“Big Jew” complaint to ABC

May 11, 2020 by J-Wire Newsdesk
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The Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council has registered a complaint to the ABC following the airing of a slur against Jews by a radio talkback caller on the May 3 broadcast of “Australia All Over”.

Ian McNamara   Photo: Facebook

The talkback caller to the program identified herself as “Jean Cook” from a town in Victoria’s Latrobe Valley.  During her call, Cook complained about someone buying out a factory she managed, referring to the buyer as a “big Jew”.

The caller said, “Over 30 years ago, I managed the Exacto Factory that was specially built in Churchill because we were doing such a good job. Now, Exacto was part of the Bradmill Industries and they had jeans, they even made the fabric for jeans, windcheaters, T-shirts we made. And it employed so many people. And when I was working they were worried sick that this big Jew was gonna buy it out, buy us out. And blow me down eventually he did and he broke, and he sold all our machinery and everything went over to, he sold it to over China.”

The program’s host Mr Ian McNamara simply ignored Ms Cook’s derogatory comment as though it was unexceptional.

AIJAC pointed out:

“Ms Cook invoked an antisemitic trope of a rapacious and heartless Jewish businessman who rides roughshod over the lives of ordinary, hardworking people in an insatiable quest to make money… By allowing Ms Cook’s comment to go through to the keeper, Mr McNamara, whose reputation is of a trusted figure of authority given his many years on radio, ran the risk of inadvertently seeming to legitimise antisemitism and casual racism to his audience.”

In the complaint, AIJAC requested the ABC take corrective action, including:

  • *Mr McNamara and the program’s producer should receive appropriate counselling and training on the use of the dump button and what is expected of ABC staff.
  • A genuine on-air apology by Mr McNamara on behalf of himself and the ABC – which eschews the avoidant formulation of words “we apologise if anyone was offended”.
  • The episode on the program’s website for May 03 be edited to remove the slur and an editor’s note included with a statement of apology.


6 Responses to ““Big Jew” complaint to ABC”
  1. JAEL WOLK says:

    Did the ABC acknowledge this in any way subsequently?

  2. Adrian Jackson says:

    The corona virus has highlighted the need to support Australian manufacturing instead if it going overseas, particularly in rural and regional areas cities and towns.

    • Jael Wolk says:

      Sure…but the ethnicity/religion of the person doing the buying and selling is irrelevant..

  3. Lynne Newington says:

    It’s been asked of me many times why I take such issues to heart the way I do.
    A brilliant thesis written by Lluana Goriss some time ago; The Origins of Antisemitism.
    The introduction alone gives good reason.
    The image of the Jewish people she writes, did not materialize overnight, neither in a decade nor in a century…
    This image is the product of two thousand years of stereotyping- two thousand years thousand years of religious, racial and political propaganda.
    In 2020 the stench still abounds unfortunately, by stealth if necessary.

  4. Leon Poddebsky says:

    Antisemitism cultivated by the ABC??!!! Impossible!

  5. Lynne Newington says:

    That is a valid complaint absolutely…
    Recently I was unnecessarily hauled over the coals by an over zealous Jewish [I presume] commentator for mentioning the ethnicity of already publicly disclosed investigative journalist….
    It’s individuals like these you don’t need just looking for an excuse to flap their wings.

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