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AT&T widens webcast apology

August 11, 2007|Randy Lewis | Times Staff Writer

Oops, they did it before.

A day after AT&T apologized to Pearl Jam, Lollapalooza organizers and music fans for deleting a snippet of the band's performance last weekend in Chicago during which Eddie Vedder criticized President Bush, the company offered up another mea culpa Friday for tinkering with other performers' webcasts.

In response to fans who claimed that the audio silencing of Vedder's sung remarks about Bush at Lollapalooza were not unique in the history of AT&T's Blue Room live webcasts, an AT&T spokeswoman said: "It's not our intent to edit political comments in webcasts on the attblueroom.com. Unfortunately, it has happened in the past in a handful of cases. We have taken steps to ensure that it won't happen again."

The statement from spokeswoman Tiffany Nels did not specify what those steps were, nor did it mention what performers were involved.

One fan who contacted The Times on Friday said AT&T's Blue Room webcast bleeped the sound during performances by the Flaming Lips and the John Butler Trio at the Bonnaroo Festival in Tennessee in June.

A public forum on Butler's site, at www.johnbutlertrio.com, includes a discussion among fans about several audio gaps during a spoken introduction to the song "Gov Did Nothin'," which included references critical of the government's response to Hurricane Katrina.

A representative for the Flaming Lips said the band had received reports from fans of some corruption of the webcast of its Bonnaroo set but added that the band had not been able to review the specifics as of Friday afternoon and would not comment.

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randy.lewis@latimes.com

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