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Encyclopedia > The eXile
the eXile

The 2006-11-17 (#251) front page of the eXile, featuring a redesigned masthead
Type Alternative weekly
Format Tabloid

Owner Independent
Publisher Konstantin Boukarev
Editor-in-Chief Mark Ames
Yasha Levine
Alexander Zaitchik
Founded 1997
Language English
Headquarters Moscow
Flag of Russia Russia

Website: exile.ru

The eXile, founded in 1997, is a Moscow-based English-language biweekly free newspaper, aimed at the city's expatriate community, which combines outrageous, sometimes satirical, content with investigative reporting. In October 2006, co-editor Jake Rudnitsky summarized the eXile's editorial policy to The Independent: "We shit on everybody equally."[1] Image File history File links Size of this preview: 420 × 600 pixelsFull resolution (600 × 857 pixel, file size: 94 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) The front page of The Exile(17th November 2006) from exile. ... Year 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... 17 November is also the name of a Marxist group in Greece, coinciding with the anniversary of the Athens Polytechnic uprising. ... A masthead is a list, usually found on the editorial page of a newspaper, of the members of the newspapers editorial board. ... Recent cover of Portland, Oregons Willamette Week An alternative weekly is a type of weekly newspaper that eschews comprehensive coverage of general news in favor of opinionated reviews and columns, investigations into edgy topics and magazine-style feature stories highlighting local people and culture. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... For the band, see 1997 (band). ... The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ... For other uses, see Moscow (disambiguation). ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Russia. ... For other uses, see Moscow (disambiguation). ... The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... The Independent is a British compact newspaper published by Tony OReillys Independent News & Media. ...

Rolling Stone magazine said in 1998 that then-coeditors "Mark Ames and Matt Taibbi take the raw material of this decadent new Moscow and convert it into 25,000 instantly snapped-up issues of The eXile, consisting of misogynist rants, dumb pranks, insulting club listings and photos of blood-soaked corpses, all redeemed by political reporting that's read seriously not only in Moscow but also in Washington." [2] A CNN documentary in 1999 focusing on the eXile agreed, saying, "Brazen, irreverent, immodest, and rude, the eXile struggles with the harsh truth of the new century in Russia...Since 1997, Ames and Taibbi have lampooned and investigated greed, corruption, cowardice and complacency."[3] This article is about the magazine. ... A photograph of Mark Ames from an eXile article Mark Ames (1965-) is a Moscow-based American journalist and editor. ... A Photograph of Matt Taibbi Matt Taibbi (b. ...

Its history has seen a number of practical jokes or stunts, including reportedly getting Mikhail Gorbachev to enter negotiations to secure a position as "perestroika coordinator" for the New York Jets.[4] In contemporary usage, a parody (or lampoon) is a work that imitates another work in order to ridicule, ironically comment on, or poke some affectionate fun at the work itself, the subject of the work, the author or fictional voice of the parody, or another subject. ... Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev (Russian: ), surname more accurately romanized as Gorbachyov; (born 2 March 1931) is a Russian politician. ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ... City East Rutherford, New Jersey Other nicknames Gang Green, the Green and White Team colors Hunter green and white Head Coach Eric Mangini Owner Woody Johnson General manager Mike Tannenbaum League/Conference affiliations American Football League (1960-1969) Eastern Division (1960-1969) National Football League (1970–present) American Football Conference...

As of 2006, the paper's readership was 25,000 in print, as well as 125,000 unique web readers every two weeks.[5] The eXile is currently edited by Mark Ames, Yasha Levine, and Alexander Zaitchik, and published by Konstantin Boukarev. A photograph of Mark Ames from an eXile article Mark Ames (1965-) is a Moscow-based American journalist and editor. ...



Issue #136 (2002-03-06) of the eXile, featuring the original masthead design
Issue #136 (2002-03-06) of the eXile, featuring the original masthead design

In 1997, Ames was editor of the English-language Moscow newspaper Living Here. The concept of Living Here was first proposed by Manfred Witteman, who convinced his wife Marina Pshevecharskaya to provide $10,000 of start-up capital.[6] Citing Manfred and Marina's "incessant petty squabbles over money and title" Ames quit Living Here and begin planning his own publication. Ames convinced most of the intermittently paid staff of Living Here to defect to the newly conceived newspaper, the eXile, including sales manager Kara Deyerin, and his replacement editor Kevin McElwee. Manfred and Marina hired Matt Taibbi to counter this rebellion, but he became disillusioned after producing one issue of Living Here. Taibbi also defected and became co-editor of the eXile. [7] Image File history File links The cover of issue 136 of The eXile. ... Image File history File links The cover of issue 136 of The eXile. ... Also see: 2002 (number). ... is the 65th day of the year (66th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... A masthead is a list, usually found on the editorial page of a newspaper, of the members of the newspapers editorial board. ...

