Last night — after watching the debates, coincidentally — we received an email from No Age guitarist Randy Randall, who wanted talk about something that happened to him when he showed up to tape a performance for Craig Late Late Night With Craig Ferguson wearing an Obama shirt. Randy explains:

After the rehearsals, the people from CBS said I couldn’t wear the shirt. I threatened to walk off the set and not do the show. They would not budge. They said that it was because they had to give equal time. I told them to put up a Mccain t-shirt, or anything else they wanted, but they wouldn’t do anything. Dean and I talked and we came to the conclusion that it was better to do the show and make a statement on national TV than just walk away. So I turned the shirt inside out and wrote free healthcare on it.

CBS told No Age that allowing Randy to wear the shirt violated the Fairness Doctrine. It’s strange then that Regina Spektor displayed her Obama Belt during her performance with Ben Folds on Conan. Strange, too — we’re told the Fairness Doctrine was repealed years ago. We have more on that, as well as photos Randy sent us from when he was still sporting his tee.

He explains: “The photos of Dean and I were taken in front of a backdrop before the rehearsals (before I knew anything was wrong with the shirt). Actually all the photos I am attaching were taken before the bullshit happened, which explains the smiles.”

Speaking of explanations, here. In case you were curious, the show’s scheduled to appear 10/27, eight days before the election. Randy mentioned that No Age will be in Europe on the day of the election, but that both he and Dean are registered as absentee voters and will mail out their ballots before they head overseas. He added, “We are living through a seriously oppressive time when basic needs like health care and freedom of speech are up for consideration as though they were extravagant options and not necessities.”

UPDATE: Watch the performance and Craig’s response to the controversy.

Comments (74)
  1. eric  |   Posted on Oct 8th, 2008 0

    come to canada, we all wear obama hockey jerseys

  2. anon  |   Posted on Oct 8th, 2008 0

    the equal time rule and the fairness doctrine are not the same thing. equal time applies only to candidates for public office and is still very much in effect. See 47 USC 315(a). This post is sloppy.

    • WallabyJoe  |   Posted on Oct 8th, 2008 0

      Damn, I was going to post this. But yes, he’s right. Earlier this year Turner Broadcasting caught some flack for showing those older episodes of Law & Order with Fred Thompson.

      Still, this is murky territory, because I’m not sure that a musical guest advertising a candidate falls under the umbrella of violating equal air time. It’s worth looking into.

    • kb  |   Posted on Oct 8th, 2008 0

      Yep, Equal Time and the Fairness Doctrine are completely different. Equal Time’s been around since 1934.

      Discussion of the equal time:

  3. My first inclination: CBS (like much of the media) is sensitive to the “liberal media” accusations from conservatives, however unfounded they are.

    Might not be the reason behind this, but it’s my guess.

  4. mapleleaf  |   Posted on Oct 8th, 2008 0

    don’t go to canada. canada sucks.

  5. Anon, the damn equal time rule doesn’t apply in these situations. If you’ve got enough access to WL or L/N to cite it–and cite it wrongly, don’t forget the section symbol–you should know that. Not to mention–CBS cited to Equal Time in support of their (baseless, illegal) contention. BITE IT.

    This post is friggin’ RAD. First: I love Randy + Dean. The men they are just complements the great music they make. NO AGE 4-EVA!


  6. rat  |   Posted on Oct 8th, 2008 0

    censorship on a huge network. who would’ve thought?

  7. maybe CBS should try censoring Two and a Half Men. Is that show on CBS?

    also, jay babcock lost all respect after that whole debaucle about leaving LA for Brooklyn.

    also, also.

    i’ve always thought touring musicians are a great source for political opinion because they spend their time in so many different parts of the country and the world. they aren’t stuck in any sort of bubble (liberal or conservative) and they encounter the poor, the rich, the educated, the non-educated etc. they seem to have a better sense of what’s going on in the world.

    anybody agree?

    • Not anymore than the average traveling salesman.

      • I disagree. The average traveling salesman is talking to companies, not going door-to-door. Thus, they encounter a specific subset of people– most likely middle-class people who are employed in similar fields, all of whom are on their best worklike behavior. The traveling musician, on the other hand, is more likely to encounter people from all walks of life, and crash on their couches instead of at the ExtendedStay America.

