The former “hipster bible” turned Murdoch-funded news empire, has enlisted the former Newsnight presenter to write on the censorship of Guantánamo Bay. Last year, Murdoch's company, 21st Century Fox, bought a five per cent stake in the media brand for $45million.
Paxman joins a number of high-profile names, including Irvine Welsh, John Le Carré and Melvyn Bragg, to write about literature banned in the prison library at the detention camp.
The presenter chooses to discuss the censorship of World War I poet Wilfred Owen.
“I find it fascinating that Wilfred Owen is banned in Guantánamo,” writes Paxman. “He is, famously, the great anti-war poet. Yet by no stretch of the imagination can he be considered either malevolent or unpatriotic.”
Jeremy Paxman's best one-liners
Jeremy Paxman's best one-liners
1/12 On his political allegiance:
"I have to be frank, I suppose I am a one-nation Tory, yes."
2/12 On horse comparisons:
"I've spent my whole life being told I have a face like a horse. You are just what you are, aren't you?"
3/12 On his dream woman:
"I would be very happy to go cycling with Sigourney Weaver."
4/12 On Tony Blair:
"He had a barrister's ability to master a brief. When you have that amazing command of detail and a messianic faith, it makes you slightly dangerous."
5/12 On sneering:
"I hate the word 'sneering', I can't help the way my face looks."
6/12 On fitting in:
"I've always felt myself to be an outsider. I've always felt awkward."
7/12 On beard phobia:
“Unless you’re lucky enough to be Uncle Albert on Only Fools and Horses, Demis Roussos or Abu Hamza, the BBC is generally as pogonophobic as the late-lamented Albanian dictator Enver Hoxha."
8/12 On newsreader Huw Edwards:
"Huw Edwards can come across like some evangelical preacher on a wet Sunday morning in Merthyr Tydfil, and indeed, most of the earnest prophets of news claim merely to be passing on a greater truth."
9/12 On Twitter:
"Twitter? This is an activity for people who have got nothing going on in between their ears, or nothing going on in their lives."
10/12 On English progressiveness:
"The English approach to ideas is not to kill them, but to let them die of neglect."
11/12 On conscientious objectors:
"To be honest extreme conscientious objectors have always struck me as cranks."
12/12 On the problems with Marks & Spencer underwear:
"I have noticed that something very troubling has happened. There's no other way to put this. Their [Marks and Spencer's] pants no longer provide adequate support."
Paxman’s book,The English, which seeks to define Englishness, was deemed suitable for inmates at the prison and former Guantánamo inmate Moazzam Begg once showed him the rubber stamp inside the cover of his copy.
“If you want to get someone passionate about Wilfred Owen to write about Wilfred Owen, then to be honest, who better to go [as] a figure of the British establishment than Paxman,” Vice global editor Alex Miller told the Guardian.
“Similarly, if you’re trying to work out why The Merchant of Venice isn’t allowed in Guantánamo Bay, then Melvyn Bragg is kinda your guy – he knows that stuff.”
In another of Vice’s articles on the same subject, Irvine Welsh writes he “has no idea” why his work banned in Guantánamo Bay prison
“Prisoners in Guantánamo Bay are hardly going to read Trainspotting and say, ‘Right, I'm going to go out and take loads of heroin,’” he wrote.
“Perhaps it would be a good thing for the establishment if they did, stop them dropping bombs or whatever it is they stand accused of planning to do.”Reuse content