Sunday Times accused of antisemitism over column on BBC pay | The Guardian

Amazing how the editors let the offending piece through in the first place:

The Sunday Times has been accused of antisemitism after it published an article in its Irish edition that suggested the BBC presenters Claudia Winkleman and Vanessa Feltz were well paid because they are Jewish.

The Rupert Murdoch-owned newspaper removed an online version of the piece by Holocaust denier Kevin Myers on Sunday morning amid a wave of outrage, but it appeared in printed editions of the newspaper across Ireland.

Under the headline “Sorry ladies, equal pay has to be earned”, Myers wrote: “I note that two of the best-paid women presenters in the BBC – Claudia Winkleman and Vanessa Feltz, with whose, no doubt, sterling work I am tragically unacquainted – are Jewish. Good for them.

“Jews are not generally noted for their insistence on selling their talent for the lowest possible price, which is the most useful measure there is of inveterate, lost-with-all-hands stupidity. I wonder, who are their agents? If they’re the same ones that negotiated the pay for the women on the lower scales, then maybe the latter have found their true value in the marketplace.”

Myers has previously written, in the Irish Independent: “There was no holocaust (or Holocaust, as my computer software insists) and six million Jews were not murdered by the Third Reich. These two statements of mine are irrefutable truths.”

Winkleman is a regular Sunday Times columnist, writing weekly in the Style supplement.

The Campaign Against Antisemitism announced on Sunday it would report the paper to the Independent Press Standards Organisation. It said in a statement: “It is clear that Kevin Myers should not have been invited to write for the Sunday Times, and his editors should never have allowed the article to be published. That they removed the article within hours of publishing it is proof that the decision was irrefutably wrong.

“Rather than moving swiftly on, we now expect the Sunday Times to investigate how this happened, to hold the editor responsible and the columnist to account, and to publish a high-profile and clear apology. We have contacted the newspaper’s senior management and given them our views on what should happen next.”

Lionel Barber, the editor of the Financial Times, described the piece as “undiluted antisemitism and misogyny” while the former Europe minister Denis MacShane said the comments were “truly shameful”.

Danny Cohen, the former director of BBC television, called on the Sunday Times to prevent Myers from writing for any News UK paper ever again.

After the column was removed, the editor of the Sunday Times, Martin Ivens, issued a statement saying Myers’ comments were “unacceptable and should not have been published”.

“It has been taken down and we sincerely apologise both for the remarks and the error of judgment that led to publication,” he said.

The editor of the paper’s Irish edition, Frank Fitzgibbon, added: “I apologise unreservedly for the offence caused by comments in a column written by Kevin Myers and published today in the Ireland edition of the Sunday Times. It contained views that have caused considerable distress and upset to a number of people.

“As the editor of the Ireland edition I take full responsibility for this error of judgment. This newspaper abhors antisemitism and did not intend to cause offence to Jewish people.”

Ivens later added that Myers would not write again for the Sunday Times Ireland and said a printed apology would appear in next week’s paper. A News UK spokeswoman said he had apologised personally to Winkleman and Feltz “for these unacceptable comments both to Jewish people and to women in the workplace”.

Source: Sunday Times accused of antisemitism over column on BBC pay | Media | The Guardian

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About Andrew
Andrew blogs and tweets public policy issues, particularly the relationship between the political and bureaucratic levels, citizenship and multiculturalism. His latest book, Policy Arrogance or Innocent Bias, recounts his experience as a senior public servant in this area.

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