This is the full version of my article on the Jeremy Clarkson debate, published last month in the International New York Times. (I cannot contractually publish the full article on Pandaemonium until a month after it is published on the NYT.)
The middle-aged presenter of a British TV show about cars has been suspended by the BBC for allegedly hitting his producer during a ‘fracas’. Big deal, you might think; hardly global news. Except that, for many people, the suspension last week of Jeremy Clarkson, the controversial presenter of the BBC’s Top Gear program, is a big deal. A million people have signed an online petition demanding that the BBC reinstate Mr Clarkson. The story dominated news in Britain, and made headlines across the world — and here I am writing about it for the New York Times.
But then Top Gear is a very peculiar cultural phenomenon. What…
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