M.I.A. throws a tantrum, tweets NYT reporter’s phone number


So M.I.A. is still giving crazy interviews. And when reporters simply transcribe the crazy, M.I.A. throws a childish tantrum and tweets their actual phone number. Case in point: M.I.A. was interviewed by Lynn Hirschberg for the New York Times in a piece calling “M.I.A.’s Agitprop Pop”. Clever. Anyway, there’s a lot of politics in the interview, as there was in her recent Complex Magazine interview. M.I.A. drops lines like, “And my giving birth is nothing when I think about all the people in Sri Lanka that have to give birth in a concentration camp.” She also says that the Los Angeles Sinhalese community was harassing her after she began to speak out on Sri Lankan issues, saying, “We went to the Grammys, we had the baby and we bought the house… A month later, all this stuff was happening in Sri Lanka… and I started speaking up against it. And then, within a month, I found out my house was being bugged, my phones were being tapped and my e-mails were being hacked into. I was getting death threats, like ‘hope your baby dies.’ The biggest Sinhalese community is in Santa Monica, people who are sworn enemies of the Tamils, which is me.”

There’s more stuff in the piece, but suffice to say, M.I.A. did not appreciate being quoted, I suppose. So she tweeted Hirschberg’s phone number (which I’m not going to print) with the message “CALL ME IF YOU WANNA TALK TO ME ABOUT THE NYT TRUTH ISSUE, ill be taking calls all days bitches.” As Gawker notes, “The poor writer is probably being besieged by confused fauxhemians right now and will have to screen her calls for months or change her number. It would be really awesome if Hirschberg retaliated by Tweeting M.I.A.’s number, but we have a feeling that there are still people out there with some tact.

By the way, would anyone like another taste of M.I.A.’s crazy? From her Complex Mag interview (the one where she kind of says Jay-Z is a sell-out)… here is M.I.A.’s thoughts on Google:

“Google is the most powerful corporation in the world, and why do you think that is? It’s ’cause they log the most data and they collect the most information and that’s the thing that everyone’s gonna want and that’s the thing that no one’s gonna have. That’s what it’s about and it’s important to tell people in the street or poor people to arm themselves with knowledge ’cause that sh-t’s a commodity… America’s not raising its generations saying, “Knowledge is currency.” Corporations are raising themselves saying, “Knowledge is currency, and we’re gonna collect it all.” And the people are not being told that. Do you get that from watching My Super Sweet 16 or reality TV, that they’re trying to tell the masses that it’s about knowledge? No. You can Google the words “Sri Lanka” and it doesn’t come up that all these people have been murdered or bombed, it’s pages of: “Come to Sri Lanka on vacation, there are beautiful beaches.” You’re not gonna get the truth ’til you hit like page 56, you know what I mean? When Ikhyd goes on the Internet and taps in some words, he’s gonna get exactly what they want him to get.”

[From Complex Magazine]

I know what point she’s trying to make – about media and corporations and who controls the news, et cetera. And Google does do some sketchy sh-t (and I say that knowing that we have Google ads – MY BAD GOOGLE GODS). But to call Google “the most powerful corporation in the world”? How limited is her scope? That’s kind of the point of the NYT piece too – Hirschberg quotes Ahilan Kadirgamar, the spokesperson for the Sri Lanka Democracy Forum, at length and his point seems to be overwhelmingly that M.I.A. is out-of-touch and lacking in a wide-ranging comprehension of the vastness of Sri Lankan politics specifically and international politics in general. At one point he says: “People in exile tend to be more nationalistic… And Maya took a very simplistic explanation of the problems between Sri Lanka’s Sinhalese government and the Tamils. It’s very unfair when you condemn one side of this conflict. The Tigers were killing people, and the government was killing people. It was a brutal war, and M.I.A. had a role in putting the Tigers on the map. She doesn’t seem to know the complexity of what these groups do.” Probably because at this point, she’s just the wife/fiancee of a billionaire’s son who spends her days drinking wine with reporters from the New York Times?


Photos courtesy of The NYT.

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28 Responses to “M.I.A. throws a tantrum, tweets NYT reporter’s phone number”

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  1. Oi says:

    She’s just like all the rest of the celebrity politicians: she is overly simplistic and opportunistic about politics. She needs to stop and think before she gets into some very serious trouble. Or just plain stop. That works for me too.

  2. Iris says:

    She’s another stupid brat that thinks herself politically important. I miss the days when celebrities didn’t dabble in politics. Or talk.

