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Thousands attended a rally today in front of the United States Capital against the Iran Deal. Of the many speakers — including Mark Levin, Glenn Beck, Representative Louie Gohmert, Sarah Palin, and Senator Ted Cruz — the biggest name, and the reason why so many television cameras were on hand, was Donald Trump. Courtesy of C–SPAN, here is how he came onto the stage:
That should be a familiar song to most of you, but in case it isn’t, the song is “It’s the End of the World As We Know It (and I Feel Fine)” by the band R.E.M.
I first heard about this via a tweet from Roll Call, and this was my immediate reaction on Twitter:
I assumed lead singer Michael Stipe would be the first person to complain about Trump’s use of their song. I was wrong, it would be bassist Mike Mills:
R.E.M. will issue an official statement shortly.
— Mike Mills (@m_millsey) September 9, 2015
As of this writing, the official statement has not been released. But I’m confident it won’t be, “Thanks for playing our song, Mr. Trump. We’re big fans.”
The question now is whether it will lead to a lawsuit. The answer may lie in what happened just yesterday.
In Kentucky, after six days in jail, Rowan County Clerk Kim Smith was released from prison, where she’d been sent for refusing to grant same-sex marriage licenses. A rally was held there, as well. In front of thousands of supporters, Mrs. Smith came on stage as the song “Eye of the Tiger” by the band Survivor played. Survivor has filed a $1.2 million lawsuit against Kim Davis and Mike Huckabee, who also appeared at the rally. From NBC News:
“NO! We did not grant Kim Davis any rights to use ‘My Tune -The Eye Of The Tiger.’ I would not grant her the rights to use Charmin! C’mom Mike, you are not The Donald but you can do better than that -See Ya really SoooooooonnnnnnN!!!!!!”
Speaking with Billboard, band co-founder Jim Peterik said he was also not pleased with the unauthorized use of the song.
“The song has motivated thousands through the years to reach beyond their limits. Its use for the release of Kim Davis does not support my views or my politics.”
Note the last line about Mr. Peterik’s views and politics. This is, of course, typical. We know that most musicians, actors, actresses, television hosts, authors, heck, pretty much everyone in the entertainment industry is a liberal.
Comedian Amy Schumer supports Hillary Clinton:
— Amy Schumer (@amyschumer) September 9, 2015
Actress Lena Dunham supports Planned Parenthood:
Planned Parenthood has stood by women and their families for nearly 100 years. Now it's our turn to #standwithPP
— Lena Dunham (@lenadunham) July 22, 2015
And Actor Mark Ruffalo supports gun control:
I just signed. Immediately address the issue of gun control through the introduction of legislation in Congress. http://t.co/DOhPfdI5
— Mark Ruffalo (@MarkRuffalo) December 15, 2012
We conservatives have most country music artists, and a handful of movie and television stars on our side. And I do mean a handful. I can think of about ten.
The thing that fascinates me are the survivors of the entertainment world who ostensibly tell conservatives, “Drop dead, we don’t want your money.” It’s one thing to believe in a cause or a politician, but I don’t understand the business acumen of entertainers who would risk alienating a sizable chunk of their potential consumers by telling them to get lost.
My friend Seton Motley once reminded me of the time Michael Jordan refused to endorse a Democrat candidate because “Republicans buy sneakers, too.” More entertainers would be better served if they adopted the same attitude. All money spends, no matter who is giving it to you.
As I was finishing up this article, R.E.M. issued their promised statement:
“While we do not authorize or condone the use of our music at this political event, and do ask that these candidates cease and desist from doing so, let us remember that there are things of greater importance at stake here. The media and the American voter should focus on the bigger picture, and not allow grandstanding politicians to distract us from the pressing issues of the day and of the current Presidential campaign.”
I assumed it was going to be a lot harsher than this. This is actually pretty rational, and seemingly fair.
Unfortunately, the same can’t be said of a separate statement by singer Michael Stipe:
“Go [his statement used a vulgar word, but this is edited for content] yourselves, the lot of you–you sad, attention grabbing, power-hungry little men. Do not use our music or my voice for your moronic charade of a campaign.”
He did say “men.” Maybe he’s a Carly Fiorina fan.
Hah, I make myself laugh sometimes.