MTV shows Kerry some love

By Eric Boehlert
Published November 2, 2004 9:19PM (UTC)
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Viacom CEO and big-time Democratic donor Sumner Redstone turned some heads this fall when he announced he was voting for President Bush because the GOP was better for business. "From a Viacom standpoint, the election of a Republican administration is a better deal," he said. Maybe somebody in the programming department at Viacom's MTV didn't get the memo, because Tuesday, besides having Eminem's clip, the anti-Bush broadside "Mosh" in regular rotation, the channel is also airing, as a stand-alone video, the closing, all-star number from the Vote for Change concert recently held in Washington.

Featuring, REM, Pearl Jam, Dave Matthews, John Fogerty, Bruce Springsteen, Jurassic 5, John Mellencamp and others plowing through Patti Smith's "People Have the Power," the performance has been inspiring Democrats for weeks, as the concert gets replayed on the Sundance Channel. Now MTV is showing it to a national audience, sandwiched between Lindsay Lohan and Usher videos, and doing it on a day when polls indicate a heavy turnout by young voters could seal a victory for John Kerry. When REM's Michael Stipe, sporting a Kerry T-shirt, yells "Listen!" to the cheering crowd before singing the anthem's final verse, the message to MTV viewers is hard to miss:


"I believe everything we dream / Can come to pass through our union / We can turn the world around / We can turn the earth's revolution / We have the power / People have the power."

Eric Boehlert

Eric Boehlert, a former senior writer for Salon, is the author of "Lapdogs: How the Press Rolled Over for Bush."

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