R.E.M. slams Fox for 'puff adder reportage' with use of song
Veteran US rock group R.E.M. is slamming Fox News for playing a song of their in covering the Democratic convention, accusing the conservative US broadcaster of "puff adder" reporting.
But Fox News hit back, saying it had used the hit tune Losing My Religion entirely legally, and claiming that R.E.M. was seeking a "publicity fix" by issuing the protest.
The pioneering alternative rock band, which split up last year after three decades, posted a message on its website Thursday saying that Fox News used the hit song on Wednesday.
"R.E.M. today, through its music publisher, Warner-Tamerlane Music, demanded that Fox News cease and desist from continuing its unlicensed and unauthorised use of the song," said the statement.
Frontman Michael Stipe added: "We have little or no respect for their puff adder brand of reportage. Our music does not belong there."
RT reports that the conservative news network apparently used R.E.M.’s hit in order to indirectly comment on what the Republicans see as the Democrats lack of faith.
A Fox News spokeswoman said the channel had not used the R.E.M. song on Wednesday but rather Thursday morning – and hit back at the band.
"Fox News Channel's use of an R.E.M. song during Thursday's edition of 'Fox & Friends' was in full accordance with its license agreements with all appropriate parties," she said in a statement emailed to AFP.
"Nevertheless, we're always flattered to have this much attention for a song selection and we hope R.E.M. was able to satisfy their publicity fix."
The group, whose hits also include Shiny Happy People and Everybody Hurts, were a cult band on the US college rock circuit before hitting the mainstream in the early 1990s.
Led by Stipe on vocals and Peter Buck on guitar, R.E.M. took alt-rock to the masses with a string of hits also including Radio Free Europe and The End of the World As We Know It.
This is not the first such incident during the 2012 election campaign connected with the Republicans, the RT report states.
Last month another US alternative rock band, Silversun Pickups, demanded that Mitt Romney’s campaign stop using their song Panic Switch, during their events.
"We don't like people going behind our backs, using our music without asking, and we don't like the Romney campaign," Silversun Pickups’ frontman Brian Aubert wrote. "We're nice, approachable people. We won't bite. Unless you're Mitt Romney!"