Jack Valero, leader of Catholic Voices and spokesman for Newman’s beatification, makes the staggering admission in an interview with Zenit that he doesn’t believe that the media are anti-Catholic.
Here’s the excerpt from the Zenit interview:
Zenit: ‘Did the “anti-Catholicism” of the English media make it especially complicated to report on the visit? Is it difficult to break myths and taboos about the Catholic faith?’
Valero: I don’t believe in that “anti-Catholicism” of the media. As I said, there is much religious ignorance and much indifference. On the other hand, the media is interested in dramas and controversies, and not in happy stories: this is how they function. That is why the majority of religious news that appears has a negative context — sexual or financial scandals, hypocrisy, etc.
In Catholic Voices, we have studied how to do a “re-framing” of news to speak of the subject in positive terms and hence communicate better the message of the Catholic Church, but without evading the question.’
Protect the Pope is a big fan of Jack Valero, and Catholic Voices, and readily acknowledges the important role they played in presenting a positive message about Pope Benedict and the Catholic Church.
However, Jack Valero’s denial of the media’s anti-Catholicism is incredible, and a denial of the reality of the past year of unprecedented attacks on the Church in the run up to the Holy Father’s visit. Evidence shows that there is institutional anti-Christian, and anti-Catholic bias in the media in the UK and Europe.
For example a BBC internal document was leaked in 2006 to the press which shows that senior management and journalists are aware of their ant-Christian bias.
Lifesite news report that Andrew Marr, a journalist, political commentator and political editor of BBC News between 2000 and 2005, said at that meeting that the BBC “has a cultural liberal bias.” The leaked document showed that the BBC’s highest placed news stars and executives believed that the network’s news coverage is overly dominated by a bias against Christianity and in favor of “multiculturalism” and Islam. The executives admitted that this had led the broadcaster to heavily slant its reporting on religious subjects as well as on the global threat of Islamic terrorism.’
Peter Seewald, a former journalist on leading German magazines such as Stern and Suddeutsche Zeitung provides an insight into the the institutional anti-Catholicism in the German media, which is most probably typical of the majority of European journalists judging by their coverage of Pope Benedict and the Church.
‘As far as Ratzinger was concerned, I had noticed (as I have already said) how with the choice of photo in the picture editor’s office a corresponding sorting was practised. It was seen as perfectly normal to applaud Fidel Castro, in whose country all the critics landed in prison cells. But there was another standard for Ratzinger. Out of thirty photos lying on the desk, five landed in the bag, and twenty-five bad ones in the waste basket. And the bad ones were those that were good. They were sorted out because in them Ratzinger was either laughing or showing far too friendly a face for a grand inquisitor.’ p.164 ( Peter Seewald, Benedict XVI: An intimate Portrait.)
(Peter Seewald converted to Catholicism as a result of conducting a number of lengthy interviews with Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger.)
Protect the Pope comment: Part of the success of Catholic Voices has been their positive, calm, balanced response to hard questions put to them by the media. However, Jack Valero is taking this positive attitude to the media way too far when he denies that they are anti-Catholic. Hasn’t he read Julie Burchill or Johann Hari? or listened to Robert Piggott, just for starters?