BBC Trust’s ESC rejects complaint about Tim Willcox’s ‘Jewish faces’ remark

A complaint concerning a BBC programme which was flagged up in the CST’s report on Antisemitic Discourse in Britain in 2014 has been rejected by the BBC Trust’s Editorial Standards Committee.BBC Papers on website

A link to the original programme can be found below:

More BBC promotion of the ‘Jewish lobby’ trope

The BBC’s initial – and not dissimilar – response to complaints about the programme is documented here:

BBC doubles down on presenter’s ‘mansion tax’ comment

The ESC’s full decision can be found on pages 17 to 23 inclusive here with a summary appearing on pages 6 and 7. Whilst the full text of the original complaint is not available, some of the content of the decision appears – to put it politely – to have missed the point.

“The Committee concluded that:

 A reference by the presenter to ‘Jewish faces’ was not anti-Semitic in the context of a discussion about prominent Jewish people (donors to the Labour party). The presenter had been struggling for a phrase to sum up the group of people they were discussing in the heat of the live discussion, and had come up with Jewish “faces”. Trustees noted that the word “face” or “faces” was in common use as a synonym for a prominent person or people. Trustees considered it was clear that this was the meaning the presenter had intended the audience to take and that the potentially offensive meaning understood by the complainant, suggestive of a negative stereotype of Jewish facial features, would not have been intended; nor would the majority of the audience have interpreted it in that sense.”

The real significance of this ruling, however, is found in the fact that the BBC Trust’s Editorial Standards Committee obviously considers itself to have sufficient authority, knowledge and expertise to determine what is – or in this case, what is not – antisemitism even though one of Britain’s leading expert bodies on that form of racism has classified the programme concerned as an example of antisemitic discourse.



5 comments on “BBC Trust’s ESC rejects complaint about Tim Willcox’s ‘Jewish faces’ remark

  1. bbc deserves a law suit to stop their antisemitic staff spreading antisemitism Under all of its forms such as stereotypes, SYSTEMATIC lies about Israel which is very far from the usual nazis’ remark “you’re not supposed to say anything against Israel”! To say something negative about Israel once is quite different from making systematic remarks and lies and judgements which is a systematic pr war against Israel. bbc should be condemned for its attitude which is an outright war on Israel not an innocent word which can be considered as “saying something against Israel”. A condemnation will force bbc stop its WAR against Israel Under the guise of pr.

  2. bbc’s literature is a systematic vocal WAR against Israel not a casual word which could spell “saying something against Israel”.

  3. The word “faces” as as synonym for prominent people is entirely unfamiliar to me. But what do I know? I’m only white British, working class, and have been using the English language for the past 66 years, so do not fit the BBC model. The anti semitic leftie elitists ruling the BBC only know one model & that’s their own view of the world from the Islington bubble.

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