News Irish News

Thursday 14 December 2017

'I'm sorry ... it's over for me, I deserved the sack' - Myers

Sunday Times columnist Kevin Myers apologised for his offensive article on Sean O’Rourke’s RTÉ Radio One show. Photo: RTE Radio One/PA
Sunday Times columnist Kevin Myers apologised for his offensive article on Sean O’Rourke’s RTÉ Radio One show. Photo: RTE Radio One/PA

Kathy Armstrong

Journalist Kevin Myers has apologised for writing a hugely offensive article and insisted that he is not anti-Semitic or misogynistic.

The columnist admitted that he deserved to be sacked for writing the piece in the 'Sunday Times' and took responsibility for what he wrote.

However, he said that "five or six people" read the piece at the 'Sunday Times'.

Speaking on Sean O'Rourke's RTÉ Radio One show, Mr Myers said: "'It's over for me professionally, as far as I can see. I am really, really sorry."

An emotional Mr Myers apologised profusely for the column that appeared three days ago, which saw the newspaper forced to apologise for causing "offence to Jewish people".

"It was stupid of me, the encapsulation of such a complex issue in a single sentence," he said. "One of my flaws is to deal with major issues with throwaway lines."

BBC presenters Vanessa Feltz (left) and Claudia Winkleman. Photo: PA
BBC presenters Vanessa Feltz (left) and Claudia Winkleman. Photo: PA

Mr Myers, whose columns have regularly courted controversy, also said that he believed his journalistic career is "over".

"I'm not sure if there's any redemption for me now, which will give a lot of people satisfaction," he said.

He said he believed that "five or six" other people would have overseen the column - some in Dublin and some in London - before it went to print.

"A number of people nodded on duty and let something through that shouldn't have gone through," he said, adding that he felt he was the "author of his own misfortune" and took responsibility.

Under the headline 'Sorry ladies, equal pay has to be earned', Mr Myers wrote on Sunday: "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'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 the marketplace."

Mr Myers yesterday denied he is anti-Semitic, or that he is misogynistic - while also saying that he doesn't believe in equality. In the article he claimed that men are more ambitious, work harder, get sick less often, have more charisma - and are less likely to get pregnant.

Mr Myers said of the column: "It's not misogynistic, I am a critic of political feminism but I'm not a misogynist.

"That (misogyny) is a term that I don't think you would have used about me in other circumstances, it's a simple way of labelling someone so that you don't have to listen to what they have to say," he said. "I do believe men and women behave very differently and men are driven by ambition and urges that women won't/don't have, generally speaking.

"I don't believe in equality."

Ms Feltz herself voiced outrage at the content of the article. A spokesperson for Claudia Winkleman declined to comment. Mr Myers yesterday apologised to both women.

Irish Independent

Promoted Links

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Promoted Links

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News