Jeremy Paxman contributes to former 'hipster bible' Vice to write about Guantánamo Bay censorship

The former Newsnight presenter adds a new and unlikely string to his bow

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From presenter to stand-up comedian and now Vice journalist, Jeremy Paxman’s CV is growing rapidly.

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.”

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.”

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