Tuesday, May 12, 2009


The Pope is in our region for a while, visiting holy sites, praying, and apparently stepping on diverse political landmines. I'm not certain I have much to say about the matter, though if I decide I do, I'll inform you all, rest assured. Us bloggers, we don't keep our opinions to ourselves...

It is however a fine opportunity to poke fun at that most august of all media outlets worldwide, the BBC. They put up an item about the visit, and laid bare the idiocy journalists are willing to engage in.
Analysts say his words are likely to be heavily scrutinised during this week's trip.
Yes, well, analysts are a fine thing, aren't they? We're never told who they are, if they're reputable, knowledable, worthy of our attention, or even if they really exist. In this case, do you really belive the BBC chap took a cab all the way to the dusty book-case lined cubicle of an "analyst", to confer with her about whether people would pay attention to the utterances of some Catholic fellow who keeps on obstructing traffic? And how do you think the analyst (actually, the form used was plural, so there must have been a convacation of them) reached their learned conclusion whereby people would listen to the utterances of the Pope?

Then, there's this:
Pope Benedict, as a child growing up in Nazi Germany, joined the Hitler Youth, as was required of young Germans of the time, but he was not an enthusiastic member.
Now it just so happens there are methods of knowing such things, if young Ratzinger's lack of enthusiasim was pronounced enough at the time to have left a documentary trail and the BBC fellow had the tools to follow it. But that's unlikely on all counts. More likely, the BBC chap is spouting some hearsay he once came across, in which case he is - at best - no more trustworthy than some bloke writing on Twitter. More troubling is the question why he feels it important to foist his unfounded impressions on us in the form of news, unless perhaps he and his editors feel their task is to have us believe the correct version of reality as determined by them.


Anonymous said...

Why does the not enthusiastic Ratzinger remind me of the non-inhaling Bill Clinton?

I do not trust any statement anybody makes about his feelings in our 1000-Year-Reich-period unless there is a pile of letters or a detailed diary.

And this is so because I tend to smoothify the telling of almost all my past and present idiotic actions no matter how harmless they may have been.

still glad you are back

Joe in Australia said...

The New York Times quoted the Pontiff's explanation for joining the Hitler Youth. I've emphasised a phrase that I think demonstrates a curious moral vacuity:

"Pope Benedict, 78, has not tried to hide his enrollment in the Hitler Youth at age 14, addressing his brief membership in his autobiography, 'Salt of the Earth.'
He said he tried to avoid Hitler Youth meetings, creating a dilemma. He needed proof of attendance to get a tuition discount, which his father -- a retired policeman -- badly needed."

Anonymous said...

Actually, the BBC has a fantastic array of fact checkers of how people felt, and extraordinary access to the Pope's disposition and moods of 60 years past. If they say he was unenthusiastic or indifferent or blase about being a member of the Hitler Youth, it's true, otherwise they couldn't print it. That would be fraud.