On MSNBC this afternoon, Martin Bashir spoke with hip hop mogul Russell Simmons about the Occupy Wall Street movement and challenged the Def Jam co-founder over whether there were vocal anti-Semitic sentiments permeating the protest. “There’s been some reporting that anti-Semitism has begun to emerge and…” Bashir began. Simmons incredulously interrupted, “Can you repeat that?!”
The interview had initially begun amicably, with Bashir asking multiple softball questions before completely gobsmacking Simmons.
“Well, anti-semitism,” Bashir repeated.
“Can you repeat that?” asked a mystified Simmons. “Where’d you get that from — Bill O’Reilly or somebody?”
“No, let me show you,” Bashir said. “A group called the Emergency Committee For Israel has released this advert, watch this.”
Bashir played the group’s political ad which juxtaposed footage of President Obama and Nancy Pelosi making supportive statements of the protest with a compilation of anti-Semitic incidents that occurred in Zuccotti Park: “Jews are pro-Wall Street!” shouts one. “You’re a bum Jew.” Another sneers, “The small ethnic Jewish population in this country, they have a firm grip on America’s media.”