NYT: Sunday Times of London Fires Writer Over Article Called Anti-Semitic

How many writers have been fired for articles called anti-Gentilic?

New York Times:

DUBLIN — 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.”

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.”

The column, which had been commissioned for the print version of the outlet’s Irish edition, also attacked “the PC traitors who run BBC News and current affairs, which have stifled and corrupted all useful debate on national identity, immigration and race, thereby doing irreversible damage to British society.”

…Born in England to Irish parents, Mr. Myers has long been a strident and at times deeply controversial voice in the Irish news media, first as a columnist for The Irish Times (which is not connected to The Sunday Times of London), and then later The Irish Independent group.

In 2009, he wrote a column for The Belfast Telegraph, part of the Irish Independent group, which said, “There was no Holocaust, and six million Jews were not murdered by the Third Reich.” The article accepted that there had been a deliberate mass genocide against the Jews of Europe, but said that the term “holocaust” was inaccurate and that the exact number of dead could not be known.

According to the Irish Independent group’s website, that article was also taken down from archives on Sunday.

In 2005, Mr. Myers was widely criticized for a column in The Irish Times in which he referred to the children of single parents as “bastards.” Writing about foreign aid to Africa in The Irish Independent in 2008, he said that in contrast, “Africa, with its vast savannahs and its lush pastures, is giving almost nothing to anyone, apart from AIDS.”

Comments at Steve Sailer:

* Modern Irish seem to be much better speakers than writers. I find modern Irish writing, the sort in the press, to be pointlessly effusive. There’s a foaming at the mouth vibe to it. Americans like plain talk and hate phonies, so the English and Irish can strike us a bit false, but Irish writing today is turgid.

* His language is a bit flowery to decipher, but his position seems to be that

(1) if men are paid more than women, it’s because men work harder and are more deserving;

(2) if Jews are paid more than non-Jews, it’s because Jews are pushy and demanding.

So it does seem that he is doing more than just “mentioning Jews,” it seems he is applying a double-standard and invalidating Jewish accomplishments, which is a pretty common trope among anti-Semites.

* Here is his logical argument, which is sorta weak I think, even aside from the reliance on stereotypes:

1. W and F are Jewish.
2. Jews are noted for their hard bargaining and are no doubt represented by the best, most hard bargaining talent agents.
3. Other lesser paid female reporters are no doubt represented by these same agents who drive equally hard bargains and achieve the best possible results on their behalf .
4. Therefore, these lesser paid females are already being paid a market rate and their lower pay is a reflection of their actual value and not a result of gender discrimination.

The weakness, aside from the stereotypes, is in “no doubt” qualifications – he is assuming facts not in evidence. Maybe the nice goyish lady reporters are too reticent or too anti-Semitic to hire hard driving (Jewish) talent agents. Their bosses offer them 70 cents on the dollar (70 pence on the pound) because they hate women/ think they can get away with it and they take it because they are too nice to bargain. If Jews are noted for their hard bargaining then non-Jews must be noted for their not-hard bargaining, I guess.

Bringing Jews into the thing was really unnecessary. Points #1 and 2 could have been that W and F are top paid and no doubt represented by the best agents without bringing their ethnicity into it at all. The mark of the anti-Semite is that he brings up Jewishness when it is not really germane to the subject at hand. Here we are talking about gender discrimination and suddenly he brings Joos into the argument for no particularly good reason.

Regarding nepotism, you could conceivably argue (though he doesn’t, because it would actually undermine the point he is trying to make) that the agents try harder for their coreligionists (assuming that the agents are also Jewish, which he doesn’t state either) and this explains why they make more than other female reporters. It’s at least as strong as the argument that he is trying to make.

* Occam’s Razor dictates that the reason lady presenters are paid less is that they have a sharp career trajectory (the rise faster than men in the industry and fall faster than men as well) and that it is relative to their years of peak attractiveness.

This was the likely explanation for why female movie leads are paid less than their male counterparts and why the hullabaloo is nonsense. Bradley Cooper was paid more than Jennifer Lawrence because Lawrence is eminently more replaceable by the next early twentysomething ingenue. But the flip side is that while Bradley Cooper was toiling in obscurity in bit parts in television shows and straight to DVD movies (remember him as the psycho boyfriend in Wedding Crashers?), Lawrence’s rise to prominence was meteoric. She didn’t have the ten plus years of couch surfing and supplementing meager acting income by waiting tables like Cooper and Clooney. Also note the cannibalistic nature of female leads – the new one on the scene tends to push out her elder sisters when they are deemed too old to play the female leads (think Ashley Judd, who complains about not getting roles like she used to do). It’s a bit hypocritical to take advantage of Hollywood’s favor for young female leads on the front end (while pushing out the old gray mares) and then complain about not getting roles when you get pushed out in favor of the new girl.

About Luke Ford

I’ve written five books (see Amazon.com). My work has been followed by the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (Alexander90210.com).

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