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M.I.A. feuds with New York Times reporter over unflattering article

Sri Lankan hip-hopper M.I.A. really has it in for a New York Times reporter who wrote an unflattering article about her, going so far as writing a song about the offending journalist and posting her phone number on Twitter. What do you expect from a singer who has songs that use gunshots as percussion?

The New York Daily News says M.I.A.'s I'm a Singer (listen below) is aimed squarely at the Times' Lynn Hirschberg, who wrote about M.I.A. in the paper's Sunday magazine, saying the artist downplayed the bloody ethnic conflict raging in her native Sri Lanka and supported the Tamil Tigers. "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," the song goes. Catchy.

Hirshberg also wrote about M.I.A.'s apparently lavish lifestyle and engagement to Ben Brewer (nee Ben Bronfman), the son of a recording executive and heir to the Seagram fortune. The Times piece also stated her son Ikhyd was not born in a pool of water at home, but rather at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in L.A., contrary to her repeated statements.

Enraged, the singer, a.k.a. Maya Arulpragasam, took to her Twitter feed, @_M_I_A_, to post to her fans, "917.834.3158 CALL ME IF YOU WANNA TALK TO ME ABOUT THE N Y T TRUTH ISSUE, ill b taking calls all day bitches ;)"

Hirschberg was not happy about the tweet, telling the New York Observer, "It's a fairly unethical thing to do, but I don't think it's surprising. She's a provocateur, and provocateurs want to be provocative."

More surprising to us is that some marginally talented singer can sit down and discuss the massacre of villagers by a separatist group or her supposed hardscrabble upbringing with a reporter and not think it's going to be written about -- especially when every one of her songs has a political message. Have the cake or eat it, Maya; you can't do both.

[Photo: Getty Images] 

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[Last modified: Tuesday, July 6, 2010 10:45am]


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