  3. Jackson says:

    I’m sorry. Who is she?? Actually, I don’t care.

  4. Whitey Fisk says:

    Oh, dear. I love her music, love her take on things, but c’mon, we’re all adults here MIA. If you feel you’ve been misrepresented there are ways to address that without pulling such a silly stunt.

    As for the Google nonsense, I think she’s saying that Google is the most powerful corporation in the world despite not being the largest or most lucrative simply because they own such a wealth of information.

    Re: receiving treats, I’m not conviced some nutbags threatened to kill her baby because she is Tamil. It seems possible that it’s simply because she’s a politically outspoken celebrity. I wonder if the threats came from rednecks rather than American Sinhalese.

    As for her overzealous representation of one side of the political warfare in Sri Lanka, I do think she has done the Tamils some service by giving them a face and a voice. Tamils have endured tremendous violence, although of course the Tamil Tigers have committed a huge number of violent acts as well.

    Anyway, back to Google, search results on Google can certainly be skewed – that’s why you should always start with Wikipedia, my friends!

  5. WTF?!? says:

    Never heard of her. And that Jaws dress is ridiculous.

  6. CandyKay says:

    I highly doubt American rednecks have much interest in threatening M.I.A. They have plenty of domestic political issues to get excited about these days, and most probably have never heard of Sri Lanka, or her.

  7. Sarah says:

    I’m not sure I know who she is so I’m really not concerned with what she has to say.

  8. Keilo_Jr says:

    Says MIA, whos only exposure to the volence in Srilanka is bias media and hearsay whilst sitting atop her high chair in England, thinking shes the voice of the tamils. I am Srilankan and have seen first hand the destruction the LTTE caused not only to sinhalese but fellow tamils in colombo.

    “The biggest Sinhalese community is in Santa Monica, people who are sworn enemies of the Tamils, which is me.”

    Absolute bullshit, I have many many tamil friends living it up in the heart of sinhalese community…hell..Tamils were celebrating and lighting fireworks in the streets on news of the LTTE leaders death….dosent that say something?
    Nasty misinformed bitch….ask someone who was there for the whole 30 year war fool.

    Oh yeh…im not even sinhalese…….

  9. sdcs says:

    well, in fairness to google-people BUY their spot on the google search engine.
    You know, search optimization???
    Just like celebi*tchy and other blogs-some are higher in both popularity and search results, than others. Owing to paying for your optomization, links with other blogs and websites, and search popularity.

    Betcha people are looking for sri lanka beach vacations cuz someone told them about it, more than they are looking at tamil rebels. not that people don’t care; but, hey, we cannot constantly be researching the horrific happenings on the planet-we could do that 24/7 and still not know all that’s happening on the planet.

    OH,and probably tourism boards and websites are spending more money to have higher hits on google than, say, a small NGO that deals with the conflict.

    So, to say that this is the big brother google’s manipulation of our minds, is not entirely true.

    whatever-i’ve lived in africa for an extended time, and there are lots of tamil expats in east africa; i’m friends with a few….it’s like anything else-two sides to a story, and good and lame people exist everywhere, in every group.

    I think this MIA chick wants attention and publicity, personally. I didn’t know who she was until very recently, despite seeing her mentioned here and there-i didnt care enough to GOOGLE her, that’s for sure. LOL
    Still don’t….

  10. Kayla says:

    Didn’t like her to start, liked her a whole less when that little stunt-y Born Free video came out, and now? Come on, act your age. Or any age above 17, really, would also be acceptable.

  11. badrockandroll says:

    She is not some naive dilettante wife of a gazillionaire, and she is not just any Tamil. Her version of the truth is definitely flavoured by who her father is. This probably explains the expat Sinhalese interest in her, and she’s probably p!ssed at Google because it reveals how much of her money has been channeled to the LTTE. Can’t stand her politics, but inexplicably, I rather like her music.

  12. Lady Nightshade says:

    I used to think she was really cool and authentic, but now I think her head is too big. The whole dating the billionaire is a little too Selma Hyack sellout for me

    FYI – she is a Sri Lankan war refugee, who makes some cool music (she did most of the Slumdog Millionaire soundtrack)

  13. Crash2GO2 says:

    Lady Nightshade, thanks so much for the heads up. I couldn’t think why in the world this woman was famous. Or – rather a child. For she looks and acts like one.

    Mercy me.

