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Sunday Times apologises for antisemitic stereotype

Vanessa Feltz and Claudia Winkleman are singled out by columnist Kevin Myers

    (BBC)

    The Sunday Times has apologised for a column on BBC women's pay in its Irish edition highlighting Jewish presenters Claudia Winkleman and Vanessa Feltz and suggesting "Jews are not generally noted for their insistence on selling their talent for the lowest possible price".

    In response, Ms Feltz said:  "I am absolutely horrified by this".

    Following the outcry over Kevin Myers's comments, the Sunday Times editor Martin Ivens said the remarks were unacceptable and should not have been published. Adding his unreserved apology, Sunday Times Ireland editor Frank Fitzgibbon accepted they had caused "considerable distress", continuing: "This paper abhors antisemitism."

    The column has now been removed from its website. 

    Myers had written: "I note that two of the best-paid women presenters in the BBC, Claudia Winkleman 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 are same ones that negotiated the pay for the women on the lower scales, then maybe the latter have found their true value in the marketplace."

    Board of Deputies President Jonathan Arkush described the column  as "disgraceful" and said it promoted  "classic antisemitic tropes about Jews and money.  How this made it through the editing process is a matter which the Sunday Times needs to investigate urgently. We expect answers."

    Today the Irish Independent removed from its website a column Myers had written in 2009 including the paragraph: “There was no holocaust [or Holocaust, as my computer software insists] and six million Jews were not murdered by the Third Reich. These two statements of mine are irrefutable truths.” Myers was not denying the mass murder of Jews but making a heavy-handed attempt to attack denial laws.

    The paper said the column did "not comply with our editorial ethos".

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