Emily Maitlis, the BBC Newsnight’s expert on all things American, exposed the limits of her Catholic knowledge in a special programme, following the election of Donald Trump as president.
In a discussion with two members of the programme’s panel, Maitlis was questioning the candidates endorsement by the Klu Klux Klan (KKK).
Robert Emmet Tyrrell jnr, editor in chief of the American Spectator, shot back on the accusation that the KKK were holding a celebratory rally following the Trump victory. “But so too probably are the Knights of St Columbus (KSC),” said Emmett, who sensing Maitlis maybe out of her depth, suggested “maybe you don’t know who the Knights of St Columbas are?” Maitlis duly confirmed Emmet’s suspicion declaring:“another terrorist organisation?”
The US commentator then triumphantly revealed that the KSC are the largest organisation of Catholic males in the country. Hook line and sinker, the Newsnight’s anchor was sunk.
The US Knights of St Columbus ofcourse are a member of the International Alliance of Catholic Knights, which includes the UK based Knights of St Columba. The organisation is devoted to charitable works and promoting Catholic education.
Maitlis later tweeted an apology: "Dear Knights of Columbus I apologise."
* published Tablet - 19/11/2016