Meat The Press

[Image: 'Meltdown' Front Cover]



In a ninety-floor Manhattan address
Lives a watchdog called the National Press
And around his collar's written the line
"The Protector Of Our Hearts And Minds"

Hark! Hark! The dog will bark
And we believe this hierarch
But read between the lines and see
This dog's been barking up the wrong tree

Meat the press
Meat the press
Meat the press
Meat the press

When the ratings point the camera's eye
They can state the facts while telling a lie
And then watchdog shows to the viewers at ten
He's a bloodhound with a pad and pen

Can't pin the blame--he's out of reach
Just call the dog "His Royal Leech"
We held the rights for heaven's sake
'Til we gave this sucker an even break

Meat the press
Meat the press
Meat the press
Meat the press

When the godless chair the judgment seat
We can thank the godless media elite
They can silence those who fall from their grace
With a note that says "we haven't the space"

Well lookee there--the dog's asleep
Whenever we march or say a peep
A Christian can't get equal time
Unless he's a loony committing a crime

Listen up if you've got ears
I'm tired of condescending sneers
I've got a dog who smells a fight
And he still believes in wrong and right

Meat the press
Sick 'em, Fido
Meat the press
Meat the press
Get 'em, boy
Meat the press

Meat the press
(I'm only doing my job)
Meat the press
(I mean, it's not like there's a conspiracy or anything)
Meat the press
(By the way, what did you say your name was?)

Meat the press
(Your address? Can I write that down?)
Meat the press
(Do you have anything you'd like to say off the record?)
Meat the press
(Hey! Who you calling arrogant?)

Recorded Appearances



About The Song

From Clone Club News Flash Spring/Summer 1984, Spring/Summer 1984:

["Meat The Press"] takes aim at arrogance in the national news media, particularly in their condescending coverage of religion (or lack of it). While I don't believe there's a planned conspiracy going on, I have to wonder why the only time Christianity hits the front page is in a headline like "Fundamentalist Preacher Boils Puppies."

From Ichthus 1984, April 28th, 1984:

Here in Wilmore [Kentucky], you get a daily paper, like the Wilmore Enquirer or something like that every day here? There's an organization in our society that is known as the watchdog of society, also known as the National Press. I don't know if it's just my imagination, but it seems to me like lately Christianity has been getting a very bad rap in the national press. They all act like we're brainless, we're out to lunch, or we're irrelevant, whatever, you know?

I get the Denver Post where I'm from, and every day the Denver Post prints maybe a hundred, hundred-and-fifty pages of news. But if I want to find out anything about religion at all, I mean any kind of religion, Hindu, Hare Krishna guru doodoo, whatever, I gotta wait until Fridays, and I gotta look way in the back section between the classified want ads and the obituaries, and maybe I can find two columns on all of religion.

That is unless you're a Christian and you want to make the front page, and then you do something like, "fundamentalist preacher boils puppies," you know what I mean? So we've come up with a little musical solution...

From Who Does Not Want To Be a Clone?, Campus Life, January 1987:

When I wrote "Meat the Press," I think I was on target. At the time, I was traveling all across the country with the Jeremiah People and the whole "Baby Doe" thing was in the news. I heard news coverage from all across the nation.

Consistently, it was one-sided, taking a pro-parent view of the whole incident. It was like, "Poor parents, all the stress they are under." But no one voiced concern for the child.

It just seemed so ironic to me: starving a baby to death in a hospital! And Christians who opposed this were being categorized and discredited as right-wing fundamentalist Republicans. The media are beginning to see the divergence of opinion among Christians, and I think things have changed. But I sure came down hard on the press then. Perhaps too hard.

Another problem with the song is that it leads too much from the pun of the title. It's bad when you start off with a title, then allow it dictate a premise. If you want to write a good song, you've gotta write a song that holds together on its own.

From Steve Taylor on Staring into the Sun: Squint or You'll Miss It, True Tunes News, Winter 1993:

Is there anything you wish you could go back and change?

There are some songs that I would like to erase from everyone's memory. [...] Off the second album, probably "Meet The Press," the lyric was valid, was the song didn't work.