The editor of Channel 4 News has defended presenter Jackie Long after she asked whether a kippah-wearing journalist who filmed himself being harassed in Paris was “provoking” people by wearing the religious garment.
Editor Ben de Pear told Jewish News: “Jackie was merely reflecting the views of some critics by challenging the journalist with views of people out there.”
When asked which people he meant, a spokeswoman simply said the video “was both praised and criticised by people who watched it”.
It comes after media regulator Ofcom said it had received eight complaints and that it was weighing up its options. A spokesman said: “We will assess these complaints before deciding whether to investigate or not.”
In the interview, Long spoke to journalist Zvika Klein, who documented anti-Semitic reactions to his traditional Jewish clothing during a 10-hour walk through the French capital.
During the interview, she asked: “Do you accept what some critics would say that the video, the way it was done, was an act of provocation?” When Klein said he did not feel that it was a provocation, Long said: “Condensing it into 90 seconds makes it incredibly powerful though, doesn’t it?
Klein later said he was “shocked to be asked such a question,” adding: “Is dressing as a Muslim a provocation? Is wearing a cross a provocation? I am deeply offended and shocked that this is the British media.”
Long’s insinuation has caused upset in the Jewish community. Writing on the CST blog, spokesman Dave Rich said: “I naively thought, who could imagine that it is a provocation? Channel 4 News, apparently.”