The Independent Quotes No Jews In News About Jews

How many Jews does it take to write a newspaper story about same-sex education in private schools?

When the article is about an Orthodox Jewish school, it would be nice to have at least one.

The Independent ran an article on a government report that found an Orthodox Jewish girls school did not meet its standards in providing instruction to its pre-teen students on LGBT issues.

The article entitled “Private Jewish school fails third Ofsted inspection for not teaching LGBT issues” is a fiasco, in terms of journalistic integrity.

It talks about and around the subject of the story, giving voice to critics, but does not speak with the subjects -- not one person who could offer an explanation why a Jewish Orthodox school might not be all that keen to conform to the cultural standards of the Independent and its left-wing readers.

The lede sets the tone for the story -- by being shown false by the second sentence of the story and setting forth the Independent’s biases.

A private, faith-based school in London has failed its third Ofsted inspection for refusing to teach its pupils about homosexuality.

Inspectors visiting Vishnitz Girls School in north London last month said the Orthodox school does not give pupils “a full understanding of fundamental British values”, The Telegraph reported.

Note what is being said by the Independent, and then what is said by the government report that forms the basis of the article. The school is not teaching its students the correct stance on homosexuality. It falls short of something called “fundamental British values.” 

The article. . . is a fiasco, in terms of journalistic integrity.
—George Conger

“Fundamental British values” is a phrase beloved by British politicians and pundits because it does not mean anything. It is a purely subjective notion used to denigrate those whose culture or values fall outside of the “in” group.

The article offers further comments from the government report, which notes the school does teach its students to respect other cultures and belief systems, it does not give sufficient encouragement of new views on the fluidity of gender and sexuality.

“This means that pupils have a limited understanding of the different lifestyles and partnerships that individuals may choose in present-day society” the report said according to the Independent.

Then follows the commentary from a Christian group, gay activists, and a government spokesman. We are further told: “Vishnitz School has been contacted for a response.”

The Independent did not have its telephone call returned, and apparently could not find anyone to explain why it would be problematic for an Orthodox Jewish school to teach its students beliefs at odds with Orthodox Jewish beliefs.

The failure to abide by this basic requirement of journalistic integrity turns this into a propaganda piece. It is a faux news story, not a balanced, sourced news article that gives one all sides of the issue and lets the reader draw their own conclusions.

Would the Independent have taken the same approach to reporting this story if the subject were a Muslim faith school?