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Freemuse has not previously focused on the Land of the Free. It has never been
the priority of our work, neither has there been any reason to focus on the freedom
of musical expression in the USA. But after the tragedy of September 11
and more alerts have arisen from individuals and organizations that uphold
freedom of expression in the U.S.
Most often it is believed that violations of freedom of expression only occur in
distant undemocratic countries ruled by despots. However, it has become obvious
that any country undergoing war or stress introduces censorship as a tool to
control its population and emerging discontent within the society.
In this report Eric Nuzum not only describes cases of censorship in the U.S. in a
time of the war on terror, but also how the U.S. media has been a co-player in the
banning or condemning of certain types of music, songs or of the actions of musi-
It is the first time Freemuse looks into the role of media as an enforcer of censor-
ship. We have learnt that media should be independent ­ even termed the "fourth
estate" in democratic countries. Its role is to be the watchdog of governments,
politics and power.
Executive director of First Amendment Centre in Nashville, Mr. Gene Policinski,
has stated that "The response by media after the Sept. 11 attacks mirrored the
government's push in 1970 during the Vietnam War to remove songs with drug
connotations. It's nothing new in our nation's history".
According to the same source, it seems that citizens support the media´s response,
as four out of ten Americans feel that music should be censored.