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Thursday 17 November 2011

Keeping Up With The Beeb

The line taken by the Daily Mail on the BBC and Christianity is at least consistent: the Corporation is said to be pushing an agenda of “aggressive secularism”, trying to “obliterate” Christianity, stands accused (falsely) of issuing “diktats” to ban the use of BC and AD, and is even accused by the likes of Peter Mullen and Melanie Phillips of being “bigoted”.

So last night’s main 2200 hours news bulletin must have posed a problem for those previously laying into the Beeb, as it gave prominent and generous coverage to the service at Westminster Abbey, attended by the Queen and Prince Philip, celebrating the 400th anniversary of the King James Bible. The Archbishop of Canterbury, another favourite target of the why-oh-why brigade, presided.

One can only imagine the darkening mood of the legendarily foul mouthed Paul Dacre as the piece was broadcast – the online version has video from the news item – as he and his obedient hackery tried to figure out how they were going to spin this apparent deviation from the often told mission to wipe out any trace of Christianity and install something unspecified but secular in its place.

The bad news is that the Daily Mail did not manage to get anything into its print edition – at least not the early one – but the good news for the Dacre hackery is that an article not mentioning the BBC even once, under the by-line of John Stevens, has been added to the paper’s sleb and goss heavy website, accompanied by a number of agency photos and stressing the Royal angle.

Sadly, though, the Mail does not go to the same lengths as the BBC, which provides links to two other online pieces, together with the King James Bible Trust and Radio 4’s “The Story Of The King James Bible”. Anyone might conclude that the Mail wasn’t really interested in the event: after all, much of the text of their piece is word-for-word identical with that in the Express.

At least the Maily Telegraph has produced, via its Religious Affairs Editor Martin Beckford, some reasonably original copy, and dated the same day as the ceremony, too. However, the Mail punditry, under the less than benign leadership of Simon “Enoch was right” Heffer, has remained silent. But then, it’s not easy to stand up accusations of “obliterating Christianity” when the target beats you to the punch.

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