Ames later wrote that the word 'exile' was chosen as a title for its contextual triple meaning. First, Ames considered himself an exile from California. Second, he intended to lampoon the way Western expatriates complained of the minor annoyances of Moscow life. Finally, Ames was aware of the painful connotation of exile (изгнание or сослание) in Russian culture, and that he was in some sense "selling the national tragedy as a joke." [8] Exile (band) may refer to: Exile - The American country music band Exile - The Japanese pop music band Category: ... Official language(s) English Capital Sacramento Largest city Los Angeles Largest metro area Greater Los Angeles Area  Ranked 3rd  - Total 158,302 sq mi (410,000 km²)  - Width 250 miles (400 km)  - Length 770 miles (1,240 km)  - % water 4. ... The term Western world, the West or the Occident (Latin occidens -sunset, -west, as distinct from the Orient) [1] can have multiple meanings dependent on its context (e. ... For other uses, see Moscow (disambiguation). ... The Russian culture is rooted in the early East Slavic culture. ...

Many of the contributors, including Ames, Tiabbi, Alexander Zaitchik, and John Dolan, previously worked for the New York Press. John Dolan (Born 1955) is an American poet, writer, and essayist. ... New York Press is a free alternative weekly in New York City. ...


Articles published in the eXile have focused both on Moscow- and Russia-related topics, as well as issues of more general interest. Investigative reporting, reviews of Moscow nightlife, concerts, and restaurants, commentary on politics and culture in Russia and America, film and book reviews, and mocking replies to its readers' letters appear in most issues. The eXile is known for its descriptions of Moscow life. Andrew Meier, who served as Time magazine's Russia correspondent from 1996 until 2001, was quoted by Rolling Stone as saying: "No one describes expat life in Moscow better than the eXile. They hit it right on its ugly head." [9] (Clockwise from upper left) Time magazine covers from May 7, 1945; July 25, 1969; December 31, 1999; September 14, 2001; and April 21, 2003. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ...

As Taibbi remarked in 2000: "We wrote a whole bunch of editorials about the size of Putin's penis," and "[t]he 90s in Moscow were a great time ... like what they say about the 20s in Paris or the early 30s in Berlin. It was completely hedonistic and nihilistic and full of crime." [citation needed] Drugs were a characteristic of this culture: Taibbi said he wrote most of the book [10] on heroin, with Ames adding "A lot of his prose was written on smack and a lot of mine was written on speed" (New York Observer, June 19, 2000). For other uses, see Heroin (disambiguation). ...


(past and present)

  • "Whore-R Stories," in which Mark Ames describes an encounter with a prostitute, solicited specifically for the purpose of providing material for the column. Ames includes descriptions of her sexual performance, and body type (and sometimes includes a picture), and focuses on the background, opinions, and personality of the prostitute, as well as the economic and social aspects of prostitution in Moscow.
  • "Death Porn," which describes and categorizes gruesome and unusual violent crimes occurring in Russia. This section adopts the graphic and cynical style of Moskovskiy Komsomolets's "Срочно в Номер" section.
  • "Mandela Porn," in which Natasha Marchetti covers violent crime and law enforcement in South Africa, with an emphasis on particularly vicious and dim-witted criminals. In December 2006, nearly two years after her relocation to Sweden, she renamed the column "Viking Porn" and has since been writing about crime in Sweden.
  • "Gandhi Porn" in which Alexander Zaitchik covers and reflects on news from India.
  • "SIC," contains letters to the editor and the eXile's response.
  • "The War Nerd," in which self-proclaimed war nerd Gary Brecher provides commentary and analysis of past and present military conflicts.
  • "The eXile's Field guide to Moscow," a description of the stereotypically colorful characters that can be encountered in Moscow, parodying the descriptive style of wildlife or bird-watching guides.
  • "Feis Kontrol," consisting of impromptu photographs of Moscow nightlife. The title derives from a double transliteration of the phrase "face control" from English to Russian and back to English.
  • "In Brief," a collection of headlines and short news blurbs in the style of such satirical newspapers as The Onion, typically with the aim of lampooning other news sources.
  • The "Club Guide", a review of Moscow clubs, bars, strip clubs, and other night venues. Each location is given rated as a place to drink, as a place to find casual sex, and on its level of "face control".
  • The "Restaurant Guide", a frequently updated review of Moscow restaurants.
  • "Press Review," consisting of criticism of the coverage of Russian affairs in Western media.
  • "Schopenhauer Awards," covering the most unpleasant creatures of the animal kingdom.
  • "Chess," wherein eXile writers and editors play and analyze chess games against Russian masters and Russian prostitutes.
  • "Dyev's Diary," in which Lyolya Androsova reflects on the experiences of her Moscow youth.
  • "Kino Korner / Kino Kwikeez," which is a review of films currently running in Russian and English language cinemas, as well as a rundown of popular pieces selling at pirate kiosks.

