Sunday 16 January 2022

Joe Biden's First Year Report, BBC-Sunday-style (among other things)

Sunday on Radio 4 exemplifies Ben Harris-Quinney's comment that the BBC uses "the same people with the same views over and over again". 

For example, I've joked before that David Walker, Bishop of Manchester, is on the programme so often that he should be officially enthroned as The Bishop of Radio 4's 'Sunday'. He was on it yet again today as part of the closing discussion on morality in public life in the wake of the Partygate scandal. 

It was a classic BBC religious discussion: a nice liberal Anglican bishop in discussion with a nice imam and a nice liberal rabbi, all saying nice things. 

The programme also had a bit on the amendment to the Policing Bill intended to tackle the likes of Insulate Britain, featuring an opponent of the amendment - a 'woke'-spouting Quaker - but no one in support of it. 

And the programme marked a year of President Joe Biden by interviewing an African-American professor who campaigned for Catholics for Biden and a Catholic journalist - another very 'BBC' discussion, with the journalist (Christopher White, NCR) being all 'impartial' and the other guest (Prof Anthea Butler, who teaches about slavery) critiquing Joe Biden from the left for being a 'right-leaning' president (yes, really!) and 'no better than Trump' on things like immigration. It's so often like that on Sunday. On their programme right-leaning Americans [about half the country] are rarer than refugees in a Gary Lineker property. 

We also got a cautious interview on the Jewish synagogue hostage situation, a piece on how chaplain in schools and hospitals have dealt with the pandemic featuring only women and a black man, an interview about China's crackdown on religion and an interview with a campaigner from the Romero Trust about a Salvadoran assassinated liberation theology priest who's being beatified by Pope Francis [a topic Sunday's been closely covering for at least a decade].

I see from the blurb on the programme's website that something got dropped. We didn't get to hear this week from Naomi Verber, Head of Environmental Policy at the United Synagogue, about ‘Dorot’, their year-long environmental initiative to tackle climate change. I'm guessing we'll be hearing that next week, so put it in your diary.

Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose.

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