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R.E.M. Slam Fox News for Playing ‘Losing My Religion’

Michael Stipe, Peter Buck
Scott Gries, Getty Images

R.E.M. have issued a cease-and-desist order against Fox News demanding that the network stop playing the band’s 1991 hit ‘Losing My Religion’ after the song was used without the band’s consent on Thursday night during the network’s coverage of the Democratic National Convention. 

R.E.M. addressed the situation with a statement posted on their official website. It reads, in part:

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.’

It is not known under exactly what circumstances the song was played, but recently, Fox News has been devoting a lot of coverage to the Democrats’ controversial decision to exclude — and then re-add  — references to “God” and “Jerusalem” in the Democratic platform.

R.E.M., who split up last year, have long leaned to the left and supported liberal causes, including the election of President Barack Obama. Stipe revealed during Obama’s 2008 campaign that he had been an early supporter of the candidate. “I’m buoyed by Barack Obama arriving at a time when people have lost their faith in politics,” he told The Sun. “There’s something there that speaks of a level-headedness and competence, so obviously I want him to be the next President.”

R.E.M. may not be the biggest fans of Fox News, but they do have some history with the network. The group’s 1988 hit ‘Stand,’ their all-time second-highest charting tune behind ‘Losing My Religion,’ was licensed for use as the theme song to the early-’90s Fox comedy, ‘Get a Life.’

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