Monday, 31 July 2017

Retracting MyArse: A Cynical, Censorious Cop-Out

Yesterday's retractions of articles written by Kevin Myers for the Sunday Times and the Irish Independent (8 years after publication in the latter case!) reek of hypocrisy, cynicism, and cowardice.

Myers's piece in the Sunday Times was his typically noxious plat du jour -- a smug, facile, bigoted Colonel Blimp rant. This, in itself, was nothing new, for it has been his stock in trade for decades now. Of course, Myers normally prefers safer, easier targets — single mothersMuslimstravellersgay peoplefeministsetc. The only reason he finally got his comeuppance yesterday is that he just happened to indulge in the "wrong kind" of bigotry and it just happened to go viral.

The subsequent retractions, though, display the worst kind of journalistic cowardice there is. For years, editors at the Irish Independent and at the Sunday Times were quite happy to pay Kevin Myers handsomely for his pseudo-intellectual imitations of Eric Cartman. Yet the moment one of his tiresome tirades kicks off an international Twitterstorm, both newspapers suddenly develop an "editorial ethos" and piously pull his articles from their websites.

This is not just rank hypocrisy  it is a cynical, censorious cop-out. Myers is an obnoxious bigot, but if you're going to hire him and trade on his shock-mongering, then you must publish and be damned. You face the consequences rather than weasel out and retract whenever his bile creates a social media storm that threatens your advertising revenue.
MyArse indeed.

1 comment:

  1. Alfie, as ever sharp and quick out of the traps to confront censorship