The lazy misrepresentations that mark out the “anti-Semitism” witch-hunters

Andrew Marr interviews Israeli ambassador Mark Regev - and drops a huge falsehood into the discussion while he's at it.

Andrew Marr interviews Israeli ambassador Mark Regev – and drops a huge falsehood into the discussion while he’s at it.

There’s far too much of this going on in the mainstream media. Andrew Marr is supposed to be a professional journalist, yet suddenly he can’t get his facts right.

A similar thing happened to This Writer on Twitter yesterday, in discussion with Hugo Rifkind – that’s right, the journalist son of Sir Malcolm ‘cash for questions scandal’ Rifkind.

He wrote: “I think if you talk about why it’s OK to hate Jews so long as they’re in Israel yr not aiming to keep the peace, tbh.”

I responded: “Who’s doing that?”

“Ken [Livingstone] did. Andrew Neil interview.”

That interview is available on YouTube so we can all hear for ourselves what Livingstone said.

I quoted it back to Hugo: “Do you mean ‘A real anti-Semite doesn’t just hate the Jews in Israel; they hate their Jewish neighbour in Golders Green or Stoke Newington. It’s a physical loathing’?

“That’s the exact opposite of what you’re suggesting.

“He was saying it’s NOT okay to hate Jews ANYWHERE, just because they’re Jews.”

And suddenly Hugo was gone.

I expressed the hope that he was checking my facts and would be back later, but he didn’t resurface. I can only conclude that he could not bear to come back, apologise, and admit his falsehood.

Andrew Marr managed that, at least.

This morning, Andrew Marr was embarrassingly forced to make an apology on air about comments he made about Labour Director of Strategy and Communications Seumas Milne’s views on Israel. Ok, they were corrected, and quickly, but there are bigger issues here. If we’re going to talk about serious issues like anti-semitism, and of course we should, it’s incumbent on the media to represent the views of Labour people accurately. These lazy misrepresentations do immense damage – and quite often set the agenda for the debate. Not good enough:

Andrew Marr to Mark Regev, Israeli Ambassador at 9.19am:

“There are people who say, as Seumas Milne (Jeremy Corbyn’s spokesperson) said recently, that it is a crime for the State of Israel to exist”

Andrew Marr at 9.55am:

“I should say that Seumas Milne did not say that it was a crime to create the Israeli State. What he said was that it was a crime what had been done to dispossess Palestinians and the involvement of the British Government since about 1908. So let me make that clear.”

Source: (53) Jeremy Corbyn for PM

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7 thoughts on “The lazy misrepresentations that mark out the “anti-Semitism” witch-hunters

  1. Gary Aronsson

    If you really want to discover just how Pavlovian the response to comments about Israel actually are I suggest you keep an eye on the likes of the Jerusalem Post and simply reprint what they have written.The Israeli press is actually very forthcoming in its admissions about the behaviour and power of Jews around the world. The comments for which Mel Gibson was castigated and forced to issue a grovelling apology regarding the role of Jews in Hollywood was an almost verbatim quote from the front page of The Jerusalem Post,he added the profanities himself, yet though his comments could be reliably sourced to a respected Jewish newspaper and could be backed up by a factual confirmation of the religious background of the actual owners of every Hollywood Studio,and which the Jerusalem Post proclaimed with great pride,when Gibson mentioned it it was evidence of anti-semitism,go figure!

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      Let’s not expand this discussion into a debate about Israeli aggression/anti-Semitism in general, please.

  2. John

    You know, I have no problem with people being interviewed, but this is kind of what I call gutter interviewing! Constantly interrupting, not giving Ken a proper chance to answer. I’d love it one day, if the interviewee either gives Neil a slap or walks off the interview. Sometimes I think he deserves it!

  3. Adam Clifford

    What’s been going on in the press and media is an assault on labour and Corbyn.It is almost Orwellian.
    Reporting isn’t about facts and accurate information,it’s about pleasing your paymaster and towing the line.Journalism is really broken at this time.

    P.S.Mike ,I was wondering if you were having probs yesterday.Couldn’t get on your site.Apparently you had to get in touch with someone,so a notice said.It was happening all day.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      Yup. The story about Naz Shah’s retweet was so popular it crashed my host’s server – several times. I’ve sorted out the issue now and hopefully have enough capacity.

    2. John

      LOL, yeah, I thought the Tories were attempting to shut you down Mike! We can’t have the facts getting out now, can we? Unthinkable that is! Funny how some people on twitter seem to have accepted the Guardian article.

  4. mrmarcpc

    The right, the true right who are all fascists, want to shut down Livingstone and anyone else who dares to oppose the truth, the government and Israel, because it will upset them and the Americans, who are their little lap dog, that’s one of the main reasons to keep up this attack and brand all people who aren’t loyal bootlickers nazis, when it’s them who are the nazis!

Comments are closed.