Friday, May 28, 2010

When Eating Food and Giving Quotes

New Yorker on Andrew Breitbart:
I just feel like I am one of these Idaho guys saying, ‘You’re not taking my land’—with a gun, on my porch,” Breitbart told me one evening. He was sitting in the bar of the Bowery Hotel, in Manhattan, drinking white wine from a glass that was being refilled by a slim waitress in a black wrap dress.
New York Times on M.I.A.:
Unity holds no allure for Maya — she thrives on conflict, real or imagined. “I kind of want to be an outsider,” she said, eating a truffle-flavored French fry. “I don’t want to make the same music, sing about the same stuff, talk about the same things. If that makes me a terrorist, then I’m a terrorist.”

Is this a legitimate journalistic tactic? In both cases, the context of the interview undermines the sentiment being communicated. We're supposed to chuckle at Breitbart who thinks he's just 'one of these Idaho guys,' while sitting at a chic bar drinking wine. M.I.A. boldly calls herself a terrorist while she eats truffle-flavored French fries. The contrast of imagery is jarring, but is it necessarily false? Can't a terrorist eat truffle-flavored French fries? Can't a gun-toting land defender drink wine in a fancy bar? (lol.)