(Shouldn't Fox News be using this version? I mean, considering the audience...)
I guess this is the season for snakes. I hike in the hills behind my house every day and lately we keep running into rattlesnakes. Very inconvenient. Turns out R.E.M. is more concerned about a different species of dangerous snake:
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."
Wikipedia defines a puff adder as "a venomous viper species found in savannah and grasslands from Morocco and western Arabia throughout Africa except for the Sahara and rain forest regions. It is responsible for causing the most fatalities in Africa owing to various factors, such as its wide distribution and frequent occurrence in highly populated regions... Normally a sluggish species, it relies on camouflage for protection... When agitated, it can resort to a typical serpentine movement and move with surprising speed... If disturbed, they will hiss loudly and continuously, adopting a tightly coiled defensive posture... They are bad-tempered snakes and some specimens never settle down in captivity, always hissing and puffing when approached." Fox called R.E.M. publicity hounds for bringing it up and says it has the right to use R.E.M.'s music any way it wants to.
"FOX News Channel?s use of an R.E.M. song during Thursday?s edition of Fox & Friends 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."
But, to be honest, I was more concerned by a different viper reference this week, one from Nancy Pelosi, who I respect and admire but who made a horrifying mistake in appointing "ex"-Blue Dog Steve Israel as chair of the DCCC. Israel outsized career aspirations outstrip his modest talents and he's trying to use the DCCC to lard up the House caucus with conservative Blue Dogs and New Dems, thereby risking the chance to take back the majority-- it was only 2010 when Democratic voters were very clear that they had no interest in supporting Blue Dogs and Nancy was displaced by John Boehner because a couple dozen Blue Dogs and other ConservaDems went down to defeat caused by Democrats staying home on election day. But Pelosi doesn't see it that way. She admits Israel is a dangerous snake but believes his serpentine tendencies can be used for the good of the party-- even though he only uses them against progressives, never against his Republican pals.
"We?re going to go mano-a-mano,? the 72-year-old House minority leader promised Thursday in Charlotte, N.C., site of the Democratic National Convention, where she predicted that the Dems will pick up 27 seats in November?two more than necessary to regain the majority. ?We?re not yielding one grain of sand. I never go into a fight predicated on losing. It?s always about winning.?
...And she boldly raised expectations for the Democrats? political fortunes, claiming that a 27-seat pickup is ?a worst-case scenario? in a year when President Obama, she said, will also win reelection.
?In my opinion, Steve Israel is the best,? Pelosi said, referring to New York?s 2nd District representative, who chairs the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. ?He?s driven by policy, which makes him very firm in politics ? I said to him, ?Understand, when you take this job, this is for the cold-blooded? ? But Steve has sufficient reptilian tendencies to do the job.? She meant that as a compliment.