Sunday Times of Ireland deletes, apologizes for Anti-Semitic Kevin Myers column on BBC hosts, gets fired

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The Irish edition of the Sunday Times unpublished and apologized for an offensive anti-Semitic column that described Jewish people, and specifically two BBC female hosts, as money-hungry. The columnist, Kevin Myers, has been fired by the newspaper.

“Further to our earlier statement we can confirm that Kevin Myers will not write again for The Sunday Times Ireland. A printed apology will appear in next week’s paper,” a spokesperson for the Times‘ parent company News UK, owned by Rupert Murdoch, told iMediaEthics by e-mail. ‘The Sunday Times editor Martin Ivens has also apologised personally to Claudia Winkleman and Vanessa Feltz for these unacceptable comments both to Jewish people and to women in the workplace”.

Myers’ July 30 column, headlined “Sorry, ladies — equal pay has to be earned,” commented on the gender pay disparity at the BBC. Myers argued “two of the best-paid women presenters in the BBC,” Claudia Winkleman and Vanessa Feltz, are well-paid because they are Jewish. He added, “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.”

iMediaEthics has written to Winkleman and Feltz for their response to the column. The BBC declined to comment.

Two of the newspaper’s editors apologized for the column. Sunday Times editor, Martin Ivens, apologized in a statement published on Twitter: “The comments in a column by Kevin Myers in today’s Irish edition of The Sunday Times 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 judgement that led to publication.”

The Sunday Times‘ Irish editor, Frank Fitzgibbon, said in his apology, “On behalf of The Sunday Times I apologise for the offence caused by the 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 judgement. This newspaper abhors anti-Semitism and did not intend to cause offence to Jewish people.”

In place of Myers’ column is a note simply stating, “This article has been removed.” iMediaEthics is writing to Myers to ask if he will apologize over the column and if editors reviewed his column before publication.

This wasn’t Myers first offensive column; he previously wrote a column denying the Holocaust, the Guardian noted.


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Anti-Semitic Column on BBC Hosts results in Irish Sunday Times retraction, apology

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