  14. Strawberry says:

    Keilo_Jr: you’re probably much better versed at this than I am, but I don’t think she’s been one-sided. Just representing her ethnic group, however misguided it may be?

    Still like her music, but yah keep your trap shut unless you have a phD in International Relations or actually lived through the conflict.

  15. eggy weggs says:

    Eh. No one would listen to her if she wasn’t pretty. I like her music, kinda, but it’s just repackaged electroclash with a political tilt. And yeah, her aesthetic is interesting, but I’m pretty sure she just ripped off Junior Senior, Peaches and some lesser known acts for that ’80s look.

  16. Katija says:

    Tweeting a reporter’s phone number is childish and trashy.

  17. kim says:

    so glad i don’t know who this bitch is!!!!

  18. Aidan Cole says:

    Was Hirschberg a bit underhanded? Sure. She even got lazy and used the same discrediting tactic she just used on Megan Fox (future interviewees had best stay away from truffle fries). But she also generated a hilarious meme currently being carried out on Twitter by two of pop’s funniest loudmouths. And in the end, isn’t that all that really matters?

  19. Mistral says:

    Not cool to tweet the reporter’s phone number.

    She’s right on about the knowledge is power rant, and who is controlling that currency.

    As for her not having a right to speak–everyone has a right to speak. People should just try to be as informed as possible about things when formulating opinions.

    Her opinions on the whole Tamil issue obviously come from being a Tamil and still having family in Sri Lanka. She is her father’s daughter, of course she is political! He founded a Tamil political party, I think.

  20. Jeff says:

    I just want to make it clear to the public.. this woman is a horrible musician even though she made some interesting videos. She’s Ugly, look at her nose, gross!!

  21. jc126 says:

    I don’t know much about Sri Lankan politics, but I was willing to give this woman’s um…intensity…a bit of a pass because I thought she might have seen some horrible things and was traumatized.
    But revealing a reporter’s phone number is just totally assy. So now I think she’s just nutty.
    And the whole “I could be in labor in a concentration camp” – it’s pointless and tiresome to endlessly play the “it could be worse” game.

  22. badrockandroll says:

    Mistral: the party her daddy led is called the LTTE. You can Google it. Under his leadership, it honed the fine art of recruiting children for suicide bombings. Just as long as they weren’t redheads, I guess.

  23. Mistral says:


    suicide bombing/child soldiers = not cool

    what i really know about the Sri Lanka situation = nada. are any of those allegations true or not, i don’t pretend to know.

    my point isn’t about whether or not her political views/affiliations are good or bad, in the right or in the wrong.

    i just think it is silly for people to say she doesn’t know what she is talking about and doesn’t have a right to speak. she isn’t some outside observer looking in, or some person who watches the nightly news and thinks they can now form an objective/educated opinion.

    She is obviously firmly embedded in her Tamil community and invested in her particular Tamil politics. So, when she speaks, it should be looked at as part of a wider political debate. She should be engaged in debate, not silenced.

  24. cara says:

    It’s sucks…I used to enjoy to run to her music, but after the last election when this moron said she’s never entering our country again if McCain wins…I’ve blocked her out. Thankfully, now others are seeing her for what she is……a class A Moron.

  25. Bina says:

    Sorry, but it wasn’t M.I.A. that did the Slumdog Millionaire soundtrack. That was Indian composer A. R. Rahman, and he won an Academy award for it. M.I.A. collaborated on one song which was nominated for Best Song and contributed another for it which was not.

  26. zap says:

    Hirschberg has a reputation going back to the start of the 90s .
    this is what she does and is known for thats why many pr people avoid her

  27. Nibbi says:

    Actually, I don’t think any of the stuff she is saying is so “crazy.” Perhaps she’s simply better informed/ has a very personal slant on some of this stuff that makes her feel very involved and ppl are surprised at this.
    It ticks me off when ppl with opinions are labelled as “crazy.” Frankly, if ppl don”t think Google is one of the most powerful corporations in the world today, they haven’t been reading very much in the news these days. For example, there is currently a lot of stuff in the news about its “accidental” collection of all kinds of personal data in Europe and its recent refusal to turn over this data to governmental regulators concerned about intrusions on their citizens’ privacy. There is also all that stuff about Google books and its potential freaky control of ridiculous amounts of digital information.

    The Tweet stunt is plain stupid and not to her credit, tho.

  28. Emmy says:

    It’s very interesting post, keep posting !