Imagine Clear Channel banning music from its stations for political reasons. Not hard to do since the radio conglomerate distributed a list of singles it suggested not be played at its stations, including John Lennon's signature song, in the weeks following the 9/11 attacks in 2001. Now, according to Fox News, the company has sent an edict to its classic rock stations barring them from playing tunes from Bruce Springsteen's latest, the politcally charged album "Magic."
While Fox's Roger Friedman doesn't suggest political motives, the blog Down with Tyranny does: "Clear Channel is a big-time and very consciously right-wing power player with a goal of changing American pop culture. They have done all they could to stifle progressive voices and to dumb down and trivialize the culture."
In the Twin Cities, Clear Channel owns seven stations -- K102, KFAN, SCORE 690-AM, KOOL 108, Cities 97, and KTLK. Cities 97's music director, Thorn, says the Fox report is "hogwash": "First, corporate never tells us what to play, and second, we're playing it already." The station is currently having a ticket giveaway for Springsteen's upcoming concert here.
He says the title track is the most biting, but he doesn't see why it wouldn't get played on his station. "Yeah, it's critical of the administration: Yay! Most of the country is critical of the administration."
If any song could be deemed less-than-Clear-Channel-worthy, it might be the first single from the album, "Radio Nowhere."
"That song is kind of talking about how bad radio is," he said, "and it's it's getting a quarter of its play from Clear Channel."