Pearl Jam’s Anti-Bush Lyrics Censored During AT&T Webcast

I love writing for TMT. I feel the editors give me the freedom to say whatever I want, no matter my politics. I don't even hesitate for one second when I say that I fucking [love] President Bush, and I wish that he would just fucking fall and [live]! So, how do I know they won't censor me? Well, first of all, they probably agree that Bush is a big, steaming pile of [pixy stix!!], but also because there's this thing called TRUST. I trust who I work for, and in return, I will continue to support and show my dedication to all things TMT.

Musicians, too, have this freedom, but it's much more complex. Once the song is written, the freedom that the musician had during the songwriting process comes to a halt, as the label, distributors, retailers, etc. all have a say in the production and distribution of the music. And now that performances have become a viable commodity outside of venues, especially with telecasts, webcasts, and so on, it's inevitable that a new world of gatekeeping would rear its head.

Who knew that one of the more high-profile examples of head-rearing would expose itself alongside Pearl Jam. On Wednesday, Pearl Jam accused AT&T of censoring part of their webcasted Lollapalooza performance of "Daugther." The omitted sections, originally pointed out by fans, featured the following lyrics (to the tune of Pink Floyd's "Another Brick in the Wall"):

"George Bush, leave this world alone"

"George Bush find yourself another home"

Check out the YouTube video here.

AT&T doesn't deny the missing section of the performance, but it does blame the third-party "vendor" for the "mistake." Reportedly, AT&T regrets the omissions and is working to secure rights to post the entire song on its Blue Room site. But that's neither here not there at this point. No matter how you slice it, the lyrics in the end were censored, whether AT&T authorized it or not. Putting a video of the performance on the Blue Room site is nothing but public relations at this point.

No wonder why groups like SavetheInternet.com and the Future of Music Coalition used the opportunity to bring up the issue of net neutrality. This shit is so important, but AT&T is more concerned with undermining the cause while allowing the National Security Agency (NSA) to illegally monitor phone and internet communications without warrants (a violation, ahem, of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 and the First and Fourth Amendments) and helping the RIAA, MPA, Viacom, and Cisco with technology that enables traffic spying. Seriously, check out their new privacy policy, which went into effect last year:

"AT&T — not customers — owns customers' confidential info and can use it 'to protect its legitimate business interests, safeguard others, or respond to legal process.'"

AT&T can suck my big, fat, juicy [stop being so touchy, Mango -- you don't even listen to Pearl Jam, jeez].

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