Sunday Times of London Fires Writer Over Article Called Anti-SemiticBy ED O’LOUGHLIN JULY 30, 2017DUBLIN — The Sunday Times of London has fired the writer of an op-ed article denouncing the campaign by women of the British Broadcasting Corporation for equal pay after the column sparked widespread accusations that it was anti-Semitic and misogynistic.The move came after the article, by Kevin Myers, an Irish journalist with a record of provocative right-wing statements, was pulled from its website and the editor of The Sunday Times and the editor of the paper’s Irish edition apologized for the column.Framing his piece as an attack on the push to close the pay gap at the BBC, Mr. Myers wrote:“I note that two of the best-paid women presenters in the BBC — Claudia Winkelman 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 their marketplace.”
Speaking of negotiating:
Elsewhere he wrote:“Only one woman is among the top 10 best-paid BBC presenters. Now, why is this? Is it because men are more charismatic performers? Because they work harder? Because they are more driven? Possibly a bit of each. The human resources department — what used to be called “personnel” until people come to be considered as a metabolising, respiring form of mineral ore — will probably tell you that men usually work harder, get sick less frequently and seldom get pregnant.”
It was taken down following anger on social media and a formal complaint from the Campaign Against Anti-Semitism to press regulator Ipso.The campaign said the removal of the article and apology from editors within hours was “proof that the decision to include the column was irrefutably wrong”.The group – which had earlier called for Mr Myers’ sacking – also said he should “no longer work as a journalist at any decent publication”.
This is reminiscent of when Gregg Easterbrook was fired by ESPN from his NFL column for one sentence in his blog in Marty Peretz’s The New Republic. I wrote in 2003:
The New Republic’s Gregg Easterbrook famously denounced this Disney-Miramax production [Quentin Tarantino's "Kill Bill Vol. I"] for excessive violence, noting, “Recent European history alone ought to cause Jewish executives to experience second thoughts about glorifying the killing of the helpless as a fun lifestyle choice.”Easterbrook was widely excoriated both for terminal unhipness and for supposedly resurrecting the myth that Jews control the media. Disney supremo Michael Eisner, however, did control Easterbrook’s other employer, ESPN, which immediately fired him. Most commentators opined that Easterbrook had it coming.All I can say is that if Walt Disney were alive today, he’d be spinning in his cryogenic preservation chamber.
Easterbrook got his gig back 2 or 3 years later when Eisner was pushed out at Disney.Similarly, CNN announcer Rick Sanchez had his career trashed in 2011 for not agreeing that John Stewart was also an oppressed fellow minority in the media industry for being Jewish.A minor sidenote on the Easterbrook firing is that the man is not unconnected. He’s tied into the Kinsley Coterie of talented opinion journalists who emerged in the 1980s. And his brother Frank Easterbrook is one of the three or four best known federal judges not on the Supreme Court.And yet Gregg Easterbrook got fired for one sentence. If half of Easterbrook’s income could be taken away for this, what can be done to somebody less connected pour encourager les autres?