Ten years ago today, three days after the September 11 attacks, Clear Channel sent out a mass email to its over 1,000 affiliate stations. The email included a list of songs with lyrics and/or titles that Clear Channel considered questionable in the wake of the attacks.
Songs on the list had titles and lyrical themes that included fire, guns, weapons in general, New York City, death, the Middle East, airplanes, anything too depressing and anything too political. When word got out about the email, news sources erroneously reported that the now-infamous "Clear Channel Memorandum" was a list of songs that the radio conglomerate banned from airplay on its stations. Clear Channel didn't make things any better when they denied the memorandum's existence entirely.
A minor furor erupted -- especially amongst left-wingers -- who love throwing shade at the sometimes Republican-affiliated Clear Channel. Was this censorship, or was Clear Channel simply being sensitive to listeners during trying times?
The truth about the memorandum eventually came out, courtesy of some research done by snopes.com, who found out two things: One, the memorandum did exist, despite Clear Channel's denials; two, the songs on the list weren't actually banned from radio airplay, although Clear Channel strongly suggested that its stations eliminate the songs from their airplay (the final decision was left up to the radio stations themselves). Many opted in, a few didn't, and that was that.
In honor of the 10-year anniversary of the Clear Channel Memorandum, we've collected a list of the top 10 songs considered "questionable" by the radio conglomerate in the wake of the September 11 terrorist attacks.
We'd love to hear your opinion, so comment away. Do you think Clear Channel was right to send out this suggested list? Clear Channel is notorious for limiting playlists anyways; their affiliate stations aren't really known for playing controversial stuff in the first place. Was the uproar over the memorandum a moot point? Click on the jump, see our list, and give your two cents in the comments.