Friday, June 04, 2010

Tatchell to Present Channel 4 Pope Documentary

If you were a commissioning editor at Channel 4 and wanted to make a documentary about the Pope's religious and political journey since the 1930s, who might you get to front it?

Ann Widdecombe? Sue MacGregor? Ed Stourton?

No. Channel Four has chosen Peter Tatchell. Yes, your gob is smacked, isn't it?

Peter says he wants to produce a completely factual programme. In which case, why did Channel 4 choose him? Surely his attraction to a programme maker is that he is deeply opinionated.

49 comments:

Simon Gardner said...

This is absolutely excellent news. Various catholic head bangers have been duly fulminating in the Telegraph.

This pope and his predecessor have been personally and with malice aforethought directly culpable for the mass murder of millions through ridiculous catholic condom policies and it’s high time he was brought to account.

Jon Harvey said...

Inspired choice for a broadcaster to do this - bound to get lots of people watching. Perhaps Iain, you ought to approach them to front a documentary about Gordon Brown?

Not a sheep said...

Peter Tatchell is the wrong man to present a hagiography or even a totally unbiased report but then I doubt that is what Channel 4 want. Didn't Peter Tatchell present the alternative Queens Christmas message for Channel 4 a few years back? Maybe he is there 'go to guy' for controversial programming.

Duncan said...

Admit it though; you're now much more likely to watch.

James said...

I agree with Simon - this Pope in particular needs proper public scrutiny. The Catholic Church in Britain have fully laid themselves open to scrutiny by engaging in politics themselves during recent public debates.

Nigel said...

>>Surely his attraction to a programme maker is that he is deeply opinionated.<<

And Ann Widdecombe isn't ?

Not sure what your point is here. Anyone's view is going to be a partial one, and so long as their name is on the tin, I don't see a problem.

Stuart said...

I like how you believe Ms Widdecombe would be an open-minded arbiter on this matter, but don't give Tatchell the benefit of the doubt.

I don't particularly see a problem with this documentary being critical or 'deeply opinionated'. There has been controversy about Ratzinger's history and it should be discussed openly.

Alison said...

I can remember Peter Tatchell rocking up at a free speech demo a few years back claiming he 'loved muslims' but hated certain aspects of Islam. I somehow seriously doubt the approach to this issue will be as tempered, modest, embracing (or patronising). And yet I haven't seen the Church endorse hanging gays or preach wholesale hatred of them from any pulpit in quite the same way as various imams throughout this country.

Re Simon Gardner. What is it about hatred that inspires people to take to their respective corners and whitewash the way they do. Is it that hatred feels good? Gives perspective? Does it serve any purpose, alter any views, help at all?

For years I've challenged my own faith on almost everything. Most especially it's attitude to women, to abortion (I'm all for choice) and then most recently on it's disgraceful protection of certain revolting priests. There needs to be a wholesale shaking up of attitudes within and I personally cannot go along to Mass until that happensand want to hold my faith to account.

But at the same time I recognise that the catholic church is full of people who care deeply about humanity, most especially children's lives - then I read Gardners comments and know that I never have yet met a catholic full of hatred and contempt for others in the way he demonstrates & I understand that in his and other's attempts to paint the church and its adherents as all shades of nasty all I see is a set of very spiteful hate filled prejudiced idiots who claim some kind of higher echelon from which to bark at others. Ironic really.

Do they hold other institutions in such contempt for their failings? And make no mistake it isn't just religion that fails on a daily basis on all kinds of issues.

Man in a Shed said...

Wasn't Gerry Adams available ?

Frugal Dougal said...

I look forward to Pope Benedict XVI's documentary on homosexuality...

The Grim Reaper said...

Perhaps whilst Channel 4 are at it, they'll get Josef Fritzl to host a documentary exploring family values.

Moriarty said...

@Simon Gardner

How do you murder someone with a condom? Can it be made into a garotte?

George said...

Doh.

No insult intended.

No matter your opinion you should extend courtesy.

Simon Gardner said...

@ James June 04, 2010 11:20 AM
Good point. The catholic church interfered big time during the last Parliament - not least during the Nadine Dorries assault on women when various Cabinet Ministers and MPs were very heavily leaned on by the Pope.

This has been going on in the US, Portugal, Italy also. In the US, the catholic church on papal orders interfered like mad with the recent healthcare bill.

green clarity said...

Why don't C4 go the whole hog and get Geert Wilders to do a "factual" documentary on the Quran?

Cogito Dexter said...

Dear God!

The only way that could have got any worse would have been if Channel 4 had picked Richard Dawkins.

Laurence Boyce said...

Yes Ann Widdecombe would do a much better job at holding the Pope to account . . .

