Politically conscious musicians Steve Earle, Billy Bragg and Tom Morello (Audioslave/Rage Against The Machine) have announced plans for the first ever Tell Us The Truth tour. The three-week tour of US clubs is scheduled to get underway in early November, to coincide with the beginning of the 2004 presidential race. The reason for the tour is to raise concerns/awareness about the way the mass media cover elections, as well as the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Earle spoke to Billboard at length on the subject.
"The difference between this war and the Vietnam war, was in the Vietnam war, you'd give a bottle of whiskey to a helicopter pilot and get out and see what's going on for yourself," stated Earle. "This war, you have to, like, suck Republican dick for access. Most of the people who are reporting [this war] are men, and if you trained a man with a military unit, and he has to go through training with them, he becomes part of the unit, and that's what embedded journalists do.
"It's just like the Florida elections," he continues. "Everyone can tell you all about hanging chads, but that's not what happened in Florida. That's not the important story. The important story in Florida is that hundreds of thousands of people had their names deleted from the voting roles because they had the same name as someone else who committed a felony, because in Florida, felons can't vote.
"The point is, the media is aware that that's what happened, but they haven't touched it. I mean, it's there. It's been on page six, but it never became front-page news, and it's not an accident that it didn't become front-page news. They were advised, I believe, that 'Hey, you wanna keep having access? You want to be out of the loop? Report it if you have to, but that's not front-page news if you want to stay in the loop.' And I think the news outlets are succumbing to that."
A tour itinerary has yet to be officially released, but The Tell Us The Truth tour will be in Florida in time for the World Trade Organization meetings in Miami, Earle revealed. He also said that Tom Morello will be playing acoustic sets. That's worth the ticket right there. We'll let you know as the proper itinerary is announced.