It’s the most devastating line in Lynn Hirschberg’s explosive M.I.A. takedown: “‘I kind of want to be an outsider,’ she said, eating a truffle-flavored French fry.” But is this the first time Hirschberg has resorted to potato-based trickery in the Times? No, it is not! Dave Rawkblog notices that her profile on Megan Fox from last November also includes quotes that happened between bites of truffled French fries — and a search of the Times’ archives reveals that Hirschberg has a long history of using pommes frites to her journalistic advantage.
Sean Penn (December 27, 1998):
The food arrives, and, to his dismay, they’ve put tomatoes on his grilled-cheese sandwich. He picks at the french fries, takes only one bite of the sandwich, but will not send it back. ”Too bad,” he says. ”I was actually looking forward to that.”
Bob Berney (December 19, 2004):
”’Whale Rider’ was my first acquisition at Newmarket,” Berney said, as he ate a French fry.
Megan Fox (November 11, 2009):
“He’s wandering in the desert,” Fox explained, as she ate half a French fry, “and he comes across a traveling circus. I’m part of the freak show. I play a winged girl. I have bird wings that sprouted out of my back during puberty. And I’m on display. Guys pay money to look at me, and Mickey and I have a tragic love story.”
In conclusion: If you should ever find yourself the subject of a Hirschberg profile, order the baked potato.