A concerned B_BBC reader writes….
“In next week’s Radio Times (16-22 Jan 2010) there is an interview with Dermot O’Leary. A quote from the interview is printed over his photo. The quote says:
I’ve probably got more in common with a liberal Muslim than a conservative Catholic”
In the interview he actually says:

“I don’t like evangelism and I’ve probably got more in common with a liberal Jew or a liberal Muslim than someone who’d consider themselves a conservative Catholic.

I have long noted the BBC’s blatant anti-Israel bias and though many other observers have often claimed this is actually an anti-Jewish bias I never thought so until I read that article. I am not Jewish but do now believe that those claiming the BBC *has* an anti-Jew bias may well be on to something quite serious. Why on earth have they removed the word Jew from the quote, especially as it was his first mention? Is it an automatic Pavlovian response by sub-editors (or whoever does these things) to remove any Jewish reference if at all possible?”
Why indeed? Also, any thoughts on how many liberal Muslims Dermot is likely to find…..?
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21 Responses to THE MISSING JEW…

  1. jpt says:

    It’s awful – I tell people about this sort of thing and they don’t believe me.


  2. David Preiser (USA) says:

    Defenders of the indefensible will probably tell you that the quote was edited for space, and the choice of which religious group to leave out was totally random.

    The fact that the Radio Times editors feel that Jews don’t need any positive sentiments like this is in no way an indication of any anti-Jewish attitude.  Yeah, that must be it.

    Alternatively:  Including Jews ruins the “we believe in moderate Muslims” Narrative they like to maintain.  And O’Leary gave them a twofer:  “Catholics are no good because they’re too conservative.”  It’s just too perfect to pass up.  So they censor the statement to achieve the desired impression.  It’s a lovely sentiment if you leave out the bit about the damn Jews, which just gets in the way.


  3. Anonymous says:

    Anti-Semites regard Jews as being of one mind, a collective so to speak

    For example the shooting of a German diplomat that led to Kristallnacht was blamed on all Jews, as are the actions of Israel today

    Therefore there can be no liberal Jews, as they all support Israel’s “oppression of Palestinians”


  4. Martin says:

    In the minds of the Cocaine addled beeboids the only good Jew is a dead Jew.


  5. deegee says:

    The BBC has been caught before changing direct quotes to suit an agenda. Most commonly replacing the word ‘moderate’ when the speaker said ‘terrorist’. Most seriously when they spliced two parts of Obama’s Inauguration speech to create a new meaning.

    My feeling is that ‘company culture’ came into play here and that is as serious as the antisemitism. The editor thought to himself if he left the ‘liberal Jew’ in the Jewish Lobby would complain (why exactly is less important) so he preemptively self censored it and saved himself a headache. Probably went home mumbling something about’ “Damn Jewish censorship”.

    It would be curious to know why Dermot O’Leary thinks himself closer to liberal Jews or liberal Muslims than liberal Catholics? It would be curiouser to see how O’Leary defines a liberal Jew or a liberal Muslim. I doubt if it has anything to do with the Liberal Judaism stream although their apparent emphasis on Climate Change and respect for the BBC makes you wonder about them, too.


    • Scott M says:

      “It would be curious to know why Dermot O’Leary thinks himself closer to liberal Jews or liberal Muslims than liberal Catholics?”

      Just paragraphs after you complain of others changing direct quotes, you do it yourself. Bad form, surely? 


      • deegee says:

        He didn’t say that. I did.

        Probably it would have been better worded to ask why Dermot O’Leary doesn’t see himself closer to liberal Catholics than liberal Jews or Muslims?


      • Scott M says:

        Grr. Just went to check the article itself, and I think I’ve left my copy of Radio Times at work. Which is a shame, as – given that the sentence quoted won’t have come out of nowhere – the surrounding text would have given more context to possibly provide the answer to that question, deegee.

