My face was on the pillow, the radio on. I always sleep to the news but was wide awake to one of the headlines. It went roughly like this. “From the safety of the Vatican palace, the Pope has reminded priests to attend the sick and dying during the coronavirus crisis.” Separate the actual news here from the snide and not so subliminal comment.
‘The Pope has reminded priests to attend the sick and the dying during the coronavirus crisis,’ is factual but not startling news. What would have been news would have been the Pope advising priests not to attend the sick and the dying.
In the real world, priests have attended the sick and dying throughout history. It is likely that this particular Pope visited the sick and the dying during the years of his priesthood. But what’s with ‘From the safety of the Vatican palace?’ ?
What you have here is both comment and judgement, a snidely delivered message. The news-reader could have said ‘From the safety of the Vatican Palace, the 83-year-old Pope with one lung reminded priests to attend the sick and the dying’ but then that wouldn’t have fitted this particular agenda.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not playing ‘Defender of the Faith’ here. I’m not after a Papal medal to add to my vast collection of medals. For me, it’s just another example of our news media unable to report the news without suggesting what we should think about it, too; another nail in the coffin of impartiality. There are so many nails in this particular coffin, it’s impervious to woodworm.