A Sign of the Times?

On Sunday night AT&T hosted a webcast of a Pearl Jam concert; in the course of the concert, the band sang some lyrics critical of George W. Bush. The lyrics were censored.

AT&T is now backpedaling and calling it a mistake and a regrettable incident. But Pearl Jam has thoughtfully observed on their website:

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. …

What happened to us this weekend was a wake up call, and it’s about something much bigger than the censorship of a rock band.”

My friends, we are living in perilous times. Whatever you do and wherever you are, always speak the truth. Even if “your voice shakes,” as Maggie Kuhn put it.

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