Prostitution is the sale of sexual services (typically manual stimulation, oral sex, sexual intercourse, or anal sex) for cash or other kind of return, generally indiscriminately with many persons. ... Moskovskii Komsomolets is a Moscow-based daily newspaper regarded as publishing sensational or provocative items on Russian politics and society. ... Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela (IPA: ) (born 18 July 1918) is the former President of South Africa, and the first to be elected in fully representative democratic elections. ... Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (October 2, 1869 – January 30, 1948) (Devanagari: मोहनदास करमचन्द गांधी, Gujarati મોહનદાસ કરમચંદ ગાંધી), called... Sic is a Latin word meaning thus or so, used inside brackets [sic] to indicate that an unusual (or incorrect) spelling, phrase, or other preceding quoted material is intended to be read or printed exactly as shown, and is not a transcription error. ... For other uses, see War (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Nerd (disambiguation). ... The War Nerd logo. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... The Onion is a United States-based parody newspaper published weekly in print and daily online. ... Arthur Schopenhauer (February 22, 1788 – September 21, 1860) was a German philosopher. ... For other uses, see Animal (disambiguation). ... Chess is a recreational and competitive game for two players. ...


According to John Dolan, the eXile publishes articles from perspectives not often heard or read elsewhere. [11] He has referred to eXile columnists as "subaltern," claiming they have been discounted from mainstream discourses as "sinful," irrelevant, disgusting, mysoginistic, or otherwise too objectionable to be heard. As an example, Dolan referenced Gary Brecher: John Dolan (Born 1955) is an American poet, writer, and essayist. ... The term subaltern is used in postcolonial theory to refer to marginalized groups and the lower classes; this sense of the word was coined by Antonio Gramsci. ... Look up mainstream in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Discourse is a term used in semantics as in discourse analysis, but it also refers to a social conception of discourse, often linked with the work of French philosopher Michel Foucault (1926-1984) and Jürgen Habermas The Theory of Communicative Action (1985). ... The War Nerd logo. ...

"Brecher's sensibility...has found hundreds of thousands of fans online. Every day devoted followers write to the War Nerd, giving homage to the only online voice they trust. Yet Brecher's sensibility could never be admitted either to mainstream journalism or to academic writing."

Dolan has cited the eXile's audience as a reason for leaving academia and what he called its "starchy sensibility," and proclaimed a central role for his concept of sin in the eXile's ideology:

"By contrast, the eXile was conceived in sin - "and proud of it," as Bart Simpson would say - by refugees from the moral world of the American academic. Its editor, Mark Ames, fled Berkeley to set up his own paper in Moscow, then the sin capital of the world. In 1997, when the eXile began publishing, Moscow was without law - especially libel law."

