Kevin Myers, the Sunday Times Ireland columnist who was fired this week after publishing an anti-Semitic column, has publicly apologized and said he thinks his professional journalism career is “over.”
Meanwhile, a spokesperson for the UK press regulator the Independent Press Standards Organisation told iMediaEthics by e-mail that it has received 25 complaints over the column alleging discrimination. Ireland’s Press Ombudsman office, which is independent of IPSO, has received eight complaints, case officer Bernie Grogan told iMediaEthics.
Myers’ July 30 column about gender-pay disparity at the BBC singled out two female hosts, Vanessa Feltz and Claudia Winkleman, saying they were some of the top-paid females at the BBC because they are Jewish. The Sunday Times quickly unpublished and apologized for the column following waves of online outrage, as iMediaEthics reported.
On her BBC show July 31, Feltz said the column was “so obviously racist it’s surprisingly hurtful” and made her “extremely upset.” She asked the key question, “How did it end up in the paper in the first place?” iMediaEthics has asked the Sunday Times‘ publisher, News UK, how the article made it to print, how many editors reviewed the column before publication, and if anyone besides Myers was disciplined. News UK declined to comment.
In an interview with Irish public broadcaster RTE, Myers remarked “I am very very sorry that they, I really mean this because I’m not rescuing anything, it’s over for me professionally as far as I can see. I’m very very sorry that I should have so offended them and I do utter an apology not for any reason other than out of genuine contrition for the hurt I caused them.”
Kevin Myers apologises to Vanessa Feltz and Claudia Winkelman over article in Sunday Times pic.twitter.com/7UToWtnzVt
— RTÉ News (@rtenews) August 1, 2017
He claimed he is a “great admirer of the Jewish people” and accepted responsibility for his column. He wouldn’t say who else was involved in the column, like what editors approved or read the column before publication. “I don’t think it right or proper for me to start saying somehow or other, other people are responsible for what happened,” he told RTE. “I must do nothing that will bring ruin or unhappiness to other people.”
UPDATE: 8/2/2017 10:21 AM EST With Ireland’s press ombudsman’s number of complaints