  8. Matt  |   Posted on Oct 8th, 2008 0

    Damn Jew media.

    • Rich  |   Posted on Oct 9th, 2008 0

      What’s with the negative 11? Does no-one rate irony anymore?

      I’m reminded of that episode of 30 rock with the benevolent/decadent nbc-veteran: “We used to call this the jew room”.

  9. good thing I wasn’t the guy in charge cause I would’ve told the band: “Get the hell out then.”

    It’s an honor to play on these shows when you’re an up and coming band and it shouldn’t be treated as anything but that.

    You can cry foul all you want, but if you want to wear your socialist shirt, then get your own tv show and play there, I now hate this band even more. What a bunch of blow hards.

    • damn kids  |   Posted on Oct 8th, 2008 0

      get off my lawn!

    • fido  |   Posted on Oct 8th, 2008 0

      I think…yeah. I think this guy hates Obama or something.

      A band doesn’t have to just make music. They’re two human beings with TV time. They should be allowed to do whatever the hell they want (within the limits of loose decency, as it is a major network).

      In short, wearing a completely non-offensive t-shirt is fair game in my opinion, but I think it would’ve been cool if Dean had worn a McCain shirt.

    • fido  |   Posted on Oct 8th, 2008 0

      I think…yeah. I think this guy hates Obama or something.

      A band doesn’t have to just make music. They’re two human beings with TV time. They should be allowed to do whatever the hell they want (within the limits of loose decency, as it is a major network).

      In short, wearing a completely non-offensive t-shirt is fair game in my opinion, but I think it would’ve been cool if Dean had worn a McCain shirt.

    • craiye  |   Posted on Oct 8th, 2008 0

      I LOVE it when ignorant right-wing wack jobs use the “s” word without knowing what it means. Good work Fox News, excellent work spreading misinformation in order to scare the Cold War back into us.

      • fido  |   Posted on Oct 8th, 2008 0

        I know man. Fox News offering a contrasting viewpoint from a predominantly liberal media is so lame. It’s like…when our news sources are biased, it’s ok because we’re just educating people. But Fox having a bias is wrong because they’re obviously run by evil forces who intentionally try to pollute our brains with misinformation. It’d be cool if they actually felt like their views and morals were sensible and righteous. But nope, that’s not the case at all. They’re just evil. I’d enlighten you all more, but I have to go do my algebra homework.

        • Steve Sanders  |   Posted on Oct 8th, 2008 0

          That’s about the dumbest thing I’ve ever read on this site.

          And that includes the Metallica fans’ Death Magnetic flaming.

          Like the new album Lars?

          • fido  |   Posted on Oct 10th, 2008 0

            I wasn’t defending Fox News by any stretch. I’m just saying that it’s hypocritical for liberals to bash Fox for having a political bias when, let’s grow up here, all mainstream media sources have a political bias. I even read a couple of books and saw a documentary about how conservative Fox is when I gave a crap. A political bias is journalistically unethical anyway you cut it. Blaming Fox News for the way people feel and the state of the country is reductive and inaccurate considering that CNN, NBC, CBS, all of their affiliates, etc… are just as outrageous and equally responsible for any type of “brain washing.”

          • fido  |   Posted on Oct 10th, 2008 0

            I feel like, for the hell of it, I should point out that I lean pretty left.

    • corey   |   Posted on Oct 9th, 2008 0

      “up and coming” hahahahahahahahaha

  10. Lethe  |   Posted on Oct 8th, 2008 0

    I’m not a big fan of either of the candidates, but for crying out loud, it’s just a shirt! I might not have noticed it was an Obama shirt if I hadn’t been looking for it. Again: it’s a shirt, not a free ad. Anyone who cares enough about what some musician thinks to change his or her vote because of a t-shirt (not even a verbally expressed opinion!) is too stupid to be voting in the first place. Seriously, I love and respect my favorite artists, but that doesn’t mean I’m about to swallow their politics hook, line, and sinker without even knowing why they support the candidate they do. (Which is perhaps too bad for me, because then at least I’d have an easier time making up my mind how to vote!)

