The Foreign Desk
There’s a classic episode of South Park which revolves around a simple observation: while racism against African Americans, or Latinos, or Native Americans has become firmly unacceptable, mainstream US culture can be surprisingly tolerant of discrimination against people who happen to boast a foreign nationality.
I was reminded of this satirical trumph (which you can watch [...]
Earlier this year, Sir David Frost announced to much fanfare that he was to executive-produce a remake of the classic WW2 movie Dambusters, in conjunction with the Director, Producer and all round film mogul Peter Jackson.
A full-scale replica of a Lancaster bomber was built. Stephen Fry was brought in to write the script, and many [...]
It was at a July 4 party at the US Embassy in Delhi this summer when I met Joel Elliott, a young award-winning American journalist who had just arrived in the city. He was young and friendly and was doing his best to manage with the power-cuts and the stinking heat of the Indian summer. [...]
Just back from ten days in Pakistan and clearing out the accumulated detritus in my wallet, I came across two "loyalty cards" from a coffee shop in the capital Islamabad. One was completed, the other was half way to redeeming a free cup of coffee – a reflection of the fact that I spent a [...]
Mr Michael Moore is a very great documentary maker; possibly the best that Hollywood has ever seen. His Oscar-winning ability to weave heart-rending anecdote into a multi-layered narrative is enhanced, to my mind, by a truly admirable concern for the common man. He stands for fairness; for political and social justice. His films, without exception, [...]
Whichever way you look at it, the past few weeks have been tricky for the Church of Scientology’s normally-smooth PR machine.
First, a trial in the Bahamas reignited public controversy over celebrity member John Travolta’s late son Jett, whose death was connected to autism – a psychological condition that the Church claims doesn’t actually exist.
Then hatchet-merchant [...]
As you can probably imagine in these days of online interconnectivity, a journalist without their laptop is about as much use as soldier without their gun or a pastry chef without their butter – pretty much useless. So last week when I was in the sacred Indian city of Varanasi reporting on the remarkable, centuries-old [...]
If you fancy a jaw-dropping insight into the paranoid excesses of both the Hollywood PR machine and Rupert Murdoch’s media empire, try reading this account of journalist John Ortved’s dealings with the channel behind The Simpsons.
A few years back, Mr Ortved wrote about the hit cartoon series for Vanity Fair. More recently, he authorised an unauthorised history of [...]
Another day, another distasteful attempt to extract cash from Michael Jackson’s death ends in the hands of lawyers.
Not 24 hours after they released his new, final single “This is it,” the late singer’s estate has been forced to admit that the song isn’t actually new. And it wasn’t entirely Jackson’s work either.
Instead,the track was co-written with the [...]
It’s an article of faith among the collection of Hollywood liberals and French people lobbying for the release of Roman Polanski (above) that the film director only skipped the USA prior to sentencing in his 1977 child sex abuse trial because he had been the victim of a horiffic mistrial.
Central to their argument is a [...]
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