“Let me say from the outset; I'm with Bishop Richard Williamson on this. 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, yet their utterance could get me thrown in the slammer in half the countries of the EU”. So opined one Kevin Myers in an Irish Independent column back in 2009.
Kevin Myers - Holocaust denial welcome at the Murdoch press
Yes, it could get him thrown in the slammer, but, on the bright side, Holocaust denial could also get him a platform in the Murdoch press to peddle a not unrelated line in hate speech. This is despite Myers having a most unfortunate track record, one which included dropping the Irish Times in the mire when he described the children of single parents as “bastards” as recently as 2005. He later apologised. But only after causing significant grief.
And for any followers of The Prophet who might feel left out, Myers also has form on that front, asserting last year - in the Murdoch Sunday Times - “I defend my right to express doubts freely about Islam … Most Muslim societies are either a tyranny or racked by violence”. Myers is clearly an equal opportunity bigot.
So it was that Myers waded into the aftermath of revelations about what the BBC pays its “top talent”, which was initially merely patronising: “Sorry, ladies [!] - equal pay has to be earned” read the headline, with the obligatory Beeb bashing sub-heading “The row over presenters’ salaries sums up the dysfunctional BBC”. But there was no dysfunction in the Murdoch press, oh no. And then he went in with both feet.
“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 who negotiated the pay for the women on the lower scales, then maybe the latter have found their true value”.
And there you have it - nailed-on anti-Semitism, laced with sneering misogyny. The only imponderable is how the piece got past the Sunday Times’ sub-editors and editors. Either there weren’t any - which, for what is still claimed to be a paper of record, in inexcusable - or it was waved through by them, which is arguably far worse.
Moreover, anti-Semitism from the Murdoch mafiosi is not a new thing: Rupert Murdoch got himself into all sorts of trouble not so long ago when his Twitter attempt to snark at the New York Times - “Why is Jewish owned press so consistently anti-Israel in every crisis?” - even forced an apology from The Great Man. The gaffe was doubly clumsy: Arthur Sulzberger, at whom it was aimed, was raised as an Episcopalian Christian.
The Murdoch tendency to anti-Semitism all too often gets a free pass. It should not have, and must never do in future. And firing Kevin Myers would be a positive start.