Thursday, August 9, 2007

Eddie Vedders attempts to hamper free press

It’s funny how a drunken rock star can make a mockery of freedom of the press and claim the high moral ground as a champion of the freedom of the press at the same time. But that’s how things are done when you’re a liberal whacko venting your pure hatred for George Bush. Eddie Vedder gets a free pass from the liberal media.
A little background is in order to understand this. Eddie Vedder and his band Pearl Jam played Lollapalooza last Sunday night. At one point he began preaching his hatred of George Bush during a cover of Pink Floyd’s “Another Brick in the Wall.” The improvised lyrics “George Bush, leave this world alone” and “George Bush, find yourself another home” were inserted into the Pink Floyd song, which fittingly also includes the line “We don’t need no education.”
Liberals have long advocated using educators for social engineering so it is appropriate that the liberal hate-filled lyrics were used in a song that advocates replacing education with propaganda. Liberals have slowly destroyed America’s education system by using it for their social engineering platform while also claiming that it’s more important for students to ‘feel good about themselves’ than learn in a competitive environment. I wonder if the irony is lost on Eddie Vedder? Considering he was repeatedly swilling from a wine bottle during the band’s set, he’s probably in a constant drunken haze too thick for him to notice.
It was also nice of Eddie to share his wine with fans near the front of the stage. A little wine must surely help the propaganda go down smoother. Considering many of the fans were not of legal age to drink, and many were under 18, it’s a wonder he can get away with sharing his wine, but I clearly saw it on video of the set. If I had shared alcohol with a minor, I might be in jail now, but celebrities are usually above the law so I’m sure the Chicago Police Department will not be investigating Eddie for contributing to the delinquency of a minor or child abuse or any such thing. Eddie gets a pass again.
AT&T was broadcasting a live webcast of the Pearl Jam set and supposedly censored Eddie’s anti-Bush lyrics. According to the band, on, “This, of course, troubles us as artists but also as citizens concerned with the issue of censorship and the increasingly consolidated control of the media.” This is where I say WHAT?
I was at Lollapalooza to photograph the event for a magazine, and I was shocked by Pearl Jam’s heavy-handed treatment of the photo-journalists. Whereas every other band allowed us to photograph, Pearl Jam only allowed 20 hand-picked photographers to photograph them. Eliminated from the chosen few were photographers with wire services who might get wide distribution of images.
Even after making the cut, the chosen photographers were forced to sign a photo release stating that they would only use the images in the one publication they were shooting the event for. If that was not humiliating enough, these photographers were also forced to wear a large yellow armband with the word “photo” identifying themselves as one of the chosen few. I guess the band wanted to be able to look down in the pit and see photographers identified much like a fascist ruler might label a dissident.
The chosen photographers were allowed to photograph only 3 songs from behind demarcation lines on either side of the photo pit only. Any photographer crossing the demarcation line would be immediately ejected from the festival. Pearl Jam did not want any photographers in the center of the pit. Only the band knows why.
The real news though was when Ben Harper joined Pearl Jam for a duet and when Dennis Rodman had Eddie Vedder on his shoulders at the end. But the free press was not allowed to photograph that. However, Kevin Mazur was allowed to photograph those scenes for Wireimage, a photo agency with a history of cutting deals with bands in exchange for exclusive coverage. You can see the images at labeled as “exclusive coverage.”
Kevin Mazur and Wireimage has done this before as part of Kevin’s strategy for building Wireimage’s reputation in the entertainment news industry. Kevin is well-known in the industry as a heavy-handed paparazzi and has cut these sort of deals with other bands, ensuring that he gets exclusive photos from the pit while other photographers must photograph from farther back. After building up Wireimage’s reputation, and debt, the agency was bought by Getty Images (
Getty images is the largest paparazzi agency in the US, and a few years ago bought Imagedirect, another paparazzi agency that was at one time Wireimage’s chief competition. The latest deal had Getty buying Wireimage and Filmmagic ( and keeping them as separate boutique paparazzi agencies so they would be able to get more of their photographer into events under different outlets, thus shutting out other photographers from other wire services and magazines.
Now you know why it is a bit disingenuous for Pearl Jam to decry the “increasingly consolidated control of the media.” By allowing Kevin Mazur to get exclusive images for the largest media image conglomerate in the US, the band is only contributing to the problem they publicly object to. Any time you see an image credited to Getty, Wireimage or Filmmagic, you can rest assured that it’s another nail in the coffin of the free press. I wonder if Eddie Vedder’s education included learning the meaning of the word hypocrite.
Hypocrisy is nothing new to Eddie though. On the way out of Lollapalooza I was handed a poster for a movie called “Into The Wild.” I talked to the person handing out the poster and found out she worked for Paramount Pictures and was handing the posters out at Lollapalooza (along with some co-workers) to promote the movie because Eddie Vedder’s first solo album would be the soundtrack for the movie.
The movie poster stated “screenplay and directed by Sean Penn.” Sean Penn is another famous person known for Bush bashing. Sean recently befriended Hugo Chavez, a fascist dictator in Venezuela who recently curbed freedom of the press in Venezuela. No wonder then that Eddie and Sean are friends; they both advocate hatred, fascism, and destruction of freedom of the press.
It does not really matter to Eddie though. As long as he is bashing Bush (and he has a history of doing that, including performing on the Vote for Change Tour during the last election campaign, and strutting around a stage with the President (in effigy) impaled on a stick at a Denver show before that), he will continue to be a darling of the liberal press and will continue to feel like an elite person with a right to preach his hatred to the public, without a need to be accountable or justify his beliefs. He is one of the beautiful people, leading the biggest Nazi-punk band of the decade.
If Eddie had his way, Bush would be censored. I prefer the American way (freedom Eddie) and would not censor somebody just because I hate them like Eddie does. Eddie is free to have his own opinion too and I am happy that I am able to write about his hypocrisy. Unfortunately I feel I must do it on an anonymous blog lest the band censor me by not allowing me to photograph some of the live music I love (yes the band is that powerful in the industry). Pearl Jam’s heavy-handed approach to the media scares me that much.