R.E.M. frontman Michael Stipe has never made it a secret that he supported Barack Obama during his first election bid, but it sounds as if his request that Fox News stop using one of the band’s most famous songs during the Democratic National Convention is a matter of principle. R.E.M. (via its publisher) issued a cease-and-desist today ordering Fox News to stop playing “Losing My Religion” in their coverage of the DNC, with Stipe adding, ”We have little or no respect for their puff adder brand of reportage. Our music does not belong there.”
Oh, snap. Now, you might be tempted to argue that Fox News’ impulse was right, since they wanted to highlight how the Democrats first removed many references to “God” and “Jerusalem” in their platform, only to reverse the decision and add those charged words back in. However, a Redditor pointed out (via the song’s Wikipedia page) that when the song was released in 1991, Stipe clarified that the song isn’t actually about religion:
The phrase “losing my religion” is an expression from the southern region of the United States that means losing one’s temper or civility, or “being at the end of one’s rope.” Stipe told The New York Times the song was about romantic expression. He told Q that “Losing My Religion” is about “someone who pines for someone else. It’s unrequited love, what have you.” Stipe compared the song’s theme to “Every Breath You Take” by The Police, saying, “It’s just a classic obsession pop song. I’ve always felt the best kinds of songs are the ones where anybody can listen to it, put themselves in it and say, ‘Yeah, that’s me.’”
You’d think that Fox News’ fact-checkers would have found this relevant piece of info from over twenty years ago.
Photos: Joseph Marzullo/WENN.com and David Belisle (via R.E.M. HQ)