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Channel 4 Film on Sri Lankan war causes war of tweets between singer MIA and journalist Anderson Cooper

By Claudine Zap

Take one CNN journalist. Mix in M.I.A., the Tamil Tigers, and the Super Bowl middle finger incident, and you’ve got yourself a good old-fashioned Twitter feud. Let us explain.

MIA Tweets picture of “#KillingFields” trending on twitter in UK on the night of Mar 14th

It all started with the British performer M.I.A., who took to Twitter to promote a documentary on Britain’s Channel 4, “Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields.”

Innocent enough. But then she dragged in Anderson Cooper. Out of nowhere (sort of), the controversial indie rocker accused the TV reporter by tweeting: “someone should make @AndersonCooper watch it / film it and show the world what happens when respected journos get it wrong.”

Then the rocker dug in: “@AndersonCooper called me a terrorist for speaking out, and expressed support for the SLgov when this was happening.”

Cooper, who seems to enjoy tweeting about topics that range from the killings in Syria to Miss Piggy to “The Good Wife,” seemed genuinely surprised by the Twitter bomb. “What are you talking about?” he tweeted back. “You are mistaken. I never called you a terrorist.” Then he threw down this zinger: “I don’t even know who you are other than the lady who sang at superbowl…By the way, I defended your finger pointing at the superbowl, so check your facts. I’ve no idea what youre tweeting about.”

M.I.A. came back with: “in 2009 u linked to a articl that was written about me with false info. there was a rebuttal on ur 360 site…2 months later 1ce every tamil had been silenced including me, the SLGOV carried out the killing of 40, 000 civilians.”

The silver-haired talk show host then let loose some mad journalism skills on her. He responded, “you’ve gone from saying ‘I wrote’, ‘I called you,’ to saying my cnn show blog had a link to an article. Big difference…we link to many articles with different viewpoints, and we gave you an opportunity to respond. I can understand your frustration if someone wrote untrue things about you, and I’m glad you were able to respond.”

The two seemed to both come to a middle ground, with Cooper conceding:

“the brutal war in SL has not gotten enough coverage in the US, and I know that’s very upsetting.” M.I.A. added, “im glad u understand but please watch #killingfield because this is what i was trying to say.” She added, “p.s thank you for defending my finger.”
And scene. courtesy: Yahoo! TV

Related Tweets via twitter.com/MIAUniverse


  1. Pingback: Sri Lanka: War On Twitter Between Celebrities · Global Voices

  2. MIA purposely did every thing. She just wanted Anderson Cooper to watch the documentary and give it more publicity. she started a fake fight.

  3. Mathangi better fight British government which still export arms worth of 3 million pounds to Sri Lanka. Then she will know the heat from the British!

    She is not prepared to fight against GUN PRODUCTION.

  4. There is nothing wrong with MIA, as an individual, specially with roots in Sri Lanka, having an opinion on the political and humanitarian fiasco going on in that country.

    Her views deserve respect, specially when the facts and hence the truth is so twisted and maligned.

    As a Tamil, I would find it hard to dissociate myself from her perspective.

    Was Anderson Cooper in any way guilty of MIA’s allegations, is an exercise I wouldn’t want to indulge in. But, CNN – and that includes AC 360 – has not done justice to the People of Sri Lanka. The size of the country should have nothing to do with the way in which CNN covered / covers the crisis in Sri Lanka.

    CNN is a WW news service. The dimension of what happened / happens in Sri Lanka calls for better coverage than that what CNN offers.

    If MIA’s outbursts could achieve this balance, I have no hesitation taking my hat off to her.

  5. M.Sivananthan says, ‘Mathangi better fight British government, – Then she will know the heat from the British!’

    Frankly, what has that got to do with MIA’s squabble with Anderson Cooper.. pray, say. Do not drag in MIA into your pettiness.

  6. Without any amount of publicity this will end like a massacre in an unnamed african suburb.

    p.s-She lived in a war and she knows better than a white journalist.

  7. wow this is exactly what happened here.These are very few.Who ever managed to video had this chance to forward.But how many incidents happened without evidence? What a shameless country is this?We are shame to be Sinhalese.

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