  11. Mark Vail  |   Posted on Oct 8th, 2008 0

    Turned it inside out and wrote ‘free healthcare’. Ya sure, novel idea for musicians, not so good for the average working american.

    The only good source of opinion touring muscians are good for is where to eat.

  12. stef  |   Posted on Oct 8th, 2008 0

    It’s a private corporation with private sponsors… they have a right to determine what they will and will not air.

  13. Michael  |   Posted on Oct 8th, 2008 0

    CBS does this so Sarah Palin will still talk to Katie Couric.

    Seriously, the networks get so freaked out about the right’s claims of liberal bias that they bend over backwards to give equal weight to things that should not be weighted equally (“we’re not going to judge whether McCain’s campaign or Obama’s has been the dirtiest…”).

    Fox and the GOP win again.

  14. seth  |   Posted on Oct 8th, 2008 0

    obama – mccain = free health care

    wait, FREE health care? so…. they just give it to us? without taxing us or allocating billions of dollars out of our budget (dollars = credit forged out of thin air)?

    I’m scared.

    • hmmm … where has billions of taxpayer dollars gone besides towards free health care? maybe, maybe we can allocate some of those misappropriated billions to something that benefits everyone. yeah and then there will be some control over pharmaceuticals as well, so those current costs will all but disappear. wait, and you mean to say that we’d pay the government what we are paying towards health insurance? i like paying the government for that rather than war and bailouts and guantanamo and corporate tax-cuts. imagine life without the black-hole of iraq and without bush – with government monitoring our economy and implementing the necessary regulations. imagine a world with an energy plan that began to move away from oil years ago. imagine nationalized health care and freedom of speech as givens in everyday life.

      • The cost of pharmaceuticals is a separate issue from free health care. *Lots* of pharm companies would like to extend their drugs to poor people (in particular, poorer continents like Africa), but as soon as they make a price cut for the poor, the wealthy will demand the drugs at the same rate that Africans or gov’t welfare riders pay. It’s a catch-22 for them. Developing drugs is a very expensive endeavor, you have to assure those companies the chance to make a profit from their research and product, or else *no one* will be able to afford to develop any new drugs. The only other option is putting the gov’t in charge of research, and they’re not very good at keeping up with advances in technology, let alone microbiology and antibiotics. Not to say that these pharm company execs aren’t ridiculously greedy or don’t seek little more than the bottom line, but the solution to the problem is much more complicated than just giving the drugs away.

        And about free healthcare, people seem to think that the money we put towards our health plans now could be put to supplying everyone with healthcare. But what about people like me, who don’t pay for or have access to health insurance as it is? There’s no money from me to reroute to socialized healthcare, and there are *millions* more like me in New York state alone. And, I live around the poverty line, so none of my taxes are actually kept by the government, so no extra cash to reroute there either. And it’s people that can’t afford healthcare (like me) that need it the most, but who’s going to pay for it? I don’t think my friends, family, or you should have to foot my medical expenses. Lucky for the rich kids that do pay taxes, I have an Ayn Rand-ian complex that keeps me from taking any gov’t handouts.

    • TheConglomerate  |   Posted on Oct 8th, 2008 0

      Come To Australia, It’s Free. and I’m pretty sure that we’re not living in financial ruin. Jeez, you really need the democrats in office when the idea of prioritizing spending into meaningful areas seems like a scary notion.

  15. Geoff  |   Posted on Oct 8th, 2008 0

    So CBS are a right-wing biased media for John McCain. Yeah, I can’t wait for that Oasis performance where that wanker Noel Gallagher wears a John McCain shirt, uncensored.

    And I am not surprised that NBC allowed Regina Spektor to wear that Obama belt. After all, they do have Keith Olbermann on their other network, MSNBC.

  16. Steve Sanders  |   Posted on Oct 8th, 2008 0

    Hilarious! I love how the right wingers are so scared of free health care!

    Most developed countries have universal health care and its not like they’re falling apart at the seams because of it!

