Lies and Lychgate

I mentioned visiting the Union Tavern in Salford on our way to Manchester Airport where our thirsts were not quenched due to Coronation Street filming an episode there. Last week the episode in question was aired - Tyrone Dobbs was there on his stag night. The pub was renamed due perhaps in part to the nature of the plot (black market goods and scary looking youths).

Little did I know that the real drama would be at the filming of the wedding itself. As anyone familiar with how the gutter press operates will realise, the headlines often are twisted to give an impression to suit an agenda:

  • Coronation Street bosses spark outrage after hiding cross for church wedding scene - to avoid offending non-Christians

  • Stephen Green from protest group Christian Voice said: 'It's absolutely ridiculous.
Of course, nowhere in the article does it actually give any evidence or facts to justify the headline. Just include a rant from rentaquote Green. Calm down, dear! The chuch itself hardly covers itself in gloriana with the Rev Milnes mockingly telling the media he was investing the £4,000+ fee on..............a processional cross. Remember that parishoners when he comes around with the collection plate appeal for the leaky roof.

The Mail was not alone in running head first into publishing the story about Coronation Street not using a cross in the church for fear of 'offence'. Christian Institute, the BBC et al plunged brain first into the unholy waters. not forgetting the masturbatory factory known as the BNP who claim that Granada axed the cross because it was 'offensive'.

Immediately the bullshit detector van is revved up.

Like the instances of crosses being covered up in prison chapels, such stories are usually far removed from the truth.

The problem is that the original, tainted version becomes fact and gets repeated ad nauseam. A recent example of this was Richard Littlejohn repeating his own paper's false version of events in his column of crap. The same story also became part of BNP folklore and across the net. To be fair to the Christian Institute (not to be confused with Christian Voice) they removed the story when prompted.

So, back to Corrie. As detailed on ITV's site (via Abernathy's vigilance on Mailwatch forums) the story is a misconception if not an immaculate one.
  • "Contrary to claims that the programme’s producers wanted the cross moving as they were worried its inclusion would offend people, what actually happened was that they wanted to move the cross so that it was not hidden.

    "A member of crew knew that they were dressing the set with candles and flowers and knew this would obstruct the view of the cross. A member of church staff was asked if the cross could be moved.

    "When she asked why they wanted it moving, she was told that Coronation Street didn’t want to cause offence to anyone when the scenes were shown.

    "It now transpires that she took this to mean that production felt people would be offended by seeing the cross – when in fact they were concerned that the props were blocking the view of the cross.

    "In fact during the Wednesday episode of Coronation Street a shot of the cross was seen."

    The spokesperson continued: “We have now made this clear to the Reverend Milnes who is going to explain this to his parishioners and we apologise for this misunderstanding.”
The real disgrace is that the programme's producers saw fit to apologise before conducting their investigation. I hate people that make idiotic - supposedly PC decisions - as much as the next zealot because they are such succour for bigotry, but we need to tackle misinformation and the dirty tricks brigade lest they win.

If the Rev. Milnes is to explain this to parishioners, I look forward to him doing so on TV.