Radio show hosts have to think quick

Any Answers is on BBC Radio 4 directly after Any Questions. On Any Answers, the listenership phones in to answer the questions which have already been chewed over by politicians and other eminents on Any Questions. It’s a slice of public opinion, well kind of – for decades I’ve had the impression of being one of its younger listeners. You can Listen Again to Any Answers until this coming Saturday. This week’s programme was partly to do with the trouble the BBC finds itself in for deciding not to host the Disaster Emergency Committee appeal for Gaza.

Fairly early on one bloke pointed out, with due indignation, that the allegations of Israeli pressure were unfounded and made a number of other good points. Other callers were confused in one direction or the other. There had been an inbox collapse which Jonathan Dimbleby mysteriously referred to as being “for some reason beyond my paygrade and understanding” which meant that there were no emails to read out that day.

At 15 minutes 35 seconds, Josie Hines from Bradford bagged herself some airtime. She doesn’t realise that she was antisemitic. I dare say she considers herself somebody covered in rectitude. I will transcribe.

“Right, well first of all I’d like to say that I’m a great supporter of the BBC and ironically I’ve just been reading John Simpson’s News From No-Man’s Land, which goes into exactly this issue of impartiality of the BBC. I do feel that when it’s such a humanitarian disaster, politics and prejudice should go out of the window.”

Quite ironic given what followed.

“The problem here – my husband thought exactly the same thing – when they used the comment “compromises the BBC’s impartiality”, we think that this does compromise the BBC’s impartiality because we feel that it is possible that perhaps a large part of the hierarchy of the BBC is – and notice I use the word ‘Zionist’ – may well be Zionist Jews who have a great influence on the situation.”

Mr Hines must have been slapping his brow and trying to snatch the phone away. She got it wrong didn’t she, the dope. You’re supposed to use Zionist instead of Jew. That’s how you bat off the accusations of antisemite.

It’s not even that she gave herself away – if I had to guess, somewhere along the way this upright citizen of Bradford had soaked up some of the ambient Carter, Mearsheimer & Walt, Finkelstein &tc plot-lines and digested them (almost inevitably, Engage would argue) into nakedly antisemitic discourse. She continued digging for as long as it took Jonathan Dimbleby to interject. You could hear him rustling and sighing for some seconds beforehand.

“You’re not permitted to say anything against Israel. If you say anything against Israel, as an individual, you are automatically antisemitic.”

Bad kinds of Jew apply the vexatious charge of antisemitism to prevent people saying “anything against Israel”. Dimbleby intervened:

“Look, I can take all sorts of observations, and it’s a free broadcasting world, but I think that to talk about the senior people in the BBC – or indeed of any organisation as being driven by being Zionist Jews actually rather undermines the point you’re seeking to make. Doesn’t it?”

A brief exchange between Hines and Dimbleby followed before he cut her off.

JH: “Well, I don’t understand why that is. Why – why should we – “

JD: “Hang on. Hang on. You have no evidence whatsoever – “

JH: “I haven’t, no.”

Her tone was aggrieved, perplexed and defiant at once.

JD: “It’s not useful to use airtime, I suggest to you,  to make allegations of a rather serious kind without any evidence whatsoever, so forgive me, I’m going to move on.

And there ended what Josie Hines will probably always think of as her valiant attempt to speak truth to power. She and Mr Hines must have been in paroxysms of indignation. All their worst fears had been confirmed.

I harbour what is perhaps an unrealistic hope that next time this happens Dimbleby will explain a little more about what he means by “allegations of a rather serious kind” and that this will include a reference to the Protocols of the Elders of Zion.

How many other ordinary, thoughtful, non-Starbucks-smashing people like Josie Hines need an education that Zionist Jews aren’t puppeteering our society? More than a few.

2 Responses to “Radio show hosts have to think quick”

  1. Saul Says:

    Thanks for this.

    My only comment, apart from well done JD, is your comment that, “She got it wrong didn’t she, the dope. You’re supposed to use Zionist instead of Jew!”

    An idea also doing circuit is that ONLY Jews (or tha mad evangelical right in the US) “support” Israel; i.e. that one of the elements of “anti-Zionism” is to convert Israel (and its “supporters”) into a conflict between Jews and non-Jewish or Jews or Muslim; and, as we know, one of the hallmarks of antisemitism is turn complex political and social situations into a conflict with “the Jews” on one side, and non-Jews on the other.

    The idea that maybe “some” non-Jews and Muslims actually think that Israel is not the greatest evil in the world is entirely incomprehensible to this way of thinking. Hence, JH’s comment “Zionist Jews” (even though, bearing what I have just said, it is a bit of a tautology).

  2. Karl Pfeifer Says:

    There is no absurd prejudice or resentment that is not voiced or published on main stream media. I have published a story on “Antisemitic Tropes in Austria’s Top-Selling Daily.

    This daily is near to the social democratic party of Austria and especially to Chancellor Werner Faymann.

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