that night not a single person shown knew...and they said "see, NO ONE knew." Well, mom did.

And in a year when Clinton was running for president in '92 there was one of the presidential [candidate] debate held in San Diego. The newsies claimed that "all the people in the audience have not made up their mind" [and from the audience, questions of the candidates were asked.[ Gee, how "odd" that the SISTER of a former democrat mayor was supposedly an independent voter who hadn't made up her mind as to which party she would support. OF course she tossed the "Bent one" an easy peasy no brainer question. And then after the debate was over you could see her milling in the crowd yuking it up with clinnochio. "non-partisan" audience my behind.

NEVER trust news reporters at face value. 80+ percent of the US press will vote democrat, as they themselves admit when pressed, but they claim "no bias" in how they present their stories. They can also make up things out of whole cloth, or perpetuate intial bad reports. Walter Cronkite "the most respected man in news" for decades was later exposed as a fraud cheer leader for the Vietcong, running down the military in his coverage of Vietnam. Dan Rather, finally chased from his position after fabricating stories that GWBush was awol in his military service.

Just because they have a "name" doesn't mean you can necessarily trust them a damn bit more than some perp in a police lineup.

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