Right-wing news channel falsely accuses Jewish cartoonist of making anti-Semitic cartoon

Michael Rosen: He’s Jewish but has previously been accused of anti-Semitism over his support for Jeremy Corbyn. Now he has been accused of anti-Semitism on an entirely false premise.

We seem to be living in an age of accusing Jewish people of being anti-Semitic.

It’s utter insanity – this time perpetrated by right-wing current affairs channel GB News against Jewish poet and former Children’s Laureate Michael Rosen.

It seems GB News presenter Katherine Forster accidentally attributed a cartoon in The Guardian to Mr Rosen, when it was actually by Martin Rowson.

Unfortunately for all concerned, this particular cartoon featured a depiction of recently-resigned BBC Chairman Richard Sharp – who is Jewish – with a box marked Goldman Sachs, where he used to work, that contained what appeared to be a puppet of the current prime minister Rishi Sunak, an animal that looks like a squid and a CV – while Boris Johnson, on a high pile of an unidentifiable substance (the Independent seems to have reckoned money) calls out encouragingly to him.

The cartoon has been described as having “antisemitic imagery” such as “outsized, grotesque features” alongside “money and power”.

Mr Rowson has apologised profusely for the image, as reported in The Independent:

“Satirists, even though largely licenced to speak the unspeakable in liberal democracies, are no more immune to f****** things up than anyone else, which is what I did here.

“I know Richard Sharp is Jewish; actually, while we’re collecting networks of cronyism, I was at school with him, though I doubt he remembers me.

“His Jewishness never crossed my mind as I drew him as it’s wholly irrelevant to the story or his actions, and it played no conscious role in how I twisted his features according to the standard cartooning playbook.”

The Guardian has also published an apology on Twitter:

And the cartoon has indeed been removed.

GB News seems to have been more reticent about apologising for its own transgression.

Mr Rosen contacted the channel – via Twitter – at 4pm on Saturday, and requested a response detailing what it proposed to do about the error:

He repeated his request almost a quarter of an hour later:

From the tweet that follows, it seems GB News deleted its tweeted clip showing discussion of the cartoon, but not before it had been viewed 79,000 times.

At around 5pm, Ms Forster tweeted an apology to Mr Rosen and said the tweet had been removed. He responded with gratitude for her words, and with a statement crystallising his own view – that GB News should broadcast a correction along with its own apology:

He had already requested a correction by the time he had responded to Ms Forster:

By now, his supporters were making suggestions of their own. Mr Rosen, in the spirit of fairness, said he was waiting for GB News to respond:

Then he even put up a suggested wording:

That was at 5.36pm, Saturday, April 29. I’ve seen no apology/correction from GB News – although it has published a story about The Guardian‘s apology for the cartoon.

That piece does not mention or apologise for the broadcast comments about Martin Rowson.

This Site has contacted GB News to find out what the channel intends to do – if anything.

If no apology is forthcoming, it will be up to Mr Rosen to decide whether to take the matter further.

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One Comment

  1. flttymartyn April 30, 2023 at 8:00 am - Reply

    Worse it is going to get….commonsense is in very short supply now…

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