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Parts Unknown

August 8th, 2014 - 7:33 am

Anthony Bourdain took his CNN show, after many years of trying, to Iran:

Our crew explored Tehran and Isfahan, eating some spectacularly delicious and sophisticated food. We were welcomed with open arms at every restaurant we visited. (The proprietors of our hotel in downtown Tehran must have found out from our visas that it was my producer’s birthday, because they invited us all down to the office, where they surprised us with a cake.) It was at one of these long lunches where I met The Washington Post’s correspondent, Jason Rezaian, and his wife, Yeganeh Salehi. They were well-known and liked in Tehran and were referred by mutual friends who knew that experienced English-speakers — with a unique perspective from straddling both worlds — would be helpful to our production.

A few weeks later, they were mysteriously arrested and detained. Based on what they told me, I cannot possibly understand why.

I’m a fan of Tony’s. Over the last ten or 11 years I’ve read his books, watched his shows, and made some amazing dinners from his Les Halles cookbook. I know he’s too travelled, too experienced, for him to have a failure of understanding regarding a regime like Iran’s.

But you’ll still want to read the whole thing.

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All Comments   (3)
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I've seen two eps of his Travel Channel show, I can't stand the guy. The first he was in Vietnam and gushing over how simple and authentic the farmers were in their quaint dwellings. He'd like to vacation here for a couple weeks. In the background was a subsistence farmer knee deep in a rice paddy driving an ox every day, all day so he didn't starve in his dirt floor hut.
Limousine liberal w/ a fixation on the noble savage idea. Enjoys the idea of slumming cause he can leave at any time.
The other ep was the same gushing over illegal immigrants in US restaurants coupled w/ the fallacy that if they weren't here, the jobs they do simply wouldn't get done.
24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
"I try to suspend judgment, to put aside what I know or think I know and travel without fear or prejudice. I try, first and foremost, to be a good guest. People everywhere are proud of their food and their culture, and even where they have little reason to be kind to an American (Vietnam, Cuba, Gaza, the West Bank)"

I think he fails at suspending judgment.

It's one thing to love the people and culture of another land, quite another to give a pass to a regime that literally stones adulterers and hangs homosexuals.

After Sept. 11, 2001, the young people in Tehran held a candlelight vigil on our behalf. I won't forget that, and do not conflate the Iranian government with the Iranian people.
24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
He always claimed to be amazed at what the Travel Channel let him get away with.

I wonder if he's experiencing some stronger editorial oversight at CNN.

24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
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