Proving that at least one person still cares about print journalism, singer and attempted activist M.I.A. has continued her campaign against journalist Lynn Hirschberg after an interview for The New York Times Magazine.
The Sri-Lankan celebrity was apparently unhappy with the interview, in which Hirschberg juxtaposes M.I.A.’s propensity for truffle-flavored french fries with her “revolutionary activist” image. In response, M.I.A. leaked Hirschberg’s phone number on twitter last week, with the message “CALL ME IF YOU WANNA TALK TO ME ABOUT THE N Y T TRUTH ISSUE, ill b taking calls all day bitches ;)”
Today, the singer responded again by releasing a new song in response to the incident on her label’s website. The slow-paced song, titled “I’m A Singer” seems to target Hirschberg directly with the lines "And the story's always f---ed by the time it hits/ Why the hell would journalists be thick as s---/ Cuz lies equals power equals politics."
M.I.A. also released two clips from the interview on the site, under the heading “War Crimes and French Fries”. In the first clip, labeled “NYT Interviewer”, a person, presumably Hirschberg, greets M.I.A. and asks for an order of french fries, freeing M.I.A from culpability for the bourgeois snack.
In the second, M.I.A. defends her fame and status as the means to an end. "It wasn't about me, and me getting to the Oscars, or me going to the Grammys. That doesn't mean anything. The whole point of that journey was so you can go, 'Hey, 50,000 people are going to die next month, here's your opportunity to help, and no one did. And they still died! It wasn't about accolades or fame."
The singer did not respond to other issues raised by Hirschberg’s article, however, such as the reporter’s debunking of M.I.A’s often inconsistent stories about her father, or her current affluent lifestyle with billionare fiance Ben Bronfman. M.I.A also did not respond to the criticism of Sri-Lankan human rights experts cited in the review, who claim that her support and often-extreme rhetoric “only made the situation worse.”
Hirschberg responded to the press about the leak of her phone number, calling M.I.A.’s actions "infuriating and not surprising. ... She's a provocateur, and provocateurs want to be provocative." She also let the singer know that "The messages have mostly been from people trying to hook up [with M.I.A.] ... If she wants to get together with John at Bard next week, I have his number."