Scary Biscuits said...

Simon Gardener, you're free to have your opinion and to bash the church and Christians.

You and your friends in Channel 4 clearly don't have a problem with this articule because you think that 'impartial' means agreeing with you. Well it doesn't. It doesn't mean agreeing with me either; it means having the intellectual strength to separate out your personal opinions from shared facts. One day the same backward forces will be applied to opinions or institutions that you hold dear and on that day you'll be sorry that you didn't care about process or impartiality.

toryardvaark said...

I'm no fan of Tatchell, but then I despise the Pope even more, should make for some interesting TV.

Simon Gardner said...

Let’s not forget how Stephen Fry and the Hitch wiped the floor with Anne Widdecombe and some bishop in the Intelligence Squared debate 19 October, 2009. I doubt many catholics want to see a repeat of Widders’ baleful and risible performance as an apologist.

Steve H said...

Would you object to a documentary on, say, the President of the USA being done by someone who was highly opinionated? If the Pope wants to hide behind the legal fiction that he's a head of state, he can't complain if he's treated like one.

Steve H said...

*** And yet I haven't seen the Church endorse hanging gays or preach wholesale hatred of them from any pulpit...*

Doesn't the Church still use the pathetically casuistic get-out clause of "hate the sin, not the sinner" about gays? So, it's OK to preach hatred so long as it's not wholesale hatred.

Steve H said...

Scary Biscuits, if this C4 programme bashes the Church, the targets are likely to be the Church's attitude to gays, to priestly celibacy, to female priests and to contraception in AIDS-riddled Africa. And you have the gall to describe the documentary makers as "backward forces".

Steve H said...

Scary Biscuits, if this C4 programme bashes the Church, the targets are likely to be the Church's attitude to gays, to priestly celibacy, to female priests and to contraception in AIDS-riddled Africa. And you have the gall to describe the documentary makers as "backward forces".

snurgling said...

Simon Gardner

What twaddle you write about mass murder and condoms. The majority of Christian churches hold the view that sex should only be within marriage. If that particular teaching had been followed the spread of any sexually transmitted disease would have been greatly reduced. Unfortunately, the habit/tradition of promiscuity exacerbated the whole situation

The idea that a devout Catholic is not going to use a condom because the Pope say so whilst being unfaithful to their spouse is deeply flawed.

I remember see a TV report from Africa about prostitutes and lorry drivers. Both party knew about the risk of AIDS but the men did not want to use a condom and were prepared to pay more not to do so.

Lady Finchley said...

Really Simon? I work in the place and I never saw the Pope leaning on a counter, let alone anyone else. I doubt if he even knows who Nadine Dorries is. Do grow up will you?

Laurence Boyce said...

I love this quote from the aforementioned Ann Widdecombe: "Mr Tatchell certainly won't be sympathetic to his subject, so what's the point of doing it?"

Quite right Ann. Documentary makers should always be sympathetic to their subject. Otherwise there's no point.

Trumpeter Lanfried said...

What's the betting Tatchell's programme(which might be quite good, who knows) is marketed as 'controversial'?

Programme makers are obsessed with controversy. That's why they prefer to engineer debates (on any topic) from opposite ends of the spectrum instead of well-informed, thoughtful discussion.

Best of all, they love it when the debate turns into a row.

Simon Gardner said...

I loathe religion. It’s all utter complete superstitious twaddle. But some religions are more harmful than others.

There are two great nasty, fascist religions on the planet: catholicism and islam.

Good luck C4. I’ve already written to the channel wishing them well with their excellent project.

But the ‘arrest the pope’ idea still has its cheerleaders.

Tom said...

Frankly, having Peter Tatchell present a programme on the pope is no more laughable than having Anne Widdecombe present a programme about Christianity.

Hopefully Tatchell will make as good TV as Widdecombe did. I'm sure most adults will be able to spot any subjective flourishes.

Wrinkled Weasel said...

Peter Tatchell is a lot less hate-filled about Catholicism than Simon Gardner.

In fact, Tatchell does not do hate, he does outrage. There is a difference.

Simon Gardner said...

@Wrinkled Weasel
Quite right. √√√

Matt said...

As Tatchell supports the lowering of the age of consent so that he and his friends can fiddle with 14 year old children, he is probably a good choice.

Kevin said...

interestingly i am a catholic but at the same time a big fan of peter tatchell.

despite his campaigning i have always found him a man that is NOT bigoted in his view on life.

more than i can say for our present Pope

James Burdett said...

Should we perhaps exchange the word "Documentary" for the phrase "hatchet job"?

Bavarian Orange Order said...

