By Darren Franich
March 15, 2012 at 07:07 PM EDT

Just one month after she ruined America’s favorite decadent celebration of violence by raising her middle finger, semi-controversial indie star M.I.A. made another spontaneous gesture last night when she unexpectedly started blowing riled-up tweets at Anderson Cooper.

It all started innocently enough when the singer pointed her fans to a new documentary on Britain’s Channel 4, Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields. (A Sri Lankan by birth, M.I.A. has been vocal in her support of the Tamil Tigers, a group which is either a plucky rebel alliance or a ruthless terrorist organization, depending on your perspective.)

Then M.I.A. decided to start finger-wagging: “someone should make @AndersonCooper watch it / film it and show the world what happens when respected journos get it wrong.” By way of explanation, she noted, “@AndersonCooper called me a terrorist for speaking out, and expressed support for the SLgov when this was happening.”

Pause to imagine the Silver Fox reclining in a velvet bathrobe at his favorite Russian bathhouse, sipping a Vesper martini and reading the Italian edition of GQ.

He picks up his gold-plated iPhone, intending to invite Lagerfeld and Paltrow over to his house for a wine-and-cheese screening of La Dolce Vita, only to discover M.I.A.’s tweets. His response is swift and cutting. “What are you talking about?” he tweeted. “You are mistaken. I never called you a terrorist. I don’t even know who you are other than the lady who sang at superbowl…By the way, I defended your finger pointing at the superbowl, so check your facts. I’ve no idea what youre tweeting about.”

M.I.A. responded: “in 2009 u linked to a articl that was written about me with false info. there was a rebuttal on ur 360 site…2 months later 1ce every tamil had been silenced including me, the SLGOV carried out the killing of 40, 000 civilians.”

(Pause to imagine Cooper, sensing victory, sipping his martini and nibbling at a nice chevre.) “you’ve gone from saying ‘I wrote’, ‘I called you,’ to saying my cnn show blog had a link to an article. Big difference…we link to many articles with different viewpoints, and we gave you an opportunity to respond. I can understand your frustration if someone wrote untrue things about you, and I’m glad you were able to respond.”

Cooper’s final tweet struck a diplomatic note: “the brutal war in SL has not gotten enough coverage in the US, and I know that’s very upsetting.” Perhaps sensing that she had lost the high ground, the low ground, and the middle ground, M.I.A. responded passively: “im glad u understand but please watch #killingfield because this is what i was trying to say.”

She also thanked Cooper for defending her right to raise her middle finger. And so the two Twitter combatants retreated to their respective corners, where M.I.A. presumably began planning her attack on Joe Scarborough, while Cooper spent the evening giggling at the idea that he somehow pissed off the pope’s girlfriend.

Follow Darren on Twitter: @EWDarrenFranich

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