Fatima Manji just trolled Kelvin McKenzie and the Sun hard by writing 'the truth' for the Liverpool Echo

Bethan McKernan@mck_beth
Wednesday 20 July 2016 12:20
news

A Kelvin MacKenzie column in Monday's Sun has been the subject of more than 1,400 complaints for criticising a presenter who wore a hijab while reporting on the Nice attack.

Fatima Manji was rota'd to present Channel 4's evening news bulletin on Friday, while regular anchor John Snow went to Nice.

The former Sun editor, however, found this unacceptable.

"Why did Channel 4 have a presenter in a hijab fronting coverage of Muslim terror in Nice?", the headline asked:

Was it appropriate for [Fatima Manji] to be on camera when there had been yet another shocking slaughter by a Muslim? Was it done to stick one in the eye of the ordinary viewer who looks at the hijab as a sign of the slavery of Muslim women by a male-dominated and clearly violent religion?

The article prompted outrage. Channel 4 News said in a statement:

[The comments are] offensive, completely unacceptable, and arguably tantamount to inciting religious and even racial hatred.

It is wrong to suggest that a qualified journalist should be barred from reporting on a particular story or present on a specific day because of their faith.

Manji herself had not spoken publicly about the column.

That is, until yesterday afternoon, when an op-ed in the Liverpool Echo appeared in which Manji wrote that "MacKenzie's smears won't stop me from doing my job".

I was grief-stricken by the massacre in Nice, particularly by the haunting image of a little girl’s corpse laying next to the doll that was once her companion.

Mr MacKenzie seemed to find my appearance on his screen equally horrific: ‘The scenes from Nice shocked audiences around the world, but did the C4 hosts (sic) headress (sic)?’

Mr MacKenzie’s article was but one wild screed in a long-running and widespread campaign to intimidate Muslims out of public life.

MacKenzie, now an executive at the Sun, was in 1989 the editor who oversaw the paper's notorious 'The Truth' Hillsborough front page, which accused Liverpool supporters of fomenting the disaster.

The fabricated story led to a boycott of the paper in Liverpool - so Manji's "world exclusive" for the Liverpool Echo is a well-played trolling exercise.

The last line of her column, referencing the Sun's Hillsborough coverage, is masterful.

THE TRUTH? I confess. I pi**ed on Kelvin MacKenzie’s apparent ambitions to force anyone who looks a little different off our screens, and I’ll keep doing it.

More: No one can quite believe that Sun column about Fatima Manji

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