I was listening to Today this morning when someone said:
“Watch this – Louis Theroux is coming on BBC 1 to plug his Ultra Zionist programme, you’ve just missed the trail, and after it Bill Turnbull said “These people are unbelievable, they make you gasp!”
So I switched off the radio and watched. I sat through inane chatter, sport, stale news about Egypt, just waiting for Louis.
He looked a bit dejected, like a dog that knows he’s just snaffled the Sunday joint. Guilty. Contrite. He seemed to be trying to take back the opportunistic antisemitism that he suddenly realised his programme would unleash. But too late. Not much good now saying: ‘I didn’t mean it in an antisemitic way, ‘ ‘there are two sides to every story,’ ‘these were ultra ULTRA Zionist settlers.’ ‘ Ultra. Very very ultra. ‘
Too late Louis. the damage has been done. Damage limitation is futile already.
I thought I’d leave it at that, but then decided to add this.
When the BBC decides to show ‘exceptional’ Israelis, and don’t forget that’s the only kind we get to see on the BBC, and when it gives people like Bill Turnbull cause to sigh at their outrageousness, and when it sets everyone off thinking the same bad thoughts about Jews, doesn’t it make you wonder where, on the BBC, are their counterparts?
How many Islamic ‘exceptions’ do we see Louis Theroux making documentaries about?
If – should such a miracle occur – he were to make one about fanatical, antisemitic, Islamic extremists, what pains would be taken to explain that they were exceptions, that Islam was the religion of peace, that their Islam was unIslamic, Islam-gone-wrong Islam?
The media would be occupying themselves with the topic for weeks. Probably the police would arrest Louis for incitement. Keith Vaz would have an apoplectic fit and Baroness Warsi would have to cancel all her dinner engagements for ever and ever.
“Don’t judge it before you see it” I hear you say. I’m not judging the programme, I’m questioning the wisdom of making it.
“But you’re always saying we should expose fanaticism when it applies to Islam. Now you’re saying we should hide fanaticism when it applies to Jews.” I thought I heard you say.
“Then expose them both, in strict proportion to the numbers that exist!” I reply. “Keep your Louis Theroux, but let’s also have Undercover Mosque, Horrible Hamas Histories, Muslim Brotherhood Unwrapped, Hassan Nasrallah’s Best Bits, Ayaan Hirsi Ali giving Zeinab Badawi a Hardtime, Anjem Choudary’s Rant for the Day, a CBeebies edition of the Hamas Bunny and Forfar the Jew-eating Wabbit.
Then trail them a hundred times per day, and really give Bill Turnbull something to gasp at.