Fake News: Corbyn NOT in New Anti-Semitism Row After Asking Man At Bus Stop: "What time's the bus Jew?"

Fact Check

  • by: Maarten Schenk
Fake News: Corbyn NOT in New Anti-Semitism Row After Asking Man At Bus Stop: "What time's the bus Jew?"

Did Jeremy Corby, the leader of the U.K. Labour Party, say "What time's the bus Jew?" and did this quote spark a new anti-semitism row? Of course not, the story is made up and originated from an article on a satire website.

It was published by the Southened News Network on March 26, 2018 titled "Corbyn in new anti-Semitism row after asking man at bus stop: What time's the bus Jew?" (archived here) which opened:

The leader of the Labour Party Jeremy Corbyn is embroiled in a fresh anti-Semitism row today after it emerged that on Friday evening he was overheard saying, 'What time's the bus Jew?'

According to reports, Corbyn was talking with a gentleman in his fifties at a bus stop close to Islington Town Hall, and witnesses were said to be 'shocked' at the MP's behaviour.

One said, 'Before he uttered that disgusting sentence, he was saying a range of other incredibly hateful things about Jews.'

'He admitted that he'd never tried a bagel, and he even said that he could 'take or leave' Neil Diamond.'

The story looked quite realistic to people who only saw it on social media with no indication that it was satire:

Corbyn in new anti-Semitism row after asking man at bus stop: What time's the bus Jew?

The leader of the Labour Party Jeremy Corbyn is embroiled in a fresh anti-Semitism row today after it emerged that on Friday evening he was overheard saying, 'What time's the bus Jew?' According to reports, Corbyn was talking with a gentleman in his fifties at a bus stop close to Islington Town Hall, and witnesses...

But the phrase "What time's the bus Jew" or "When's the bus Jew" is part of a racist joke that's been around for quite some time and which has several variations which we are not going to list here but you can Google for them if you're so inclined. It is unlikely Corbyn would have really used the phrase.

However Corbyn is implicated in an actual row about "pockets of anti-semitism" in the Labour Party according to the BBC:

Jewish groups' scathing attack on Corbyn

"Enough is enough," Jewish groups have said in a letter accusing Jeremy Corbyn of failing to tackle anti-Semitism. The Labour leader has said he is "sincerely sorry" for the pain caused by "pockets of anti-Semitism" in the Labour Party. Mr Corbyn said he would be meeting representatives of the Jewish community to "rebuild" confidence in his party.

We wrote about other southendnewsnetwork.net satire articles that got taken for real news before, here are the most recent ones:

The Southend News Network is a satirical site pretending to be a news organisation by the English coast in Southend. They have a disclaimer on their about page that reads (in part):

Southend News Network was originally started in October 2015 with no real aims or objectives in mind other than to add a satirical/spoof-like touch to issues that people are passionate about in Southend On Sea. Above all else, SNN is all about having the occasional 'dig' at the powers that be, as well a slightly bigger and more frequent 'dig' at certain elements of local media!

Several of their stories have been mistaken for real news in the past and the site was recognized by the local authorities as an "official news outlet".

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  Maarten Schenk

Lead Stories co-founder Maarten Schenk is our resident expert on fake news and hoax websites. He likes to go beyond just debunking trending fake news stories and is endlessly fascinated by the dazzling variety of psychological and technical tricks used by the people and networks who intentionally spread made-up things on the internet.  He can often be found at conferences and events about fake news, disinformation and fact checking when he is not in his office in Belgium monitoring and tracking the latest fake article to go viral.

Read more about or contact Maarten Schenk

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