If you would have told me 15 years ago that CNN and Hatebreed would be butting heads, I wouldn't have believed you, but that's where we are in 2012.
This week, in the wake of Sunday's tragic Sikh temple shooting in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, news outlets reported that gunman, Wade Michael Page, a 40-year-old Army veteran, was also a White Power skinhead and member of various white trash racist hardcore bands, in addition to being a coward who shoots and kills people in their place of worship.
Page manned up and put a bullet in his head before he could get arrested. What about all that courage and resolve all those bands sing/talk about? Meh.
As the story developed, CNN's online wing did a textbook hack job on white supremacist bands, lumping in Hatebreed, the long-running New Haven, Connecticut hardcore crew, to their list of other bands with the word "hate" in their names.
Online columnist Lonnie Nasatir's piece "Hate with a beat: White power music" is getting swarmed by angry Hatebreed fans and metalheads for the inclusion of Hatebreed in the Rogue's Gallery of Nazi and far-right punk acts. Metal news site Lambgoat reported on the article early Wednesday morning.
The piece also starts with the positively bear-tastic line "Picture a field full of heavy-set men sporting shaved heads and covered with tattoos..." that perked my interest immediately.
Hatebreed lead singer Jamey Jasta has taken to the band's official feed to publicly condemn Nasatir's piece and denounce any perceived involvement in any hate groups, musical or otherwise.
Hatebreed is in fact not a Jew-hating, racist, Nazi, hate-filled act. Their hatred is more geared towards people in your everyday life, like ex-girlfriends, local politicians and law enforcement, and other meanies. Nowhere in the band's history have they ever called for racial cleansing.
It seems to me though that Nasatir did a rough Google search for bands with the word "hate" in their monikers, did a half-ass Wikipedia pass, and wrote his piece. By that rationale, you would think that Hatebeak, the joke hardcore act with a real-life parrot on vocals, would also be on the list.
For what it's worth, Hatebreed got it's name from the Misfits song "Hatebreeders" and not because they wanna breed hate for non-whites. And I only liked their music when I hated my parents and I had shitty girlfriends.
Right now Hatebreed is righteously angry, as they should be. It's no fun being slandered, especially when it's from a person who didn't do their homework. Nasatir is the Anti-Defamation League's Chicago/Upper Midwest director too and an attorney to boot, so you would think a person in such a position would be careful about pointing fingers and calling the wrong people to the mat.
As of this writing, the CNN piece has not taken Hatebreed out of the hate-filled Chex Mix in Nasatir's piece, and no retraction has been posted. The comments on the piece are getting heated too, with some people even calling for more scrutiny on violent rap and hip-hop, which they see as almost as equally damaging and painful as anything that Jew Slaughter and White Terror rail on about.
This is now attached to the CNN opinion piece, albeit at the end, and it doesn't even clear the air that Hatebreed is in fact, not a hate-breeding hating rock group.
A previous version of this commentary incorrectly included the band Hatebreed in a list of white power bands. Hatebreed is a self-described "hardcore metal" band. CNN regrets the error.
On Wednesday afternoon, the Chicago ADL posted a message on their Facebook page regretting the error, but there has still been not a peep heard from Nasatir himself.
Around the same time Hatebreed tweeted that they would release Nasatir's phone number and e-mail address if he didn't make a statement himself. Childish and dangerous, yeah just a little bit.
Nasatir is in fact, not a music writer. Maybe get someone who knows an inkling about musical research involved in this one to check the facts, CNN? Go to each band's website? Read the lyrics -- most of Hatebreed's songs are really about erasing hate, not trying to breed it.
Granted, Hatebreed's album titles -- Supremacy, Rise of Brutality, and Under The Knife -- aren't the most-loving things I can imagine, but I can name a dozen bands of any other genre with worse titles in their catalogs.
Even I think that Hatebreed is sort of boneheaded -- a decade removed from being a huge fan -- but that's not the point. They didn't deserve to be roped in to something this careless.
Rocks Off sometimes makes mistakes and we have to take our writers to task for careless foul-ups that you dear reader are so gracious and mild-mannered to point out to us.
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Like the time I described Robert Plant as the former front man of the Honeydrippers.
For what it's worth, this won't hurt Hatebreed and if anything it will just get people reminded of them, or even interested in listening to their music, but it's not a fun way to gain new fans.