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Friday 17 May 2013

Telegraph Tolerates Anti-Semitism

[Update at end of post]

Once again, the bear pit that is Telegraph blogs has outdone itself regarding the depths to which those floating around the comments sewer are prepared to sink. And it had all started as would be expected, with a suitably frothing rant by the appalling Janet Daley directed at the hated BBC, with a side order of Guardian bashing, at the appointment of Ian Katz as editor of Newsnight.

Listen up you two, this is being done in your names

The post covers the usual ground, right down to the reference to “the country’s most blatantly Left-wing newspaper”. Strange, I didn’t think that Katz worked for the Morning Star. Maybe she was meaning a more mass-market title? Nope, he doesn’t work for the Mirror, either. It’s pretty lame stuff, which is par for the course where Ms Daley is concerned. But the comments bring the main event.

So what d’you think was the principal concern of commenters on Ms Daley’s post? Perhaps it was riffing on the idea that the BBC is populated by rotten lefties? Sadly, this only made it into the secondary issues. How about the licence fee? Also not the first concern of those leaping to comment. No, right there under the post was a straightforward display of anti-Semitism.

One commenter – note that the remark was recommended by nine others – recalled Greg Dyke calling the Beeb “hideously white and then declared “I say the BBC is hideously Jewish”. This prompted another commenter to say “Ian Katz is apparently Jewish, which does raise the issue of institutional racism at the BBC, as they do seem to have a disproportionate number of Jewish people in senior roles”.

The commenter suggested that Katz should look into this supposed “issue”, and the remarks were recommended by eight others. A third commenter did not think that a deputy editor of a newspaper going to edit Newsnight was such a big deal, before continuing the theme: “Sure you’re right though. They just picked out Katz in the synagogue one day”. At least nobody recommended that one.

This prompted the second commenter to respond that the Times was “another good example of institutional racism. Their comment pieces are hugely disproportionately written by Jewish people (David Aaronovitch, Daniel Finkelstein, and I think Giles Coren are regulars ... not surprising as it is owned by Murdoch, a fanatical Zionist Neo-Con”. This was recommended by six others.

One can only wonder where Damian Thompson and his team were when all of that was contributed, especially as all those comments had been there since before 1800 hours yesterday. The post itself is trivial enough – Tel kicks both Beeb and Guardian no shock horror – but those comments are totally out of order. Is anyone on the bridge of the good ship Telegraph, or do they consider this acceptable?

Because a lot of people will not. Get a grip Mr T., this isn’t good enough.

[UPDATE 1730 hours: Damian Thompson has been in touch to express his displeasure at those comments, which he has described as "truly appalling". He is in the process of removing them as I type.

Fair play to him. Hopefully those who made the remarks will take the hint]


Malcolm Armsteen said...

Tubby Isaacs was being heavily ironic. He's quite a bit brighter than your average Telegraph commenter.

Beefburger said...

Katz has an established record of failure, from backing 10:10 who later crapped out the disastrous No Pressure video to orchestrating G2's laughable letter writing campaign to Ohio to get Bush kicked out. I have a feeling he'll do well at Newsnight.

iPhil said...

I certainly got the impression that the last line of Tubby_Isaacs' comment was meant sarcastically.