No offence to Channel 4, but Ian Paisley would have been a much better choice.

Robert said...

Why is the Pope coming to this country? I don't want him here.

Henry Wood said...

Why is Robert in this country? I don't want him here.

Unsworth said...

@ Kevin

'interestingly'?


How/why?

JULIAN BRAY Media Expert said...

It's on Channel4! So if footy or a Cowell production is on at the same time few will see it... move on nothing here...

Gerry57 said...

According to Wikipedia:'Tatchell has been heavily critical of the Catholic Church and Pope Benedict XVI, whom he describes as "the ideological inheritor of Nazi homophobia".[citation needed]

So he's very impartial.

Stephen said...

After 25 years of opposing Tatchell politically I know at least he seems to be a highly honourable individual who will always give his own objective and consistent appraisal of the good and the bad.

I'm deeply sorry that one of your blog morons has posted a disgusting and libellous claim suggesting Peter's motivations on thne age of consent are towards child molestation. Shameful. Utterly shameful.

I'm becoming deeply uncomfortable with the way Iain Dale is increasingly exploiting the names of his gay political opponents as scraps of meat for spiteful and homophobic elements of his readership to feed off.

If this blog is to be the 'Daley' Mail, part serious journalism, but part visceral hatred, propaganda and obcene lies then this small c conservative will stop coming.

I avoid the gutter press for a good reason and I am deeply shocked this morning at the filth I have read here.

Unsworth said...

@ Stephen

Sensitive little soul, aren't you? I'm sure there are many who can give you a few hints about how not to be so deeply offended.

Matt said...

Stephen,

Thanks for calling me a "Blog Moron". I might in fact begin to use it as a username!

I am vehemently against the lowering of the age of consent but not for religious or moral reasons. 14 year old are children and therefore should be seen and protected as such.

You don't do irony, do you? I thinks it is ironic that Peter Thatchell (an individual who wants to legally allow adults to have sex with 14 year old children) should do a documentary on a Pope who is being accused of protecting paedophiles.

And this is nothing to do with his being gay so I resent that you imply that it is. I don't want 14 yr old boys or girls fiddled with.

PS: You critisism of Iain is totally unfounded & unfair.

killemallletgodsortemout said...

Stephen

I'm sure Mrs Dale will give you a full refund.

Stop coming, indeed.

freda said...

Channel 4 confuses Roman Catholisism with Christianity which is why they used Ann Widdicomb and Cherie Blair (appalling - all about herself (CB) not the subject.They also did a programme which would have been more credible had it been presented by a scholarly Christian instead of the clever (and opiniated) Bettany Hughes maliciously wearing a muslim necklace.

David Lindsay said...

Will Peter Tatchell's Channel Four programme on the Pope mention Tatchell's campaign to lower the age of consent to 14, and his occasional public expressions of his true view, which is that the age of consent should be abolished altogether? Even Harriet Harman's Paedophile Information Exchange thought that it should be four. But that won't do for Tatchell.

Will Tatchell interview Stephen Fry about The Liar and The Hippopotamus? Will he interview Germaine Greer about The Boy? Will he interview Richard Dawkins about his having been sexually abused as a child, which he describes in The God Delusion as "an embarrassing but otherwise harmless experience"? Will he interview Philip Pullman about how is celebrated trilogy ends with sexual intercourse between two children aged about 12, and about his repeated bemoaning of the lack of sexual content in the Narnia novels?

Will Tatchell interview anyone from the numerous Social Services Departments that ran homes in which, at the same time as the Church was hushing up sex between men and teenage boys on the part of a small number of priests - and thus, however imperfectly, indicating disapproval of it - such behaviour was absolutely endemic, with major figures in that world publishing academic studies, used for many years in the training of social workers, which presented it as positively beneficial to both parties and therefore actively to be encouraged?

Will Tatchell interview anyone from the Police, who long ago stopped enforcing the age of consent from 13 upwards, perhaps even asking them to explain for exactly whose benefit they adopted the present approach, a question also hanging over their non-enforcement of the drugs laws?

And will Tatchell interview anyone from Channel Four, the dramatic output of which has waged, and continues to wage, a relentless campaign in favour of sex between men and teenage boys? Remember, we own Channel Four.

Laurence Boyce said...

Will he interview Richard Dawkins about his having been sexually abused as a child, which he describes in The God Delusion as "an embarrassing but otherwise harmless experience"?

I fear you might be mistaken there David. Would you care to provide a page number of TGD to back this up?

tempus putationis said...

Laurence,
I haven't read TGD but according to a posting by The Western Confucian, the relevant pages (in which Dawkins also wonders whether the Catholic Church has been 'unfairly demonized'), are 315-6.