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Tuesday 12 December 2017

'Controversial column was stupid, I deserved to be sacked' - Myers

Kevin Myers, pictured in RTE’s studios speaking to Sean O’Rourke, admits he deserved the sack over the column. Photo: PA
Kevin Myers, pictured in RTE’s studios speaking to Sean O’Rourke, admits he deserved the sack over the column. Photo: PA

Embattled journalist Kevin Myers has insisted he is not anti-Semitic - but admitted he deserved to be sacked for writing his hugely controversial Sunday Times column.

Mr Myers apologised profusely for the article, published two days, ago after the newspaper was 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 told RTE's Sean O'Rourke. "One of my flaws is to deal with major issues with throwaway lines."

Mr Myers, whose columns have regularly courted controversy, also said 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.

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

Misfortune

"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", 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."

However, he denied he is anti-Semitic, nor 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.

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

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