Last week AT&T got caught cutting part of a live Perl Jam concert when singer Eddy Vedder criticized President Bush.
During the performance of “Daughter” the following lyrics were sung to the tune of Pink Floyd’s “Another Brick in the Wall” but were cut from the webcast:
– “George Bush, leave this world alone.” (the second time it was sung); and
– “George Bush find yourself another home.”
This, of course, troubles us as artists but also as citizens concerned with the issue of censorship and the increasingly consolidated control of the media.
AT&T’s actions strike at the heart of the public’s concerns over the power that corporations have when it comes to determining what the public sees and hears through communications media.
via Perl Jam website
AT&T spokes people have denied, spun, and apologized. Turns out this wasn’t the first time they’ve done this.
One fan who contacted The Times Friday said AT&T’s Blue Room webcast bleeped the sound during performances by the Flaming Lips and the John Butler Trio at the Bonnaroo Festival in Tennessee in June.
via LA Times
Nor was it an accident. A “crew member” who worked on this live video feed has spoken to Wired magazine saying,
“I can definitively say that at a previous event where AT&T was covering the show, the instructions were to shut it down if there was any swearing or if anybody starts getting political. Granted, they didn’t say to shut down any Anti-Bush comments or anything specific to any point of view or party, but ‘getting political’ was mentioned.”
As if helping the American government spy on its own people wasn’t enough these Net Neutrality deniers are guilty just of what we thought. They have no intention of keeping the Internet free for all to use equally. Its is now very clear that AT&T intends to let us plebes use THEIR network how THEY see fit. Does that sound very American to you?
So iPhone owners… is this enough for you to reconsider using AT&T?
AT&T Gets Caught in its Own Spin Cycle
Crew Member: Previous AT&T Show Had “No Politics” Policy
AT&T apologizes for censoring performer webcasts (LA Times)
Pearl Jam protests censoring of Lollapalooza webcast (LA Times)