Additionally, the eXile aims to publish articles about Russia from outside the perspective of mainstream western journalism. According to editor Jake Rudnitsky western reporting on Russia is often biased: "Western newspapers have an agenda, to show that everything in Russia is related to oil prices, and that Putin's this competent but quasi-fascist leader. They don't have the freedom to go out and actually find out what's going on."[12] Rudnitsky has also stated that the eXile aims to give a more detailed view of Russia than is available in the western press: "We can write about things that Western journalists are too lazy or apathetic to write about...what makes this country fascinating is the details, and that's something we're allowed to focus on."[13]


Former editor Matt Taibbi has said that operating a periodical in Russia was much easier without the burden of American libel laws.[14] Similarly, Ames asserted in his article “Democracy Sucks” that “we'd be sued out of existence within a few weeks of appearing in any Western democracy, but here in Russia, in the so-called kleptocracy, the power elite has been too busy stealing and killing to give a fuck about us, allowing us to fly around the capital beneath their radar, like a cruise missile. A real democracy would never let us get off the ground.”[15]

Some have interpreted these statements as an admission that the eXile freely engages in libel. Others interpret these remarks as a criticism of western libel laws, suggeting that these laws are too easily abused by the powerful to suppress marginal viewpoints. Spy, an inspiration of the eXile, needed to employ a team of lawyers to defend against libel allegations -- a contributing factor to Spy's bankruptcy. January 1994 cover Spy magazine was a satirical monthly founded in 1986 by Kurt Andersen and E. Graydon Carter, who served as its first editors, and Thomas L. Phillips, Jr. ...

Pavel Bure libel lawsuit

In 2001, the eXile published an article falsely claiming hockey star Pavel Bure broke up with a well-known celebrity after discovering she had two vaginas. Bure successfully sued the eXile for 500,000 rubles (about $16,000 U.S.). The eXile responded that the article had been intended as a joke.[1] Pavel Vladimirovich Bure (Russian: ; born on March 31, 1971 in Moscow, USSR) is a former professional ice hockey player. ... ISO 4217 Code RUB User(s) Russia and self-proclaimed Abkhazia and South Ossetia Inflation 7% Source Rosstat, 2007 Subunit 1/100 kopek (копейка) Symbol руб kopek (копейка) к Plural The language(s) of this currency is of the Slavic languages. ...

Eduard Limonov

"The eXile" regularly publishes columns by the politician, Russian dissident, and avant garde writer Eduard Limonov. Limonov is the founder and leader of Russia’s banned National Bolshevik Party.[16] In 2002 Limonov was imprisoned on felony charges of purchasing automatic weapons and explosives, but was released halfway through his four-year sentence at the request of several members of the Russian Duma who protested that the case was politically motivated. [17][18] In his "eXile" column, Limonov has described several violent episodes from his personal history. This does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... The National Bolshevik Party (Russian: Национал-большевистская партия) (also known as Nazbol) is a political party which is dedicated to the ideology of National Bolshevism. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with State Duma. ...


Pie attack

In March 2001, "the eXile" set up a single-elimination contest to determine who, in their eyes, was the "most foul hack journalist" in Russia.[19] In each issue, they paired up the previous week's survivors, who were then compared and analysed. The winner allegedly had a cream pie made from equine semen flung into his face by Matt Taibbi.[20] According to "Media Life Magazine," the New York times confirmed via telephone that the incident had occured but could not confirm the contents of the pie.[21] Binomial name Equus caballus Linnaeus, 1758 The horse (Equus caballus, sometimes seen as a subspecies of the Wild Horse, Equus ferus caballus) is a large odd-toed ungulate mammal, one of ten modern species of the genus Equus. ... Horse semen being collected for breeding purposes. ... A Photograph of Matt Taibbi Matt Taibbi (b. ...

Buns McGillicuddy

To mock "face-control" policies at elite clubs in Moscow, the eXile fashioned their intern into a fictitious international nightclubbing celebrity, Buns McGillicuddy. Creating a fake entourage and an absurd music single "Touch my Buns," eXile intern Jeremy Lanou was allowed into the VIP rooms of Moscow's most elite and restrictive clubs.[22]

