R.E.M sent FOX News a cease-and-desist letter on Thursday after the network played the group’s classic “Losing My Religion” song during its coverage of the Democratic National Convention.
Lead singer Michael Stipe said the group had “little or no respect” for FOX News’ reporting and did not want their music associated with the network.
“Our music does not belong there,” Stipe wrote on the band’s website.
FOX played the song during a convention in which Democrats removed “God” from their platform and had a floor fight about whether to reinsert “God” back into it. Even though two-thirds of those on the floor did not say “aye,” DNC Chair Antonio Villaraigosa deemed the motion passed after three voice votes.
R.E.M. is the latest in the long line of rock bands that have taken offense when Republicans or those on the center-right of the political spectrum have played their music.
Twisted Sister frontman Dee Snider asked Paul Ryan after he was selected as Mitt Romney’s running mate to stop playing the group’s song “We’re Not Gonna Take It.” And Rage Against the Machine’s Tom Morello lit into Ryan, writing that “the only thing [Ryan] is not raging against is the privileged elite he’s groveling in front of for campaign contributions.”
During the 2008 presidential campaign, Van Halen, Jackson Browne, and John Mellencamp asked John McCain to stop playing their respective songs. Further, the group Heart also objected when the McCain campaign played their song “Barracuda” during Sarah Palin’s rallies.
The rock band Rush stopped Kentucky Senator Rand Paul from playing “Tom Sawyer.”
When former presidential candidate Michele Bachmann at her rallies played “American Girl” by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, she was immediately asked to stop playing the song.
Stipe, R.E.M.’s front man, has criticized Republicans like Rush Limbaugh former President George W. Bush in the past.