Saturday 7 August 2021

''*What on earth?*''


Sky News's Mark Stone seems to have become as unpopular as the BBC's Jeremy Bowen with pro-Israel critics of the media - and that was before this week when one of his reports for Sky used footage from a 2017 visit to Yad Vashem, Israel's official Holocaust memorial site, to accompany these words about embattled New York governor Andrew Cuomo:

The investigation concluded that the Governor kissed, hugged and groped inappropriately. He made comments that were deeply humiliating and offensive. But in a statement he rejected all the findings.

So as Mark Stone spoke, Sky viewers were shown Governor Cuomo wearing a kippah [or yarmulke] and laying a wreath before bowing his head in respect for the victims of the Holocaust. Many were understandably appalled at this terrible editorial decision, and some took to Twitter to challenge him about it: 

Sussex Friends of Israel - Mark Stone, how is it appropriate to have your report on the deplorable actions of Cuomo being accompanied with footage of him in yarmulke laying a wreath at the Yad Vashem? You are fully aware of the significance of the Yad Vashem, why use it in your report?! Shameful.

He then responded: 

Mark Stone, Sky News - Hi Sussex Friends, thanks for drawing this oversight to my attention. This report was put together by production teams in London. I am in the US. The report has now been changed. And you’re right, I have visited Yad Vashem a number of times & I’m well aware of its significance. M

Many were not satisfied with M's answer:

Gnasher Jew - This is not enough, there should be a full investigation into who thought this was appropriate and they should be given antisemitism awareness classes and disciplined.

Sussex Friends of Israel [replying to Gnasher Jew] - Which is precisely what would happen if this  happened in context to any other minority community.

Jewish Writer [replying to Gnasher Jew and Sussex Friends of Israel] - I think it's safe to say they would have been fired if they did this to any other minority community. 

Prosthetic Conscience - An "oversight" is when you unintentionally fail to notice something, not when you intentionally try to make someone who's in trouble look Jewish despite them not actually being Jewish. 

Charles Kirie - The main problem is choosing video that gives the (very strong) impression that he’s Jewish, when 1) the piece is about the very negative story of the allegations of sexual harassment that he’s facing, and 2) he’s *not even Jewish*. Very illuminating, and pretty sinister…

BCLP Roger Cohen - “ Oversight”? “Egregious error” possibly. And not a hint of an apology.

Kate - Any idea from the production teams in London *what on earth* laying a wreath at Yad Vashem has to do with the AG finding him guilty of a history of sexual assaults? 

Nir Kahn - Sorry, that’s not enough. Somebody at Sky News made this deliberate and utterly unacceptable editorial decision and I want to know what you’ve done about it.

Bonsai Elephant - “Oversight.” Picking the one piece of footage out of thousands that has this non-Jew wearing a kippa. Right, it was an oversight.

Brandon - From 2017. Why on earth would it be picked?

It's Gnasher Jew's question that intrigues me: Who at Sky thought this was appropriate, and why exactly did they choose this incongruous, four-year-old footage?  

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