Via The View from Cullingworth, I see the Church of Rome, UK publishing branch, is going off on one about people practising Wicca and reading Harry Potter. Normally I wouldn’t bother talking about it, what with being scrupulously unreligious and feeling that Wicca and Catholicism are probably both as fictional as Harry Potter anyway. But being as this is a Daily Mail story it wasn’t long before an error caught my attention. In fact it wasn’t long before they made it since it appears only two sentences in.
A guide on how to convert witches to Christianity has been published by the Roman Catholic Church in Britain.
The move comes in response to fears that growing numbers of teenagers are being lured into Wicca, occult practices and paganism by the heroic depiction of witches in entertainment including the Harry Potter and The Sorcerer’s Apprentice films, and TV.
Okay, Mail, are you paying attention? Good. This is the first Harry Potter book. Please note the title.
Okay? Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, which was published in America as Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. No apprentices. Got that? Now look at this clip.
That’s the Sorcerer’s Apprentice segment from Fantasia, a 70-year old Disney film and one of the studio’s most famous.* Not the same thing no matter how much you slam the two titles together.
Now I don’t know whose fact finding fail this is. It might be Simon Caldwell, the author of the article. It might be that Elizabeth Dodd had put it in the pamphlet in the first place. And it might well be that both of them got it right and it was changed by an unknown subeditor, which I believe can happen from time to time. But because it’s the Mail, and because it has form with things like this and this, I’m inclined to believe the answer probably does lie somewhere behind the doors of Arseociated Newspapers.
Which is a bit of a shame really, because as Leg-iron showed the other day with the story about pollution in China from the production of materials for wind turbines in the west and as the Mail itself showed over the Sergeant Mark Andrews story, it can do decent journalism when it wants to.
* Apparently also the title of a new live action Disney film. This isn’t a film review blog but I have to say that it sounds like they’re trying to capitalise on the classic’s fame. Probably shit, in other words.