Pearl Jam Not First to be Censored by AT&T

180px-eddie_vedder_and_pearl_jam_in_concert_in_italy_2006.jpg AT&T’s controversial edit of comments about President Bush from a Webcast of Pearl Jam’s performance at Lollapalooza last week was not the first time the telecommunications giant has silenced political statements by musicians.

An AT&T spokeswoman initially characterized the sudden audio edit that silenced Eddie Vedder’s lyrics “George Bush, leave this world alone” and “George Bush, find yourself another home” during Pearl Jam’s performance in Grant Park last Sunday as “an unfortunate mistake” and “an isolated incident.”

But yesterday, a reader e-mailed the Sun-Times saying AT&T’s Blue Room Webcast also had silenced comments during two performances at the Bonnaroo Festival in Tennessee last June, cutting remarks by the John Butler Trio bemoaning the lack of federal response to Hurricane Katrina and comments about Bush and the war in Iraq by singer Wayne Coyne of the Flaming Lips.

“The sound did not cut out at any other time — only when someone was talking about George Bush or the government in a negative way,” the reader, who identified herself as Andrea K., wrote. Flaming Lips management said the band was unaware of the edit but was investigating, and the John Butler Trio could not be reached.

But AT&T did confirm that other, unspecified political comments have been cut from its Webcasts.

To read the full article from the Chicago Sun-Times by music writer Jim Derogatis, click here.

To read about “Net Neutrality”–a Congressional Bill that would make this type of censorship illegal, click here.

For Pearl Jam’s statement on the incident, click here.

To see and hear the edited and unedited segments of the concert, click here.

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