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Friday, June 11, 2004

First the Dixie Chicks, now the Moz
Bigmouth Strikes Again: Morrissey Slams Bush!
Fans throwing up all over the place, universe descends into blackness

Jonah Flicker reports:
In an apparent homage to Charles Bronson, Morrissey has gone all Death Wish on our crazy President's ass. Fully removing his hand from glove, everyone's favorite (and only) former Smiths frontman reportedly remarked at a recent Dublin concert that he wished that Bush had died instead of former President Ronald Reagan, who, as you are surely aware, passed away earlier this week. Unfortunately, no actual recording of the gig has surfaced at this point, so we can't pinpoint Morrissey exact words, but our ace forensic re-enactment team here at Pitchfork went over every scenario and algorithm, and presented us with their professional approximation: "Ronald Reagan died. I wish it had been President Bush instead." Is this what we're paying you for, guys?

As is to be expected, reactions from fans and media have been mixed, provoking both ire and glee, but so far, it doesn't seem that the Secret Service have taken Morrissey's words too seriously. The fans are another matter entirely. Webboard comments have ranged from anti-European ("More tastelessness and idiocy from across the Atlantic") to mildly amused ("Somebody had to say it") to vehement agreement ("George W. Bush should die in a hotel fire in Birmingham, wrapped in sheets gritty with Mr Kipling crumbs") since the incident.

Sanctuary Records Group, whose Attack Records subsidiary is Morrissey's current label, issued the following statement: "We do not have a recording of the gig, but as far as we can tell, Morrissey was just alerting the audience to the fact that Ronald Reagan had died. He then simply followed that up with his comment about George Bush, which was his own opinion. He is no stranger to controversy." Reports that Tom Ridge had raised the terrorist threat level to red were unconfirmed at press time.

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