This is a guest post from Golan Yarok
Mike Cushman, lecturer at the London School of Economics, was interviewed last month on the existence of antisemitism in the Labour Party on Radio Four’s 10pm News by BBC journalist Chris Mason (starts at 20 minutes in). Cushman belongs to the pro-Corbyn “Jewish Voice for Labour”.
Cushman denied in this BBC interview that he had ever seen any evidence of antisemitism in the Labour Party and moreover excoriated the Sunday Times and BBC for what amounted to a journalistic lack of integrity in their reports about antisemitism in the Labour Party.
“The Sunday Times publishes a statistical report which if one of my undergraduate students or even an ‘O Level student were to produce I’d throw it back in their face. They trawled I don’t know how many hundreds of thousands, I don’t know or millions of Facebook posts to find 2,000 which they don’t describe in any detail, they just assert they’re all horrible in some undefined way and the BBC did not interrogate the basis of that report it just led with it on bulletin after bulletin on Sunday.”
BBC Interviewer Chris Mason objected:
“That’s simply inaccurate. I was the correspondent on duty yesterday. I saw all of the material. We scrutinized hundreds and hundreds of pages of Facebook feeds and came to our own judgement in how it was reported. That’s just simply not true.
Cushman then attempted to backtrack:
MC: I didn’t hear all of the BBC yesterday I heard Broadcasting House….but I don’t want to get into…
BBC: So you base your entire…..(not intelligible) on the BBC without listening to a single program, er did you read the Sunday Times piece all the way through?
MC: Um I don’t, it is hidden behind a paywall, I got hold of a bit of it but couldn’t get all of all of (sic) it.
BBC: You’re not obliged to read the Sunday Times but if you’re gonna come on the radio and be critical of its journalism would it not have been prudent to have read it in advance?
MC: I’m sorry its behind a paywall. I can’t see it, it hides it from people like me.
Mr Cushman did not explain why the paywall was such a barrier for him and instead went from never even having come across antisemitism within the Labour Party into a complaint of being attacked constantly…as a Jew!
MC: Given the pressure that people are under and I’ve not been under anything like the amount of abuse that I’m getting on Twitter and Facebook being called a Nazi being called a fake Jew being called a kapo…
BBC: Hang on a minute aren’t you a victim of the very phenomenon you claim is being exaggerated?
It is difficult to avoid thinking that in reality Cushman attempted to dishonestly use his status as a university lecturer in an attempt to blacken the journalists of the Sunday Times and the BBC and to whitewash antisemitism in the Labour Party, admitted now even by Mr Corbyn (despite his previously long standing passivity and even tolerance towards it).
Mr Cushman’s professional reputation is arguably now in tatters. The LSE and any other institution Cushman is associated with might ask themselves whether Mr Cushman’s dishonest misrepresentations on BBC Radio 4 have brought the validity of any work ever carried out by him for them into question?
Mr Cushman who was at pains to deny antisemitism in the Labour Party has himself previously been the subject of controversy in his posting of an antisemitic article about Jews in Parliament.
Cushman is the second lecturer from the London School of Economics to have publicly lied about issues relating to antisemitism and Jeremy Corbyn.
So this would be Jonathan Rosenhead of @JVoiceLabour accusing “Zionists” of being responsible for the murder of “hundreds of thousands of Jews” at a meeting entitled Corbyn, Antisemitism and Justice for Palestine @LabourAgainstAS @mishtal @stephenpollard pic.twitter.com/tcayaqzJWQ
— Hurryupharry (@hurryupharry) May 1, 2018
What’s going on at that once proud institution?