Pro/Con: Should songs be censored given current events? (Video)
By BY JESSICA PRIEST - JPRIEST@VICAD.COM
Jan. 20, 2013 at 10:05 p.m.
Updated Jan. 20, 2013 at 7:21 p.m.
Some say music censorship is best illustrated by Russian composer Igor Stravinsky.
In 1913, he premiered his ballet "The Rite of Spring." The audience rioted throughout the daring, avant-garde piece, in which he instructed the orchestra to play folk songs with pagan origins at the depth of their range.
A century later, it's a celebrated piece of art - but the world wasn't ready for it then.
Ke$ha is no Stravinsky, but she also has been censored. In the wake of the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn., where a lone gunman killed 20 school children, listeners of the top 40 radio station 95.1 KVIC may have noticed the raspy rap tunes of Ke$ha missing from the airwaves - at least for a week or so.
That's because morning show host Joe Friar pulled the songstress' flagship single "Die Young," then dominating the Billboard's top pop songs chart, out of rotation. He believed its repetitive chorus would rouse bad emotions on a medium many use to escape the reality and pressures of the day.
Friar, who has worked at the station, which is privately owned by a San Antonio lawyer, for about 10 years, said the song has nothing to do with the massacre. In fact, he knows Ke$ha and her producers meant to encourage people to live their life to the fullest.
Friar said he got both good and bad feedback for the decision he'd readily make again.
He said it was a sensitive time for the country, and rabid fans of the star could have gone elsewhere to listen to the song like iTunes and satellite radio.
"To me, censoring a song is when you disagree with its message or its lyrics, and you personally decide not to play the song for those particular reasons. In this particular scenario, that was not the case," he said.
Still, constitutional rights activists say it's problematic when one chooses what's best for all.
Should songs that are perceived to be morally objectionable be censored given current events?