    • Bender Bending Rodriguez  |   Posted on Oct 8th, 2008 0

      Do you really think health care is “free” anywhere? No one pays for it? Please explain how that works on any economic level. Again, Obama drones think like eight-year-olds…

      • Steve Sanders  |   Posted on Oct 8th, 2008 0

        Oh please, nothing in life is truly “free”. You know someone is clutching at straws in a political argument when they start dabbling in semantics. I’m sure it wouldn’t have drawn your ire if the No Age dude had worn a t shirt which said “universal health care”. Real sure.

        I grew up in Australia where our health care system is pretty grand. Bulk billing doctors mean I don’t have to pay a cent when I go and see my local GP. Simarlarly when I lived in London last year I didn’t have to pay a red cent when I went and saw GPs thanks to our countries mutual health care arrangements.

        At times I’ve had to go to a private doctor and pay a decent sum, simply because it can be hard to get into a bulk billing surgery when you move to a new area. But Im more than pleased the safety net is there for people who cannot afford private coverage.

        I’m well aware these services are funded by our medicare levy and taxes, but to those people who need it most (people on welfare and below the poverty line) this service is practically free.

  17. Bender Bending Rodriguez  |   Posted on Oct 8th, 2008 0

    Any musician dumb enough to advocate for “free health care” should have his voting rights revoked. Yeah, stuff is just free! Is he eight years old? How naive can someone be? And what a surprise he’s voting for the Empty Suit!

  18. Yeah, universal health care! Let’s let the Government decide the best way to treat our dying family!

    • TD  |   Posted on Oct 9th, 2008 0

      Can it be worse than the current health insurance companies who profit by refusing health care to its patrons? Maybe you’ll feel different once someone in your family is introduced to the term “pre-existing condition.”

    • Steve Sanders  |   Posted on Oct 9th, 2008 0

      Colin? That makes no sense.

      • When the Government foots the bill, they’re going to put you on the cheapest solution possible, even if it isn’t the best one.

        • cheap, shoddy healthcare is better than no healthcare at all.

          not to mention obama’s plan allows you to keep your existing coverage so you aren’t forced into the government plan.

    • Michael  |   Posted on Oct 10th, 2008 0

      “Let’s let the Government decide the best way to treat our dying family!”

      Sure beats what we have now, AKA “Let’s let people who want to make huge profits decide the best way to treat our dying family”…

  19. doctor doctor  |   Posted on Oct 9th, 2008 0

    who the hell is No Age?

  20. philosimphy  |   Posted on Oct 9th, 2008 0

    Know what’s really interesting? That the Republican Party Platform specifically mentions the Fairness Doctrine and how they are OPPOSED to it’s reinstatement because they really care about Free Speech,

    In the pdf it’s on page 59 (page 52 if you go by the page numbers on the copied document)

  21. John  |   Posted on Oct 9th, 2008 0

    I have an actual question to post here:

    What if the other guy from No Age threw on a McCain shirt? Would that have been fair enough?

  22. alecj  |   Posted on Oct 9th, 2008 0

    What a jackass…..there is no such thing as free health care…..when are you idiots going to get educated…..yeah go to Canada and try to get medical care where they have “free” health care—- and die waiting for the government to help you— WTF— doesnt anybody have an IQ over 70 anymore— especially musicians……they dont make good music and they say stupid crap most of the time…..whats there point of exixtence?

    • Bill TD  |   Posted on Oct 9th, 2008 0

      Alecj, some of these people may mock you for insulting the intelligence of others while leaving out a few apostrophes, forgetting which “there/their/they’re” to use, and throwing a second “x” into the word existence, but I recognize that you are the Andy Kaufman of our time. Well played, sir. Plus one for you.

  23. ralph  |   Posted on Oct 9th, 2008 0

    Do we really want the candidate that Hugo Chavez,Ahmadinajad and other world leaders have endorsed running the USA?
    There is something seriously wrong when we allow the rest of the world to choose our president.
    Wake up!!

    • Vons  |   Posted on Oct 9th, 2008 0

      He’s right! We should TOTALLY wake up! Just look at the way he implies that Obama is anti-American and connected to America’s enemies! Finally, I’m convinced.

