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Bryan Ferry Steps on Nazi Landmine


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Bryan Ferry apologizes for Nazi remarks Mon

LONDON (Reuters) - British singer Bryan Ferry apologized on Monday for remarks he made in an interview with a German newspaper in which he praised Nazi iconography as "just amazing" and "really beautiful."

The 61-year-old lead singer of Roxy Music told Germany's Welt Am Sonntag newspaper last month: "The way that the Nazis staged themselves and presented themselves, my Lord!

"I'm talking about the films of Leni Riefenstahl and the buildings of Albert Speer and the mass marches and the flags -- just fantastic. Really beautiful."

In a statement, Ferry said he was "deeply upset" about the negative publicity the interview triggered, and added:

"I apologize unreservedly for any offence caused by my comments on Nazi iconography, which were solely made from an art history perspective.

"I, like every right-minded individual, find the Nazi regime, and all it stood for, evil and abhorrent."

Jewish leaders in Britain, some of whom had condemned Ferry's comments and questioned whether he should be dropped by the Marks & Spencer retail chain that employs him as a model, welcomed Ferry's clarification.

"We do welcome the fact that he has issued a swift comment that there was no intention to condone the Nazi regime," said Jeremy Newmark, chief executive of the Jewish Leadership Council.

"Nevertheless, his choice of language was deeply insensitive," he added.

Lord Greville Janner, vice-president of the World Jewish Congress, told Reuters: "His apology was total, appropriate and absolutely necessary. I hope that he will never make the same mistake again."

Marks & Spencer sought to distance itself from the row.

"We do not make comment on the private lives of any individuals that we work with nor does our commercial relationship with them mean we endorse any views they may hold," the group said in a statement. It had no further comment.

Riefenstahl was Adolf Hitler's official film maker who was both admired and condemned for her documentaries that pioneered film techniques but glorified Nazism.

Speer was an architect who served under Hitler.

(With additional reporting by Erik Kirschbaum in Berlin)

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I think Ferry made his meaning quite clear in his explanation/apology.

Jesus H. Smith!! Can't we speak about anything without some people getting offended? Lighten up world.

The man was referring to art. Disagree with him on that if you will but don't intentionally misinterpret his meaning just so that you can draw attention to yourselves by voicing your outrage.

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Hear , hear ! I admire the Tiger tank , the Stuka , U-boats , the machine guns and the helmets ( which have fairly recently been adopted partially by the US and other NATO forces ) of the German military as well as their uniforms . I would hate and have to roll my eyes were those comments in that basic form to be taken and twisted into sympathy for Nazi cause(s) when I'm simply speaking from an engineering/ design / aesthetic perspective .

Only an overly sensitive and paranoid person or someone requiring a scapegoat to sacrifice in order to draw attention ( and an emotional and moral advantage ) to their point-of-view , or someone who just wants to pick a fight , would feel the need to point out that ' Aha ! And are you aware that those were the very instruments that were used by the Nazis to oppress and murder their opponents ?! How could/dare you say anything positive about them ! Etc. '

What frustrates me in this current trend of ' Gotcha ! ' journalism that the media seems to love , is that they don't take the responsibility nor care to be bothered to follow up brief , questionable or controversial comments made by the interviewees in order to ask follow-up questions which are also printed/ televised . In this instance a question such as ' Do you mean to say then , Mr. Ferry , that you admire the Nazis ? ' should've been asked as the comment left as is , or in some cases edited , becomes a bigger story itself - and any reasonable German journalist in this situation should know this better than anyone . Don't they care even a little about the subject of their interview enough to clarify such statements ?

I think public figures should boycott giving interviews -or limit themselves exclusively to only reliable journalists - until some discipline and responsibility can be imposed on reporters and their organizations , and this can only come from revenue loss to the media in question when they can't get access to those persons . There is already a huge oversaturation of media sources ( many being questionable in terms of ethics and reliablity ) , imo , and losing a large number them wouldn't or shouldn't break many hearts anyway - except those of the owners and staff of said organizations . Public figures could also possibly instigate media reforms by stating on the record exactly which media sources they find objectionable and why - gleefully reported by another competing media source - and perhaps help to launch a ' who is more virtuous , unbiased and factual ' war within the media itself as they try to go out of their way to prove it at the expense of their competition - at least amongst those who wished to be seen as legitimate news sources . ( Sorry - just a lucid dream , I'm sure ... )

I like James Gandolfini's style : refuses 95+% of interview and appearance requests , and you can bet that those lucky few who do get a chance aren't going to screw around with his words in case they are refused next time . Hasn't really hurt his popularity a bit , either - just added to his mystique , if anything !

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Poor Guy. I understand what it's like to be mis-understood on a prickley subject (not opening up old wounds again, please!) but at least he explained it all clearly and said sorry....thats a big thing to do when you have not done anything wrong but have just been misunderstood, to say sorry....*here ends the mini muses of Bloof on this subject*

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I find the notion that former style-icon Bryan Ferry is now a model for Marks & Spencer far more reprehensible than his comments on the aesthetic delights of "Nazi iconography". (How the mighty have fallen...)

That whole "Marks & Spencer" thing might not make sense to the fish on the other side of the pond.

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He never voted for the communists, he doesn´t wear Keith Richards style. Esthetics seem to be his main value. What would you expect from a posh dandy? To let his bear grow and admire "Arte Povera"?

His first solo album is very good. He makes an excellent cover of "These foolish things", the song that gives name to the album. I like him as a crooner.

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