Cannes In Cairns Day Two: John Safran Shares His Views On Extremists And The Evolution Of Tobacco

Cannes In Cairns Day Two: John Safran Shares His Views On Extremists And The Evolution Of Tobacco
B&T Magazine
Edited by B&T Magazine



Aussie legend John Safran sat down with our lord and saviour aka the editor and chief of B&T David Hovenden to talk about everything from white supremacists to the history of cigarettes.

Safran started his career in advertising as a copywriter and, while he enjoyed it, ultimately he felt the senior people in his industry were, “too stressed.”

And therefore, turned his hand to different mediums.

Safran then found his niche in documentary-style shows where he’d put himself into the mix of an array of different – but stressful – situations.

Ultimately they made him an Aussie legend.

Those different mediums, of course, led to him being a writer which is Safran’s version of “slow-cooking.”

It’s also led to some of his best works: Murder in Mississippi and Depends What You Mean by Extremist.

Interestingly, Safran’s caught heat for some of his most provocative work and has been accused of platforming extremists, but he disagrees with that mentality;

“It annoys me when someone from the Guardian today will write an article about a white supremacist, but they only know about that because I wrote about that first.”

“My old work is now being built upon by other journalists.”

Safran is also aware his interest in extremists comes from being a minority himself, “I’m Jewish, and that’s the reason I’m interested in extremists, I have a family history of having to deal with them.”

Now he has turned his attention to the tobacco industry. His latest book Puff Piece examines the big tobacco industry and its evolution into vaping. He was drawn to the smoking world because they are, “amazing, at changing the meaning of words,” Safran said.

Ultimately, it’s Safran’s words that are always the most interesting.




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Cannes in Cairns John Safran

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