Monday, August 13, 2007

Serves me right...

...I decide that it AT&T's censoring of Pearl Jam wasn't totally intentional, and somebody digs up the fact that they did the same thing to the Flaming Lips and John Butler Trio. And Lilly Allen. And Lupe Fiasco. And...

- A fan emails reporters:
They did the same thing on the webcasts from Bonnaroo in June during the John Butler Trio show when he was talking about the lack of response from our government during Katrina, and also during the Flaming Lips show when the lead singer was talking about how much George Bush had screwed up. I was at both of those live shows and saw the webcasts later. The sound did not cut out at any other time – only when someone was talking about George Bush or the goverment in a negative way.
Now, according the the Sun Times:
- The Flaming Lips are not aware of the cuts, and are reviewing the tapes.

- Jon Butler Trio are unavailable for comment.
- AT&T issues a new statement admitting that political speech has been censored in the past:
“It’s not our intent to edit political comments in Webcasts on the Blue Room,” Tiffany O’Brien Nels, AT&T’s Austin, Texas-based spokeswoman, said Friday in a prepared statement. “Unfortunately, it has happened in the past in a handful of cases. We have taken steps to insure that it will not happen again.”

Alleged: Lupe Fiasco @ Lollpalooza 2007 (Pearl Jam message board)
I actually missed the Pearl Jam set, but I saw Lupe Fiasco’s performance earlier in the day. He has a song called “American Terrorist”, and while the song itself seemed to go by untouched… Lupe’s lead in to the song was. It went something along the lines of “Some of you might know him as George W. Bush… The President. I know him as George W. Bush ___________ (dead air)”. Having seen Lupe in concert before, I know that muted out section was a “American Terrorist”. He pretty much yells it into the mic before launching into the song.
Alleged: Lily Allen @ Bonnaroo 2007 (Lollapalooza message boards)
They were definately censoring what Lily Allen was saying in between songs. When there are technical problems, the picture will stop and sometimes the word playlist above the buttons on the video screen will change to buffering. During Lily Allen my picture would keep playing fine and the sound was gone. The sound while the Roots were talking in between songs just cut out for the first time.
And so on. I'll never doubt the conspiracy again. My bad. And I'd sure like to know what "steps" AT&T has the meantime, here's some info about the contracts artists sign to participate with The Blue Room (via Daily Swarm)...
The release sent to bands participating in AT&T's Lollapalooza webcast contains no reference to the company's policy of deleting political speech from artists' performances. The section of the release that talks about the equipment used by C3 Presents (which produces live recordings of Lollapalooza and Austin City Limits) to capture audio and video footage, but did not divulge to artists that their political comments would be redacted from webcasts
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