MTV alters "Mosh" -- but director is still happy

By Corrie Pikul
Published October 29, 2004 11:19PM (EDT)

There were a few key tweaks made to video of Eminem's "Mosh" before it finally made its way on MTV this week. But the video's director has no objections -- and in fact thinks the network may be using "Mosh" as a way to "fight back" against Bush administration.

Of the controversial video -- which includes an image of George W. Bush in camouflage, holding a combat weapon -- three small elements from the original video (downloadable here) were changed: MTV bleeps the first part of the "Fuck Bush!" lyric, blurs the raised middle finger of an angry black youth, and speeds past a photo of Bush that hangs in the house of a character in the video, a veteran angry about being sent back to Iraq. The picture is pinned to the wall with what looks like a utility knife.

A spokesperson for MTV explains that the network doesn't allow the "F"-word on air, but insists that the video for "Mosh" that has been playing on TV shows the Bush photograph. Technically, this is true: the photo hasn't been rubbed out. But the sequence is sped up and blurred so much that the photo (and its content) is barely noticeable.

Instead of being miffed by these changes, Ian Inaba, the director of "Mosh," says that he's "pretty surprised" MTV left so much of the video intact. He points out that the network not only allowed Bush to be depicted holding a weapon, but that in that same scene, the President gets a shot in the arm of the controversial anthrax vaccine (watch closely -- it happens really quickly).

Inaba says that, typically, the record label will ask him to supply two versions of a video: a "clean" one for TV play and a "dirty" one for the Internet. In this case, timing was so tight that the network decided to clean up "Mosh" themselves. The music network got the video on Tuesday morning, and it debuted on TRL that afternoon. According to Inaba, "MTV wanted to play it so badly" that they didn't want to waste time revising it much. "This video is allowing people inside the networks to do what they've wanted to do and place the blame on somebody else. Because Eminem came out with this, they can say, 'Oh, that's just his view.'"

In Inaba's opinion, "Over the past four years, the media was duped by this administration on many stories. People want to make [the administration] accountable. And I think this video is one way that they can do that."

Corrie Pikul

Corrie Pikul writes about women's issues and pop culture. She lives in Brooklyn.

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