How can you edit a paper if you don’t read it?

James Doleman’s Twitter account is providing an unintentionally hilarious account of Katherine O’Donnell’s employment tribunal.

Today, Times editor John Witherow is giving evidence. A pattern appears to be emerging.

Counsel for the complainant presents to the court another Times article, a “self-identification,” of gender. This refers to the Soham Murderer, Ian Huntley, and suggests he was transitioning his gender. This, the lawyer said was false, “I didn’t know that,” Witherow replies

Asked about an article that suggested the gender question was to be removed from the census, Witherow replied he didn’t know the article. So couldn’t comment on its accuracy

Next Times headline Refer to pregnant people not women government suggests to UN.” Counsel points out the government said this was not true, “it was a suggestion” Witherow replies.

The lawyer from the complainant asked the witness about a joke about Transgender people in the Times, “these things had been written about a black person you would have sent it back,” she says “It probably shouldn’t have went in,” Witherow replies.

Next piece referred to was: “Trans women using the swimming pond in Hampstead heath were driving women away.” Counsel suggested that this was not accurate, “thats your assertion, I don’t know if its right or wrong,” the witness replied.

The court was then shown another article: “Transgender row over sleeper train cabins.” The source was a post on Mumsnet, “from someone who hasn’t used the sleeper,” counsel says.
Witherow: ““I don’t think this is the finest piece of journalism The Times has published, if I had seen it I would have spiked it.”

You’d think the editor might be aware of the content of some of the paper’s more prominent exclusives. He’s also quick to defend columnists’ lurid allegations, such as trans people “sacrificing children”, as opinion rather than deliberate scaremongering.

But for me, one particular exchange sums up the problem with trans reporting at The Times and Sunday Times: it’s relentlessly one-sided. It rushes to publish even the flimsiest allegation about trans people and doesn’t care when the allegations are proven to be fictitious and/or malicious.

Counsel then notes The Times did report a case where a researcher on trans issues had his thesis rejected and went to the High Court for judicial review. “His case was dismissed without merit, did you know that?” Counsel asked.

“We reported it,” Witherow replies.

“You didn’t report the result,” counsel retorted.



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