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Paper Monitor

13:01 UK time, Thursday, 17 September 2009

A service highlighting the riches of the daily press.

Are some stories just too complex to relate?

The Middle East conflict, with its decades of twists and turns, claims and counter-claims; the seemingly opaque machinations of the Watergate scandal; Ulrika's love life - they may have tested the mettle of the finest journalistic minds, but they haven't defeated them.

Indeed, the competent hack takes pride in his/her ability to take a gluey web of complex information and untangle it into a single silk thread of prose as straight and undeviating as the Eyre highway.

But then came the story, in today's Guardian, of the Toronto International Film Festival spat. A row at a festival called Tiff? Well, yes, although the Guardian seems to overlook this gift of a pun, preferring to plunge headfirst into a thicket of events that makes the Borneo rainforest look like the Atacama desert.

As far as Paper Monitor can make out, the story seems to be that actor/political activist Jane Fonda, veteran protester against America's war in Vietnam and Iraq, has refused to sign an open letter protesting against Tiff's decision to spotlight the artistic achievements of the Israeli city of Tel Aviv, thereby refusing to join the likes of Ken Loach, Julie Christie and Harry Belafonte, who are backing the protest.

Instead, Fonda has put her name to a protest against the protest - thereby joining the likes of Lenny Kravitz, Natalie Portman and Jerry Seinfeld, who, in their creative wisdom, also chose the medium of an "open letter" to express their displeasure at those who had expressed displeasure.

That's not to say the anti-protest protesters wholeheartedly support the Israeli state, you understand. Rather, they support Tiff's decision, believing it is an endorsement of Tel Aviv as a creative and cosmopolitan city.

No wonder most of the press have decided not to touch the tale, preferring, as Metro does, to simply test claims that Heinz's new German baked beans don't match up to their (iconic?) British counterparts?

The verdict, from Metro's tester-in-chief Susana Vega (yes, you read it right): "The sauce is a lot more watery and is a much paler, watery-looking colour..."

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