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R.E.M. Demands Fox News Stop Using 'Losing My Religion'

UPDATED: The cable network responds to the band by refuting their claim and taking a swipe at the whole situation.

R.E.M. Michael Stipe Amsterdam - H 2011
Marcel Antonisse/AFP/Getty Images

Michael Stipe is offering the hint of the century: Fox News, you can't play his music on the air.

The R.E.M. front man let loose a tough-worded slam on the News Corp.-owned cable news network, as his publisher asked Fox no longer plays the group's 1991 hit "Losing My Religion."

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"R.E.M.'s 'Losing My Religion' was used in the Fox News coverage of the Democratic National Convention last night," the group wrote in a note posted to its website. "R.E.M. today, through its music publisher, Warner-Tamerlane Music, demanded that Fox News cease and desist from continuing its unlicensed and unauthorized use of the song."

Added Stipe, "We have little or no respect for their puff adder brand of reportage. Our music does not belong there."

Later, a Fox News Spokesperson responded to the band with a statement, saying, "FOX News Channel’s use of an R.E.M. song during Thursday’s edition of Fox & Friends was in full accordance with its license agreements with all appropriate parties. Nevertheless, we’re always flattered to have this much attention for a song selection and we hope R.E.M. was able to satisfy their publicity fix."

R.E.M. broke up last year, after a 31-year run.

Music, and artists' frequent cease and desist letters, has been a frequent theme this election season. A number of prominent singers and bands have requested that Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney not use their songs in ads or at rallies. The Silversun Pickups and Twisted Sister's Dee Snider have blasted the GOP campaign, which follows on the heels of a 2008 cycle that saw Jackson Browne, the Foo Fighters, Van Halen and Jon Bon Jovi make similar requests of the McCain-Palin ticket.