News & Politics

The Sad Death of a Mighty Publication -- eXile, R.I.P.

One of the greatest and most original English publications has gone into the night, thanks to Russian authorities.
The eXile is dead. Long live The eXile.

The eXile is/was an English alt-weekly published in Moscow. It's been shut down -- the financiers have pulled the plug after an audit by Russian authorities, which means that even though most news sources in America would run screaming from The eXile's content, they're going to run with the story because it's a chance to mock savage Russia's crackdown on media and democracy.

Two of the pieces on AlterNet's front page today are by eXile alums: Matt Taibbi and Eileen Jones. I started reading The eXile in 2004, and since that time, I've worked with its many great current and former authors on articles for AlterNet: Mark Ames, John Dolan, Matt Taibbi, Gary Brecher, Alexander Zaitchik, and Eileen Jones. These aren't just good writers -- this is more or less the list of the very best out there in my humble opinion. It's no coincidence that they all wrote for the same paper; credit goes to 11-year editor and founder Mark Ames.

From Fox News (See? Even Rupert Murdoch couldn't resist):
MOSCOW -- An irreverent English-language newspaper in Russia has been forced to close following an official probe, its editor said Monday. "The eXile," a brash monthly that criticized the Kremlin and the West in its pages -- often seeking to offend -- was subject to a June 5 audit, said Mark Ames, its American editor. After inquiring about the paper's links to Russia's opposition leader Eduard Limonov, inspectors issued a small fine for minor infractions such as an incorrectly printed address, Ames said. In the wake of the probe, sponsors including the paper's publisher withdrew financing, forcing it to close.
The good folks at The eXile knew what was coming. As their final issue eXplained (cover displayed to the right): "In a nation terrorized by its own government, one paper dared to fart in its face."

I have a lot more to say, but public mourning should be kept brief. The best I can do is give some advice: Go read the archives of the eXile's principal authors. You'll never think the same.

eXile, R.I.P. -- You will be missed.