      On a side note, Mr. Hannity, I totally didn’t have you pegged for a No Age listener.

      • ralph  |   Posted on Oct 9th, 2008 0

        Oh thank you so much for telling me what I was implying,dumb-ass.
        My point is that if some of the most heinous world leaders think they can have a sit down with our President without meeting any previous requirements it is not exactly conducive to any mediation or negotiation. They figure they will be able to make their demands without any true consequences and they are probably correct in assuming so with Obama.
        Kind of like a kid wanting to be disciplined by the soft parent rather than the one who may be a little stricter.
        Do we really want to place ourselves in such a position that we have a milqetoast foreign policy that can be presumed upon by the agitators?
        Btw Obama has an 80% approval rating in North Africa.
        That is grounds for electing him right away ;-)

        • Steve Sanders  |   Posted on Oct 9th, 2008 0

          Yes America, parent to the world. How lovely and condescending. And like real parents we don’t get to choose who are parents are. Sit back, shut up. Don’t tell us who’d you like to see running the free world and quit complaining if we drag your countries into Iraq and Afghanistan.

          • ralph  |   Posted on Oct 9th, 2008 0

            Well Steve,
            The USA is expected to police everything AND foot the bill that is until it is done differently than how the parties involved wanted it done.Remember Georgia and South Ossetia crying out for the parents to discipline big bad Putin and his machine.
            Oh well.
            Obama bin Biden 08

          • Steve Sanders  |   Posted on Oct 9th, 2008 0

            My point is, when a country takes such an interventionist approach to world affairs don’t be surprised and don’t cry foul when other countries take an interest in who becomes your president.

            In means a fuckload to the future of the world at large – security wise and economically. The actions of the US president don’t just affect American citizens.

            I’m guessing you’ve never taken an interest in Australian politics and why would you – whoever is PM of Australia is not going to make one difference to your day-to-day life or your life on a larger scale. In my case it’s the reverse. I’m not complaining about it, that’s just the way the world’s balance of power is tipping at the moment and I’m glad its not tipping in another direction such as Rome, the Third Reich or the Soviets. But I’m not going to cop whiners who seem to think foreigners cannot take an interest in who runs the most powerful and influential country in the world. Why can’t we make our opinions heard when the actions of said president and country affect us directly and indirectly, but we don’t receive a direct democratic say?

            And if you’ve got such a problem with the way your country acts and is treated as a world leader, comparing it to the world’s parent, go vote for Ron Paul. You might find you need your ungrateful children when some of our bad uncles wake up from their naps though.

          • ralph  |   Posted on Oct 13th, 2008 0

            I cannot believe Australians would not mind the USA running interference with their electing of leaders so why would we not want the same?
            And I am not complaining about countries taking an interest -just the fools who actually allow that to affect their decisions. “Well Obama has an 80% approval rating in the African countries so it must be that he is the “one”.
            Btw..when you mentioned an interventionist approach do you mean such as that of Australia to Timor-Leste (East Timor)?

          • Vons  |   Posted on Oct 13th, 2008 0

            I would love to see anywhere someone is turning to the leaders of North Africa or anywhere else to decide who to vote for.

  24. look i’m pro obama but that’s besides the point.

    the point is – this was ridiculous. free speech = wear whatever tshirt you want. you know he couldve yelled out OBAMA IS THE BEST and they wouldn’t have censored that, so why censor fabric?

  25. KB  |   Posted on Oct 9th, 2008 0

    Are people still ignorant about “free” healthcare? There is no such thing, nothing is free! There is a choice between higher taxes and universal healthcare, or private premiums. All those people who complain about not having healthcare are simply choosing not to pay for it. If they can’t afford private premiums now what will they do when their taxes are 14-18% higher?

  26. anonymous  |   Posted on Oct 10th, 2008 0

    So, any one know what song they played?

  27. edc  |   Posted on Oct 10th, 2008 0

    america: nuke it from orbit!

  28. ben  |   Posted on Oct 10th, 2008 0

    the key question is: where can i buy that awesome shirt design?

