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Wednesday, December 19, 2007
Tim Graham, Arts Critic
Topic: NewsBusters

A Dec. 19 NewsBusters post by Tim Graham is headlined, "Washington Post Yawns at 'Tame' Song 'Fascist Christ'." Of course, the entire newspaper did no such thing; it's merely a claim in a review printed in the Post, and Graham seems to have misinterpreted that, too.

In a review of a Todd Rundgren concert, the Post reviewer noted:

And for a guy pushing 60, Rundgren still works hard, digging into the vocals and closing most songs with a leaping scissors kick. But his promises to "offend each and every person in the room" didn't quite deliver, starting with a tame "Fascist Christ" and ending with a listless jab against -- yawn -- neoconservatives. Sorry; if you want to talk politics in this town, you have to hit a lot harder than that.

Graham responded (again conflating the reviewer's opinion to that of the entire newspaper):

Since when is a song viciously attacking American Christians as fascists considered "tame" and inoffensive? The only arguments in the Post's favor: The song is old (from 1993, hardly the zenith of Christian conservatism), and it's a very lame white rap song.

Graham seems not to have considered that, as the context of the review suggests, the reviewer may have been referring to Rundgren's performance of the song at the concert, not the specific song content itself (though we would concur with Graham's assessment of "Fascist Christ" as a "lame white rap song").

Graham has a habit of finding ways to misinterpret music and other arts reviews -- such as suggesting without evidence that reviews endorse the content of those events they review positively and ascribing the views of people quoted in a review to the reviewer himself.

Posted by Terry K. at 5:06 PM EST
Updated: Friday, January 25, 2008 1:29 AM EST

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