back to article AT&T censors Pearl Jam's anti-Bush sing-along

AT&T has apologized for the censorship of lyrics that were critical of US President George W. Bush during a webcast of a performance by rock band Pearl Jam at a recent Lollapalooza festival. During a performance of the song "Daughter" on Sunday in Chicago, the band segued into an improvised version of Pink Floyd's "Another …


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  1. Adam White

    Dixie Chicks

    Just to be pedantic, they weren't ashamed to be from the same state as George W. Bush, they were ashamed that he was from Texas.

  2. Will Leamon

    It's not all nuns and prudes

    Just want to point out that American TV is also home to Southpark, The Sopranos, Deadwood and various other stunning examples of free speech. Not to mention the god-awful (simply for its unfuniness) Lil Bush.

    And of course the always republican-baiting Simpsons. I've heard they're fairly popular overseas too. The author needs to note that American NETWORK TV is crap (except for House and The Unit).

    House is kinda popular over in blighty too is it not? Bertie Wooster... who'd a thought it? Well I guess he did always prefer the U.S.

  3. Ernie Medeiros

    Bogus review by unenlightened swine

    Pearl Jam has long created music of the highest integrity with great artistic flare. Outstanding vocals and intense performances are a hallmark of the bands existence. The reviewer sounds like some lily livered young republican sap pandering to the lowest levels of pop consciousness. It is quite revealing to note that attempts at taking a political stand by artists working in mass entertainment are greeted with derision and potshots by the members of the "craporazzi" who no doubt perceive artists' assaults on the establishment as a threat to their position of privilege within the pop culture. Very similar to their brethren in the morally bankrupt realm of journalism, quislings and cowards all.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Will, you listed cable shows, the FCC would stop these if they could.

    Will Leamon, except for The Simpsons you really didn't list American TV shows. You listed cable shows. Big difference. The FCC would censor the shows you are talking about if they were broadcast over the air (well, maybe not the violence, because that seems ok with them). Most housholds in the US don't even get The Sopranos.

  5. Alan Donaly


    Whats the matter with you scumbag journalists it's

    Pearl Jam one of the best of the best you tone deaf

    piece of crap. First it's Ashlee (am I a man?) Vance

    dog humping fantasy and now putting down righteous

    music you all need to be pilloried and set loose in

    in the castro district naked and greased. Keep your

    unqualified opinions to yourself they suck.

  6. Jason Hall

    Oh noooo

    Oh no... someone doesn't like your tastes in music... the world is going to end... argh... how dare they... how could they?


  7. Darren Brooke

    re: what!?

    alan, alan, alan

    can i call you alan?

    take one of those big pills you keep in the drawer

    y'know the ones marked chill

    and breathe deeply and try and calm down

    i lurve fridays

    now wheres the new BOFH?


  8. Alan White


    Oooh, a last minute FOTW entry!

    With many of the right boxes ticked;

    - insults to the authors man or womanhood AND homophobic insults

    - failure to read the article

    - grammar problems

    - odd sentence length (interesting spam haiku style)

    Sadly you missed the capital letters out, so only 4/5 methinks.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ Adam White

    Nothing pedantic there, that is a very important distinction.

  10. Chris Fryer


    Late entry for FOTW from Alan Donaly.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    "Most housholds in the US don't even get The Sopranos."

    LOL, is that, "they don't get it", or they don't "get it"? They certainly didn't get the last one by all accounts. Oh, have we seen that over here yet?

    Thank Grud for American "Cable" TV! Just wait till Preacher starts, the righteous ones will be dropping of heart attacks!

    Also, Pearl Jam rule, but were never as good as Soundgarden!

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Bein' mean 'bout The Man

    Give it time (and not a huge amount of it) and we'll see "criticism of the State" will be made a "Crime of Sedition under the Articles of Allegiance". Both the US and the UK are heading this way (UK – use of the Anti Terrorism laws to muzzle critics at the last Labour Party Conference, US – censorship of news such as not showing coffins arriving home from Iraq and this incident of “mistaken editing”).

    I may just be being paranoid, but it seems almost as if it’s a race between us and our cousins across the pond. Winner loses all. Norsefire here we come!

