Apparently AT&T really loves George Bush…and Pearl Jam…and HATES freedom of speech!
This week it was revealed that AT&T censored portions of the Seattle band’s live set at Lollapalooza during their cybercast of the event on Sunday. [Watch censored version above]
While performing "Daughter," the band launched into Pink Floyd's "Another Brick in the Wall," with Eddie Vedder switching the words to, "George Bush, leave this world alone" and "George Bush, find yourself another home." But those lyrics were mysteriously missing from the AT&T broadcast.
Vedder also railed against oil giant BP Amoco during the set, and later, brought a disabled Iraq War veteran onstage to call for an end to the conflict. Neither of these parts were edited though. Just the part about The Prez.
Of course, AT&T said the silencing was "a mistake by a Webcast vendor" and was "contrary to our policy. We have policies in place with respect to editing excessive profanity, but AT&T does not censor performances. We very much regret that this happened in the first place."
Though the company said it is "working with the band to post the song in its entirety," Pearl Jam website posted this snipe: "In the future, we will work even harder to ensure that our live broadcasts or webcasts are free from arbitrary edits." reads a statement on PearlJam.com.
One group that isn’t being so nice about it is the Future of Music Coalition, who advocate for "net neutrality" laws that ensure free speech online.
"This event shows that companies like AT&T will risk the appearance of censorship by turning off the sound on a webcast that's being viewed by thousands of people, just because it works counter to their financial interests," says FOMC head Jenny Toomey. "What do you think they will do to protect their financial interests on the web when no one is looking?"
Um…kill us all?
Billboard.com: AT&T Cuts Anti-Bush Lyrics From Pearl Jam Webcast