Our thanks to Martin for this piece in the International Business Times (IBT). Ella Whelan has written numerous insightful articles for spiked, and it seems that holding Anti-Life views (in relation to the unborn, anyway) is obligatory for that site’s writers. Other than that, a good article, and I’m particularly heartened to see it published by IBT.
In March 2015 I was commissioned by IBT to provide some balance in their output of pieces about gender-related matters. I would be free to write on any matters I wished, in a fortnightly column.
The website already had two British feminist commentators on gender-related matters including Laura Bates of The Everyday Sexism Project, twice a winner of our ‘Lying Feminist of the Month’ awards. To the best of my knowledge, this was the first time that an anti-feminist MRA anywhere in the world had been given a regular platform by a mainstream media outlet.
I was commissioned with an open-ended contract, and I was looking forward to providing pieces for years to come. I decided to start with what I considered uncontroversial pieces. The first was on gender balance in corporate boardrooms, the second on suicide, the leading cause of death of men under 50 in the UK.
A few days after the publication of the second article, I received the following email from my Commissioning Editor at IBT:
Hi Mike, I hope all’s good with you.
We’ve had a chat as a senior editorial group and unfortunately we think it’s best to terminate the relationship we have with you.
Your articles for us have been balanced and backed by evidence, which is fine. But we realise you have courted controversy for other articles you have written, and we feel this isn’t the best image for the IBT brand going forward.
Please understand that we will continue to seek balance in our coverage of gender issues, and we will keep a close eye on the progress of J4MB. We may well be interested in doing an interview with you in the lead-up to May’s election.
You will, of course, be paid in full for what you have written for us.
I hope you understand our position on this, and, if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to raise them with me. Good luck for the election.
A few days after receiving this email, I learned that IBT had introduced ‘balance’ against their two (female) feminist commentators by recruiting Ally Fogg, a (male) feminist Guardian columnist.
Our Wikipedia page is incorrect about the reason IBT cancelled my contract. It states:
J4MB is the only political party in the English-speaking world campaigning for the human rights of men and boys on many fronts.[peacock term] It is also the only anti-feminist political party in the English-speaking world and has become the subject of controversy in the British media, having been covered in articles and in television, radio and print interviews. This led to the commissioning of Mike Buchanan as a columnist by the International Business Times, the relationship was terminated because his submitted (but unpublished) articles courted controversy… [my emphasis]
At the time of the contract cancellation there were no submitted (but unpublished) articles, and I had not yet decided what the topics of ensuing articles would be. It seems unlikely that the cancellation was the result of anything other than feminist protests at even one anti-feminist MRA in the world having a regular media platform.
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