        But a few years ago, O’Leary fronted a documentary for Channel 4 exploring the Catholic faith he was brought up in, and the conflicts he felt between the less liberal aspects of that faith and his own personal beliefs. Again, it was several years ago so forgive me if my precis is a little off-beam. Basically, though, it was clear that he sees himself as, as you might say, a liberal Catholic.

        Which is potentially why he was comparing himself to liberal people of other faiths, and conservative members of his own. Wish I had the interview to hand so I could confirm that, though!


  6. TooTrue says:

    David Preiser – absolutely spot on. Once doctored, it was just such a neat little PC quote, sanitising Islam without that irritating inclusion of the Jews. I mean, what are these bloody Jews doing highjacking liberal Islamic values, right?


  7. TooTrue says:


    I think you meant replacing “terrorist” with “militant.”

    As an example, the BBC regularly does this when quoting IDF spokespeople. Or at least it used to, in line with its dishonesty and unprofessionalism. Probably these days the BBC gets around that thorny little problem by quoting the IDF as seldom as humanly possible.


  8. Scott M says:

    I do find the whole premise of this attempt to attack the BBC a little tenuous, to be honest. If the BBC were really so anti-Jewish, why would they have included the full quote in the first place? Would it not have suited them to have left it out altogether?

    Subeditors do frequently have to shorten sentences when extracting pull quotes. Sometimes they will even re-edit two sentences into one shorter, pithier one. To be honest, it rankles with me when I read the full article and the pull quote is different for no apparent reason, and I’d much rather the quote were left as intact as possible.

    That said, I don’t think I’ve ever attributed any ulterior motive to any sub who has shortened a pull quote that has frustrated me in such a manner. I really don’t think you can.

    And I know Preiser probably classes this as “defending the indefensible”, but then the chances of him having read the entire article are so slim it doesn’t really matter what his opinions of it are to me.


    • David Preiser (USA) says:

      We’re not talking about the article, we’re talking about the doctored quote.  David V has kindly provided the full quote, so whether or not I read the article itself is completely irrelevant.  Just as I said, you took the position that captions like this are regularly edited from full quotes, no big deal.

      Why was one religion removed instead of the other?  “Jew” came first in the original statement, and is in fact a shorter word.  So if the only goal was to shorten the quote for space, “Jew” would serve that goal better.  However, if the goal was to create a certain impression, then obviously “Muslim” works better.

      Any thoughts?


      • Scott M says:

        On the contrary, if I HAD to shorten the quote (my obvious reservations about doing so as explained above notwithstanding) I’d go for the greatest contrast. While all three religions have common roots if you go back far enough, that Christianity grew out of Judaism two thousand years ago means that the greater contrast is between Catholicism and Islam.

        And that’s without any thought to “what creates the most provocative juxtaposition?”, which would undoubtedly come to the same conclusion.

        Neither route would be remotely anti-Jewish. Unwise, possibly, but that’s a different issue and not one that Biased BBC should waste its time with.


  9. TooTrue says:

    Scott M,

    Ask yourself if the BBC would have left the “liberal Jews” part of the quote intact and excised the “liberal Muslims” bit. The answer, of course, is not only “No,” but “No, never in a million years.”

    Your argument is much like the defence offered for the shop owner who from time to time gives the wrong change: “Well, he’s under pressure and he makes mistakes; anyone can.”

    True, but what is the explanation for him never giving too much change, but always too little?


  10. TooTrue says:

    Scott M, I meant to add that you shouldn’t dismis the comments of David Preiser quite so glibly. He has a better grasp than most of BBC bias.


  11. TooTrue says:



  12. TooTrue says:

    Tried to comment earlier but this comment box went on strike. A couple of times I have noticed getting too much change and have given it back. Way more often I get too little. Happened just yesterday, in fact. I noticed it in time so just kept my hand out with the incorrect amount and politely asked for the missing coins. Of course it’s a little too late if you’ve already walked out of the shop and way too late if you’re half-way home.

    Got given a forged coin a week back. Unfortunately I’d got change from two shops before a third noticed it so I couldn’t be sure who’d given it to me. Two people have suggested that I simply use it, but that ain’t the way I am.