    Oh and Alan Donaly – before having a pop at “scumbag journalists” and their “unqualified opinions” make sure a) your rant makes sense and b) your approach to English grammar doesn’t look like it was developed by a stoned monkey.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Funny that the Dixie Chicks claimed Bush was from Texas - he's from Connecticut

    It does amuse me that Dubya cultivated this 'good ole boy' image from Texas... when in fact he's from Connecticut & comes from an old money background. /cue flame from 'reality-based' Republicans :-)

  14. Steve

    Oh FFS

    So after the IPhone and linux fanboys, we're going to get the Pearl Jam fanboys ?

    For fucks sake people, get a grip.

    It's just a band. Music appreciation is subjective. Oh yeah, and secondary to the story, which is about the important issue of censorship, a bit more of a concern than your playground level "My fave band are like, SO, more rockin' than your fave band" BS.

    I used to believe, apparently wrongly, that El Reg's readership was mostly made up of mature IT pros, after all, thats the level the content is pitched at.

    Evidently there are more readers in the teen angst demographic (and therefore a lot more crossover with slashdot's audience) than I would have imagined.

    If you're a PJ fanboy, and you are about to consider hijacking what could be an interesting debate about freedom of speech and turning it into a rock band circle jerk, consider suicide.

    Sad bastards.

  15. simon perryman


    You can point out that the land of the free has actually become nothing more than a bunch of right wing, breast fearing wierdo's who like nothing more than following a near dictator who actively supress political freedom, but whatever you do don't say bad things about a mediocre band.

    I suspect I may have just hit the "American issue" on the head right there

    Naughty Dan!

  16. Chris

    oh please

    Pearl Jam always were and always will be rubbish, a dull heavy metal band who got famous by grabbing on to Nirvana's coat-tails and pretending to be grunge because that's what the kids wanted at the time. They're the Seattle equivalent of the Merseybeats.

    Not that they should have been censored by some idiot webmaster, but don't let agreeing with their politics get in the way of recognising that their music is crap (cf. Coldplay)

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    for some of us, being tossed naked and greased into the Castro district is not a punishment.

    However, taken in context of your babble, it seems you think it would universally be considered a heinous thing - ergo, you're a homophobic bug

    Take your republican gobshyte and shove it back into your sadly puckered little hole. Go-one, really, we all know deep down that's what you want to do.

    pucker, pucker, pucker.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Pearl Jam

    Is that when an ol' lady can't shut the drawer because of the amount of necklaces she owns?


  19. Will Leamon

    Though I made that clear...

    To anonymous poster who responded to my post. Not tryin to flame but I did point out that Network (aka broadcast) TV is crap and simply due to the FCC regulations that you very rightly pointed out.

    But we still deserve at least a little props for circumventing those rules through our feevee and cable channels. I also pointed to a few shows other than pay channels (read the post).

    To move the discussion along I'd also like to point to Fox's FX channel. Which although not broadcast is not a pay-channel and is subject to FCC (and NAB) codes. And that channel is downright raunchy. Has 'Rescue Me' (Dennis Leary's show) made it to blighty? I hope so as its awesome and very real.

    And in defense of the FCC, NBC DID try and get them to shut down the Sopranos but the FCC were quite frankly having none of it.

    More info here:

  20. Perry

    @ Steve (Oh FFS)

    Here here Steve..


    If you're a PJ fanboy, and you are about to consider hijacking what could be an interesting debate about freedom of speech and turning it into a rock band circle jerk, consider suicide.



    P.S. Boy George totally kicks ass on Wham!

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Ernie Medeiros


    The Pearl Jam signer sounds like he's signing with marbles in his mouth.

    If I let my electric razor run while lying on the counter it sounds almost exactly like that "Jeremy" song.

  22. Bill


    AT&T said: "This was not a censorship issue — it was a mistake that is completely against our policy..."

    Could we see the policy, please?

  23. Chris Pasiuk

    Bush from Connecticut??? Spawned yes... from... HELL NO.

