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Morrissey is still pursuing his libel case against NME for making him look racist

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Morrissey and a baby--guess which one is racist?

Oh Morrissey, if only you really were a charming man — it would make being your fan a lot easier. Earlier this week, a British court heard arguments from Morrissey and the music publication NME in order to decide whether to grant the singer a high court trial before a jury. The singer is suing Conor McNicolas, the former editor of NME, and the magazine's publisher, IPC media, for defamation. The legal battle stems from a four-year-old interview which Morrissey claims portrayed him as a "racist and blatant hypocrite."

On the cover of the NME issue which contains the contested interview, Morrissey is quoted saying, "The Gates of England are flooded… the country's been thrown away," a seemingly anti-immigration statement that places the singer alongside the European far-right. Asked by the interviewer whether he would return to live in Britain, the former Smiths frontman is quoted: "With the issue of immigration, it's very difficult because, although I don't have anything against people from other countries, the higher the influx into England the more the British identity disappears." (Just a tip, Morrissey: the whole "I'm going to contextualize a racist comment by first saying that I'm not racist" technique really doesn't preclude one from looking racist. In fact, it works as a red flag, warning the reader that something really tasteless is coming up.)

According to Morrissey, he "continues to suffer" from fallout from the article. His legal team contests that the magazine "deliberately twisted" his words to make him appear racist and thereby ultimately harmed the singer's reputation and career.

Steven Patrick, I may not be "one of the most singular figures in Western pop culture from the last twenty years", but I think I know a thing or two about how to alienate people and destroy your reputation. Personally, I would think that the war you're waging against your own fansite or your commitment to checking fans for meat products at the entrance of your concerts (I'm a vegan, and even I refuse to check my bacon at the door) is hurting your reputation more. Oh, and the fact that you really are racist and insensitive — that might hurt your reputation too.