THE comments made by Peter Kearney, the director of the Scottish Catholic Media Office, bemoaning anti-Catholic sentiment in Scotland again occupy the main media focus.
As allmediascotland reported yesterday, Kearney, in an article in the Sunday Times Scotland, has said that Scottish Catholics suffer from a “deep, wide and vicious” hostility. Kearney’s claims came in the wake of an alleged offensive email about the Pope, sent by now former head of refereeing at the Scottish Football Association, Hugh Dallas – who stepped down from the position last week.
Today’s Scotsman (page 9) polls several high-profile Catholic’s reactions to Kearney’s remarks, among them journalists.
Says The Scotsman’s assistant editor, Frank O’Donnell: “Draw a vertical line through Scotland’s Central Belt and that will explain why half think anti-Catholicism is fiction and the other half live with its irritating drumbeat. In the east, I have never consciously experienced bigotry.”
Scottish columnist and award-winning blogger, Joan McAlpine, also shares her views. McAlpine writes: “I do not think anti-Catholicism is rife in Scotland and believe the enthusiasm surrounding the Pope’s visit, at every level of society, proves that to be the case.”
Elsewhere, The Scottish Sun (page 8) reports that The Church of Scotland has backed Kearney’s remarks. Spokesperson, Reverend Ian Galloway, is quoted, saying: “The Church of Scotland wants to see Scotland rid of every last vestige of sectarianism.”
Meanwhile, the Daily Record reports that England’s 2018 World Cup bid could be harmed by the BBC’s Panorama programme, screened last night. The documentary alleges that three top FIFA official took bribes from a sports marketing company in exchange for lucrative World Cup rights.
Writes reporter Martyn Ziegler: “England’s 2018 World Cup bid leaders fear the programme could further harm their chances of winning the tournament later this week.”
Adds Ziegler: “The programme is likely to be criticised over the timing of the screening as the allegations have nothing to do with World Cup votes.”
A Panorama spokesperson is quoted, saying: “The programme is in the public interest and shows that some FIFA executives involved in making decisions about the 2018 bid have a history of taking bribes.”
Staying with the Record (page 7), popular X Factor contestant Wagner Carrilho has been banned by the show’s bosses from interviews on TV and radio. The Brazilian singer, who was eliminated from the hit show last Sunday, was set to appear on ITV’s Daybreak and had a number of other TV and radio interviews set-up, all of which were cancelled.
Writes reporter Mickey McMonagle: “Simon Cowell and other senior X Factor figures are thought to fear him overshadowing the contestant ahead of next week’s semi-final.”
A ‘backstage source’ is quoted, saying: “He was effectively gagged from doing any media. No other contestant had this treatment this series.”
Elsewhere, top Scottish chef, Tom Kitchin, has found himself in ‘hot water’ over his treatment of a contestant on the BBC’s popular Masterchef programme. The Scottish Daily Mail (page 25) reports that Kitchin’s allegedly harsh treatment of cooking hopeful, Ben Piette, on the popular show drew a number of complaints from viewers.
Writes Peter Laing: “Ben Piette was reduced to tears after Mr Kitchin shouted at him for stopping to take a drink while cooking, and threatened to make him pay after over-cooking some scallops.”
Staying with the Mail (page 64), Sky is planning to expand its news coverage by making a move into the Arabic market. Writes the Mail: “BSkyB is to launch a new Arabic language 24-hour news channel for the Middle East and North Africa by 2012.”
And finally, it may be St. Andrews day, but Scottish sporting pride could well have taken a dent. The Herald’s sports section (page 1) points out that the shortlist for the BBC’s prestigious Sports Personality of the Year award features no Scottish contenders.
Writes reporter Henry McCall: “Scots are notable by their absence. Andy Murray, the world No.4 tennis player who reached a grand slam final and two prestigious Masters series titles, was overlooked, as was the IndyCar champion Dario Franchitti and the WBO super-featherweight champion, Ricky Burns.”