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Michael Stipe throws a hissy, gets ass handed back to him by Fox.

I guess with R.E.M. now defunct, Michael Stipe has a lot of time to watch T.V.

So much time in fact, he heard Fox News playing "Losing my Religion," on its morning show Fox & Friends.

Stipe quickly took to the official R.E.M. HQ site to act shocked--SHOCKED that they could dare use his song, and gin up the grass roots movement who are apparently comprised of: people who froth at the mouth whenever they hear the words "Fox" and "News," and overpaid musicians of the 1% like Michael Stipe:

R.E.M.'s "Losing My Religion" was used in the Fox News coverage of the Democratic National Convention last night. R.E.M. today, through its music publisher, Warner-Tamerlane Music, demanded that Fox News cease and desist from continuing its unlicensed and unauthorized use of the song. Michael Stipe said, "We have little or no respect for their puff adder brand of reportage. Our music does not belong there."

Ah but there's a problem with this self-righteous soap boxing. Namely, Fox had indeed licensed the song. And they weren't afraid to snark right back in Stipe's face:

Atlanta Magazine (a favorite of kidsleepy's when he lived in that great city) printed the response from Fox News reps addressing the cease and desist, which goes like this:

"Fox News Channel's use of an R.E.M. song was in full accordance with its license agreements with all appropriate parties. 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."

It kind of tickles me to picture Michael Stipe, mug of organic hot cocoa in hand, snarling in his Snuggie at the thought of all those right wingers singing along to "Losing My Religion," when it comes on.

But hey, Michael. It's okay. Go on and rile up your base either way. And don't feel too bad: Fox & Friends is, for better or worse, one of the highest watched morning cable programs. So people are still hearing your music.

And if you're being honest, do you really care when there's a nice fat royalty check at the end of the month? So go on: eat your cake and have it, too.

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Dabitch's picture

Aw c'mon, he was just losing his religion! ;P Let the man vent while holding his Venti.

kidsleepy's picture

Hey I love the guy. It's just you know-- if you're gonna vent while holding your venti at least make it bullet proof.

Dabitch's picture

It's probably yet another case of "BIG BAD MUSIC CORP™ sold OUR stuff without TELLING US, should have read the small print in the contract when we ditched IRS for Warner Brothers but all that money they waved at us distracted us..."

I dunno. I'm guessing. It's just that the BIG BAD MUSIC CORP™ usually gets the blame somehow.

AnonymousCoward's picture

Could also be that FOX is lying.

tm's picture

No look it up. Easy to find the info.

kidsleepy's picture

No. Looked it up. Info was correct.

Dabitch's picture

...But... But.. They're so trustworthy and NEVER get facts or geography wrong... man. :P

kidsleepy's picture

I'm thinking fox wouldn't bother risking a lawsuit over something so stupid, so yeah it seems to me they should be more upset at Warner Brothers. And for that matter they should be upset at Warner Brothers for licensing their music to be played in stores like Kohl's. I once heard an R.E.M. song in Kohl's. Isn't that more offensive?

Dabitch's picture

OMG the horrors of hearing "shiny happy people" at Kohl's. /SARCASM

A's picture

I would think Fox would only use Ted Nugent.

smugasshole's picture

What is up with the smug writing? Do you hate Stipe that much and love Fox News that much that you would write something so scathing?

Why does it upset you if a musician who is left leaning gets upset if a right wing news out let uses his music? It obviously rubbed you the wrong way that you felt the need to make fun of Stipe.

I love writers who use the phrase "ass handed to them." Do 12 year olds write for adland or what? How snarky can you get? Since you're about 12 let me put it to you this way. Your parents sell your prized childhood Star Wars toys to a porn star and then one night while surfing the net you see a disgusting porn star stick Boba Fet up where you don't think Boba Fet should be going. Wouldn't you be pissed off?

kidsleepy's picture

I neither hate Stipe, nor love FOX news. I DO however, love marketing mishaps and hypocrisy. And here's a clue for you: If you're going to take a stand and act self-righteous, at least do it in a way where we can't poke holes in your self-righteousness. No one 'stole,' his music. The R.E.M. quote makes it sounds as if FOX ripped the song off to use for its own nefarious ways. It hadn't. It paid for the license. It was played on a morning show as a lead in to the story that the DNC had removed, and then put back in, mentions of God in its speech.

Thanks for giving me a star wars analogy because I clearly wouldn't have understood it otherwise. So if I follow your argument,
Michael Stipe is the twelve year old boy who deserves to whine because Warner Brothers licensed his music? Let me ask you this-- if Michael Stipe has the right to be upset at Boba Fet, shouldn't Boba Fet also expect something of him since they paid him 80 million dollars for the privilege of licensing his music? I think so. I think if Warner Brothers pays a band that much they can put the music wherever they like.

Thanks for your comment though because yours was certainly in no way sarcastic or caustic but very objective and rational. Always a pleasure.

Dabitch's picture

I was watching the game last night (Steelers vs Broncos) and suddenly I heard "Orange Crush".

I can't wait to hear what Michael says about that. Oh, WB are licensing these songs left and right? Ah, I see.

kidsleepy's picture

This came from R.E.M.'s website, on Saturday. Michael's response to FOX.

Dabitch's picture

Fires back? He's laughing? Is it a "hahaha - ya got me there FOX" laugh? If so, it's kinda funny. Like we just watched an in-joke between giants.

I just.. I mean, I don't think Michael Stipe is the kind of fool who thinks he gets to decide who is allowed to listen to his music after signing a deal that gives WB the licensing control, and I know he must be music-industry savvy enough to know that these sorts of licensing deals are worked out in chunks over several channels... The way one sells airtime on cable.

If FOX hadn't payed up as one should, I'd be in the front row with my pitchfork. This is not the case, sayz FOX.

Also, I love how Boba Fet got into this conversation because the money-making Star Wars prequels weren't fucking with childhood memories at all now, whilst making a crapload of cash for Lucas. Nu-uh.

Dabitch's picture

Look what up?

AnonymousCoward's picture

I love how this article concludes with Michael Stipe getting the last laugh