Monday 11 February 2013

This coming 'Sunday'...

I note that the the 'Top Stories' at the moment on The Catholic Herald's website are:

The third item on that list, when you click into it, is a post by Dr William Oddie from March of last year making a prediction which in the light of today's news makes him look like a poor prophet. Ah yes, The Catholic Herald's enemies are obviously already gathering ammo for a hatchet job on one of the Herald's star conservative columnists.

Still, given the evidence presented in my post about the extraordinary dominance of commentators from The Tablet (The Catholic Herald's liberal rival) on BBC Radio 4's Sunday, as presented by Tablet trustee Ed Stourton, it would be expected - were this not the BBC - that the coverage of Pope Benedict's resignation on this week's Sunday would include at least someone from The Catholic Herald

Since my expose and the subsequent tranche of complaints made by conservative Catholics to the BBC in protest, Tabletistas have been absent from Sunday. Will this change this Sunday, given that they might feel that the fuss is dying down? Will the programme resist the urge to dial the usual suspects - Catherine Pepinster, Robert Mickens, Tina Beattie and John Wilkins, who usually appear en masse for such occasions, alongside their Tablet colleague Ed?

Wouldn't it be something if a programme which has featured dozens of guests from the left-leaning Tablet over the last couple of years but not a single guest from the right-leaning Catholic Herald decided at last to redress the balance? 

Instead of the four usual suspects from The Tablet (like the four who appeared on the last big Catholic-centred edition), how about Ed interviewing a few Catholic Heralders? How about Luke Coppen, editor of the Catholic Herald in place of Ms. Pepinster? How about Fr Alexander Lucie-Smith instead of Tina Beattie? How about Damian Thompson instead of John Wilkins? How about Edward Pentin instead of Robert Mickens?

How about it Sunday? What's stopping you?

You may not be a Catholic (and I'm certainly not a Catholic) but Sunday's total bias in favour of one liberal Catholic magazine at the expense of a conservative Catholic magazine remains indefensible - and important, if you want to argue that the BBC is not biased. In this case the BBC emphatically has been biased. 

Watch this space to see whether Sunday has learned its lesson or whether it's simply incapable of learning its lesson.

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