The Sun’s Kelvin MacKenzie is churning out some top quality discrimination material recently.
Last Monday he took to his column to express his disbelief when, after tuning in to Channel Four News he found to his utter horror, Fatima Manji presenting.
MacKenzie had a problem with Manji - who is a Muslim journalist who wears the hijab - reporting on the Nice massacre, given, he claims, that it was an attack with “religious motivations.”
Was it appropriate for her to be on camera when there had been yet another shocking slaughter by a Muslim?
The column received over 2,000 Independent Press Standards Organisation (Ipso) complaints as people all over Britain struggled to understand his questionably sound logic. Channel 4 responded in a statement:
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 pulled off a magnificent double troll by a) writing for the Liverpool Echo and b) echoing MacKenzie's infamous Hillsborough front page:
ITN News and Manji submitted complaints to Ipso too.
And now, MacKenzie is threatening to make an official complaint too.
I will be looking at making a formal complaint to Ofcom under the section of the broadcasting code which deals with impartiality.
Since the question of religious motivation was central to the coverage of the Nice attack, I would ask whether it is appropriate for a newsreader to wear religious attire that could undermine the viewer's perception of impartiality.
Ironically, his piece included the following gem:
A Muslim woman does have a choice.
Of course she does: She can choose to let someone else define her faith and how to express it.