It’s the End of the World As Broadcasters Know It

Following the September 11th attacks in 2001, Clear Channel Communications (now iHeartMedia), the largest owner of radio stations in the United States, circulated an internal memo containing a list of songs that program directors felt were "lyrically questionable” to play in the aftermath of the attacks.

In the article It's the End of the World as Clear Channel Knows It, by Eliza Truitt, published on September 17, 2001,  explains that after the attacks on 9/11, many television and radio stations altered normal programming in response to the events. Clear Channel and its subsidiaries assembled a list of songs they suggested removing from airplay. did research on the subject and concluded that the list did exist, but noted that it was not an outright ban of any songs. Yet when rules are as amorphous as the “war on terror” you can remove any song you want.

Some of the songs Clear Channel wanted “skipped over” were:

Bangles — Walk Like an Egyptian

Beastie Boys — Sabotage

The Beatles — Ticket To Ride

Carole King — I Feel the Earth Move

Cat Stevens — Peace Train

Dave Matthews Band — Crash Into Me

Elton John — Benny & The Jets

James Taylor — Fire and Rain

Led Zeppelin — Stairway to Heaven

Lenny Kravitz — Fly Away

Phil Collins — In the Air Tonight

Soundgarden — Black Hole Sun

Van Halen — Jump

Talking Heads — Burning Down the House

All of Rage Against The Machine

I wonder where all the protest songs went? Is there truly less interest in the genre or have they been silenced?

My covers and original protest songs are together in one album called The Protest Project and it’s available for free at