    • It was available from right after the Demo convention. You give them $12 to fund voter registration in battleground states and they sent you this sweet ass shirt. I think that campaign is now finished though.

  29. Sarah Palin  |   Posted on Oct 12th, 2008 0

    When Senator McCain and I are in charge of this great nation, No Age will be able to wear all of the Barack Hussein Obama T-Shirts they want. That is, as long as they agree not to mention so-called “global warming” or that Darwin guy’s kooky ideas.

  30. matthew  |   Posted on Oct 13th, 2008 0

    maybe i should read all of the comments, but, most of you should be young, you have nothing to conserve, and obama is the lesser of the two evils, so do your part

  31. rb  |   Posted on Oct 14th, 2008 0

    sell outs. i would have walked off the set in a hipster minute.

  32. anonymouse  |   Posted on Oct 14th, 2008 0

    yeah, there is such a thing as free speech. CBS can broadcast whatever they want. If i recall correctly, CBS has been leaning towards the left as of late, deviating from their normally disinterested position.

    free healthcare? yeah, there’s the “no sch thing as a free lunch” idea, but fuck that. free healthcare means longer lines at emergency rooms. Doctors will be paid less, since their service is demanded by the government. That gives less incentive for people to even become medical doctors.

  33. Steve Sanders  |   Posted on Oct 14th, 2008 0

    Well, George Bush came out with weighty appraisals for our recently ousted conservative Prime Minister in the midst of previous election campaigns. It’s pretty handy for a leader running on a national security platform to be publicly praised as a “Man of Steel” by the leader of the freeworld. The American ambassador also ridiculed comments made by a previous opposition leader and undermined him publicly for his stand on the Australian-American alliance and for his thoughts on George Bush.

    So “running interference” by American politicians was an actuality during the rule of our right wing government. It didn’t cause too much outcry, but it is completely different to everyday people from another country being polled about who they think should run the free world. Of course such polls are complete furfies, cos Obama is treated by a rock star by the world’s press, while McCain gets very little meaningful coverage.

    If people are truly making their case for who should be president SOLELY on what the rest of the world thinks of the candidate, then that is alarming. But I hardly think that’s the case. I think it would be just one of the factors people might take into account when thinking about the candidate’s ability to conduct succesful foreign diplomacy. Not a deal breaker by any stretch.

    But if you’ve travelled outside of the US it shouldn’t surprise you people are interested in foreigners opinions on who should be president. You basically cannot pass a t-shirt store in a market in London without seeing a Bush bashing t-shirt.
    His administration is pretty well hated worldwide for the way they’ve acted on the international stage, rightly or wrongly. It’s a situation you wouldn’t have conceived following the wave of goodwill and solidarity towards America which proceeded 9/11. And Imagine it pisses off many Americans they’re seen as bad guys.

    And I think to compare Australia’s interventionist action in Timor to the role America has played on the worldwide stage since World War II is a big stretch. I’m not saying Australia is innocent here, I’m just saying that case is more the exception and not the rule.

  34. Joshua  |   Posted on Oct 15th, 2008 0

    Man, this post is just screaming conspiracy theory. The fact of the matter is that CBS is a private business and they can choose to dictate the rules for their own broadcasting as they see fit. It isn’t a free speech issue at all – they are free to broadcast what they want and they didn’t feel him wearing an Obama shirt was appropriate. END OF STORY.

  35. anthony  |   Posted on Oct 17th, 2008 0

    wow, i just lost most respect for this band. randy: socialism (i’m guessing your impromptu shirt design was a reference to socialized or universal healthcare) is the least punk idealogy to hold, bro.

  36. uranis  |   Posted on Dec 1st, 2008 0

    seriously – who gives a flyin fu** about your travails? what – are you made outta spun sugar, you whining pantywaist?

    Oh, you couldn’t wear your shirt on the tv show …. wwwaaaaa … waawaaaa!

    what, a sensitive little turd you are

    way to stick up for free expression – you’re a regular Lenny Bruce

    the way you motivate dozens of people to move their collective bowels is amazing!

    I’ve gotta go put on my ‘You suck balls!” t-shirt now

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