Censorship is the Answer?

- for the Grateful Web

Apparently, Clear Channel Communications and whoever makes decisions there has been very, very touchy about the terrorist attacks on New York City and Washington, D.C.  The media giant has formulated a list of over 100 songs that will be banned from its stations; Clear Channel owns over half of the commercial radio stations in America.  It is true  that there are several songs that DJs should avoid playing for a while, just for the sake of good taste.  Such songs include Mudvayne's "Death Blooms," AC/DC's "Shot Down in Flames," and others that would reasonably be seen as offensive for a period of time. However, Clear Channel has chosen to exclude any songs that have anything to do with violence or fire or death, including all Rage Against the Machine songs.  Although Pat Benetar's "Love is a Battlefield" may include a term having to do with war, I hardly think that most Americans would be traumatized upon hearing it. Other choices seem absurd, such as The Beatles' "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds," Louis Armstrong's "What a Wonderful World," Peter, Paul and Mary's "Blowin' in the Wind," John Lennon's "Imagine," and several others. One choice I thought particularly laughable was the Tramps' "Disco Inferno." While I agree that this is a time then many Americans are sensitive and upset about this terrible event, I feel that Clear Channel has gone too far. Yes, they control what their own stations play, but I still think it's ridiculous. It's their hypocrisy that made me angry, though.  Today I was watching television, and I saw a commercial for a rock radio station.  The commercial featured ninja-type fighting with messages about the station and its music dubbed over the original audio.  At the end, one of the ninjas said, "Listen, or you'll die."  Yes, that station was a Clear Channel station (106.1 WRDU, in the Raleigh, NC area).  I can hardly see how their commercial was less offensive than James Taylor's "Fire and Rain."  If Clear Channel is going to go all crazy with the censorship in order to protect us, they should at least be consistent and not threaten us in their commercials.

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