Guardian: Comment 'could have been interpreted as being of a sexual and vulgar nature' - iMediaEthics

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The Guardian apologized to freelance journalist Isabel Oakeshott after a column remarked the “only way” she “gets a scoop” is if Brexit leader Nigel Farage or Brexit funder Arron Banks “leave it conveniently tucked under her pillow.”

The July 8 column by John Crace was headlined, “Ambassadors trashing of Trump gives MPs chance to enjoy a bit of deploring.”

On Twitter, Oakeshott posted a screenshot of the column and commented, “This is demonstrably false and extraordinarily sexist.”

According to political blog Guido Fawkes, the Guardian also is paying Oakeshott “five-figure damages and costs settlement.”

“This was not about money for me,” Oakeshott told iMediaEthics by e-mail. “Instead, I wanted to put down a marker. John Crace’s comments were demonstrably false and outrageously sexist. I have a long track record of breaking big stories, none of which I have discovered under my pillow. I have never had any sexual relationship with either Arron Banks or Nigel Farage; and to suggest that I rely on either of those men, or indeed any man, for my scoops is incredibly offensive.”

She added, “That such comments should appear in the pages of the Guardian – a paper which has championed the #metoo movement and a paper with a female editor who has made much of the equality agenda – compounded my indignation. This sort of rank hypocrisy must be called out. After years of putting up with this sort of rubbish from ageing, envious, left wing male commentators, I felt it was time to take a stand.”

The Guardian declined to comment beyond its apology.

The July 19 correction reads:

“A satirical sketch originally included a comment – fictitious, of course – that could have been interpreted as being of a sexual and vulgar nature about Isabel Oakeshott. Although this was not our intention, we acknowledge the potential for distress and misinterpretation and we apologise to her for any distress this has caused (Ambassador’s trashing of Trump gives MPs chance to enjoy a bit of deploring, 8 July, theguardian.com; MPs get to exercise their moral outrage, happy to do some serious deploring, 9 July, page 15).”

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Guardian: Comment ‘could have been interpreted as being of a sexual and vulgar nature’

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