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BBC Investigating Reporter Over Reported Tweets Attacking Colleague for Speaking Out Against Anti-Semitism

He also reportedly called Israel a "racist" and "white supremacist state."
[additional-authors]
September 2, 2020
LONDON, ENGLAND – JANUARY 29: General View of BBC Broadcasting House on January 29, 2020 in London, England. The BBC announced today that it is to cut 450 jobs by 2022 in an effort to save GBP 80 Million. (Photo by Peter Summers/Getty Images)

The BBC told the Jewish Chronicle (JC) on Sept. 2 that it is investigating a report regarding a series of tweets from a BBC senior reporter’s anonymous account.

The JC had reported the day before that BBC World news reporter Nimesh Thaker used an anonymous Twitter account called “Not That Bothered” to retweet a tweet criticizing BBC 5 Live presenter Emma Barnett, who said during her July 27 show that the rapper Wiley’s anti-Semitic tweets “burn deep” for her because her grandmother fled persecution by the Nazis in Austria and her husband’s grandmother “survived unspeakable torture in Auschwitz.” The Not That Bothered account retweeted a tweet stating that Barnett was engaging in “the same old ‘antisemitism’ excuse whenever people criticize Israel.”

Additionally, during the 48-hour boycott of Twitter over the platform’s handling of anti-Semitism, the account tweeted, “Has the level of hate and political smearing just dropped on twitter or are racists on holiday at the moment?” The account also retweeted a tweet from Jackie Walker, who was expelled from the Labour Party over allegations of anti-Semitism, stating that some of those protesting Twitter had previously engaged “anti-black/Muslim racism.”

The Not That Bothered account also features tweets that call Israel a “racist” and “white supremacist state,” the JC reported.

After the JC report, the BBC said in a statement to the JC, “The BBC takes allegations of this nature extremely seriously, and while we cannot comment on individual staff issues, we have robust processes in place to investigate any such matters with urgency.”

The JC also reported that Thaker, who has been a reporter for BBC World News for 10 years, has not responded to its repeated requests for comment and that the Not That Bothered account is now on a private setting.

International human rights lawyer Arsen Ostrovsky tweeted, “Wow! Senior @BBCWorld News journalist #NimeshThaker used anonymous social media account to support attacks on @BBC’s Jewish presenter @Emmabarnett, after she spoke out about the Holocaust and personal impact of #antisemitism on her life.”

 

British researcher David Collier also tweeted, “The horror of senior BBC journalist Nimesh Thaker being caught running a vile antisemitic sock account should not be underestimated. The BBC is infested with like minded haters and for years these reporters have been at the forefront of pushing a demonising anti-Israel agenda.”

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