    I had to check the "official" whitehouse bio on this, because our monkey-boy pres. couldn't POSSIBLY be from my home state. So he was born in New Haven, but grew up in Texas, ergo TEXAN--zero upbringing in the staunch conservative hub of New England. We yankees do NOT have a backwater steers-and-queers drawl to our speach*. And much like the Dixie Chicks, I'm ashamed that he was schooled in Yale. That in and of itself doesn't speak highly of that prestigeous ivy league university.

    * - my appology to most people in TX, as Dubya represents only a small percentage of the ranch-animal loving population. To the rest I say, "O la, mi amigos!" >:)

  24. 4.1.3_U1

    @Stu Reeves

    Is that a subtle link back to the aforementioned Simpsons?

    Coat, door etc.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The reason is Bush's new Executive Order

    On July 17th Bush signed an EO that bans anyone from protesting the Iraq war

    On YouTube you can see many examples of the american media doing this. Check it out at 4:10 in you can see the call get dropped.

    This Video explains it also. America is now fully facist.

  26. Naiirita

    executive order

    that does not have anything to do with protesting, it has to do with underminding efforts dealing with reconstruction, not related to the war directly. and undermine implys action, not just protesting.

  27. heystoopid

    Just the Tip of the Iceberg

    Just the tip of the iceberg , and it is not the first time nor the last time the phone company without a soul that sells all it's customers down river for a piece of silver(cheaper then Judas) , A T & T will behave in such a repressive manner!

    As for Pearl Jam , an interesting fact that presently the majority income for paid royalties is from all music released prior to 1992 by the current big four labels , long before the band hit the big time, so go figure!

    Thankfully , at this point in time , the Internet has the ability to bypass this illicit questionable corporate censorship , and the rise of bloggers as independent news and information sources has begun , once the Korean example takes off and flies around the world!

  28. Christopher E. Stith

    AT&T is not the government

    You have no rights to use AT&T's website or an AT&T sponsored event to say anything AT&T doesn't want you to say. El Reg reserves the right to moderate these feedback comments, BTW. Control by a person or company over what they are willing to pay for and be associated with by providing are by no means government censorship.

    Now, when you buy the time on AT&T's phone network, they have no right to censor or even hear what you say. That's another beast entirely.

    Can we please get past all of these stories about companies blocking certain messages without people screaming and whining about the government stifling speech? AT&T is not the government. The speech wasn't even stifled. It just wasn't carried by a particular media outlet the speaker (singer in this case) didn't pay to use. Eddie Vedder did this on someone else's network on time for which they paid. What's more, AT&T is at least grudgingly fixing the situation (and they say they're happy to fix it).

    BTW, Chris Pasiuk, while you're acting so superior, please remember that "White House", "Yankee" and "Ivy League" are commonly capitalized, "speech" is spelled with double "e", "apology" has only one "p", "prestigious" ends with "ious", "hola" is one word starting with a silent "h", "mis" is the plural while "mi" is the singular, and ascribing homosexuality and beastiality to 23 million people as a group based on residence in a different place is just silly and juvenile. If I was going to judge a whole state as a group, I'd say it's possibly people like you that prompted the move from Connecticut since your spelling, grammar, and attitude do not bode well for the education of future politicians. In all likelihood, the move to Texas was due to cheap and plentiful land combined with a favorable tax structure. Three other states you probably make homophobic remarks about are the "fly-over" states of Illinois, Missouri, and Kansas -- where my family mostly lives. Those three states were also home to Lincoln (he was born in Kentucky but practiced law and started his political career in Illinois), Grant (born in Ohio but lived at times in Illinois and Missouri), Truman (Independence, MO), Eisenhower (Abilene, KS), and Reagan (Reagan moved to California for his acting career and started in politics as the president of the Screen Actors Guild, then state Governor, but he was born and raised in Illinois). We're pretty proud of our Presidents, except maybe that thing with the atomic bombs. I can see why people are split on Truman for that. I guess now I'll find out I have unclean thoughts about farm animals of my own gender, according to your methods of "reasoning". Your rantings are perhaps fit for a primary school playground. Now piss off and let the adults comment on the actual article.

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