Kiriyenko letter

In a July 2004, an eXile article entitled "We Dunnit! the eXile Prank Hits Halls Of Domer" claimed authorship of the "Kiriyenko letter", a forged document purportedly from five U.S. Republican Congressmen which expressed concern over Russia's "democratic transition," and accused former Russian Prime Minister Sergei Kiriyenko of stealing IMF funds. After claiming to have forged the letter, Ames was condemned by U.S. Representative Henry Bonilla (R-TX), who demanded that Ames be "prosecuted" and "punished" for forgery.[23] Some US media outlets also believed that the eXile had sent the letter.[24] After the letter was printed verbatim by Novaya Gazeta, both it and the eXile's claim of responsibility were covered by Russian news media.[25][26][27] Kiriyenko won a libel suit against Novaya Gazetta on the grounds that the paper had not fact-checked properly.[28] The episode also earned the eXile a harsh critique from Novaya Gazetta[citation needed] and a "website of the week award," from the Philadelphia weekly City Paper, while the Moscow newspaper Kommersant Vlasti, which believed Ames' claim of responsibility, called him a "hero of Russia."[29][30] Sergei Vladilenovich Kiriyenko (Russian: ) (b. ... Henry Bonilla (born January 2, 1954) is a Republican politician who has represented Texass 23rd congressional district in the United States House of Representatives since 1992. ... The Republican Party is one of two major contemporary political parties in the United States of America, along with the Democratic Party. ... Official language(s) No official language See languages of Texas Capital Austin Largest city Houston Largest metro area Dallas–Fort Worth Metroplex Area  Ranked 2nd  - Total 261,797 sq mi (678,051 km²)  - Width 773 miles (1,244 km)  - Length 790 miles (1,270 km)  - % water 2. ... Forgery is the process of making or adapting objects or documents (see false document), with the intention to deceive. ... Novaya Gazeta (Russian: ) is a Russian newspaper. ...

In the next issue, Ames clarified that the contentious article was a joke, saying it had been inserted as filler on production day.[31] In columns for the eXile and Metroactive, he wrote that he had been followed and harassed as a result of the claim, and that he feared arrest or violent reprisal.[32]


  • This is a partial list, in no particular order. Since first being published, The eXile has cited over 100 contributors, a list which includes substantiated writers and those using pseudonyms[33].

A photograph of Mark Ames from an eXile article Mark Ames (1965-) is a Moscow-based American journalist and editor. ... John Dolan (Born 1955) is an American poet, writer, and essayist. ... Eduard Limonov (real name Eduard Savenko) is a Russian dissident, intellectual, and writer. ... A Photograph of Matt Taibbi Matt Taibbi (b. ... Thierry Marignac (born 1958, Paris) is a French writer and journalist. ... Denis Salnikov is a regular columnist for the Moscow biweekly newspaper the eXile. ... The War Nerd logo. ...

See also

The Hungry Duck was a legendary Moscow bar of the 1990s. ... Hunter S. Thompsons famous Gonzo logo. ... The Daily Beast was a newspaper in the 1938 novel Scoop The Beast is a Buffalo, New York left-libertarian biweekly newspaper founded by Matt Taibbi and Kevin McElwee in 2002. ...


  1. ^ Suetenko, Larisa. "Anna Kournikova’s dignity yielded half million rubles to Pavel Bure", Pravda, June 21, 2001.


  1. ^  Rolling Stone Magazine, issue 800, November 26th 1998.
  2. ^  Ames, Mark; Taibbi, Matt; Limonov, Edward (2000). The eXile: Sex, Drugs and Libel in the New Russia. Grove/Atlantic Monthly. ISBN 0-8021-3652-4.  (online excerpt available)
  3. ^  "Moscow newspapers: the story of one title's survival", The Independent, 2006-10-10. 
  4. ^  Leaya Lee. "Lecture: Matt Taibbi", Bullpen. 
  5. ^  Sean McMeekin. "From Russia With Malice", Reason Magazine, 2006-01. 
  6. ^  Jack Hamann. "The Russia Factor" (Reprint), CNN Perspectives, 1999-09-23.  (see also [Hamann's site http://www.jackhamann.com/documentaries.html])
  7. ^  Nabi Abdullaev. "Supreme Court Bans Bolsheviks", The Moscow Times, 2005-11-16. 
  8. ^  Tom Parfitt. "Writer to serve four years in labour camp", The Scotsman, 2003-04-16. 
  9. ^  "Maverick writer freed" (Reprint), gazeta.ru, 2003-06-30. 
  10. ^  "NY Times Moscow chief gets a nasty faceful", Media Life Magazine, 2001-04-11. 
  11. ^  Richard Johnson. "Editor Out Over Pope Parody", Page Six (NY Post, syndicated by Yahoo News), 2005-03-08. 
  12. ^  Mark Ames. "Our Man in Moscow", Metroactive, 2004-09-04. 
  13. ^  Gary Martin. "Bonilla forgery was work of tabloid", San Antonio Express News, 2004-07-15. 
  14. ^  Matt Taibbi (2001-Aug-10). COMBED OVER!!!. The eXile.

Further reading

  • The eXile website
  • List of eXile columns

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