Major media organizations including Svenska Dagbladet, Sveriges Radio, Metro and TV4 reported that the record ‘Lullabies from the Axis of Evil’ had been banned.
The album features songs by artists and composers from the countries labelled members of the Axis of Evil by President George W. Bush. Singers such as Swede Eva Dahlgren sing duets with singers from countries including Iran, Iraq and North Korea.
The media fell for the story that the album and its US record company had been blacklisted by Bush. They all quoted Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten.
The source of the story was the record company itself, Valley Entertainment. A company spokesman told Norwegian broadcaster NRK that it had been put on a list of companies that the US federal government ‘would not cooperate with.’
The Norwegian behind the album, Erik Hillestad, told TV4 that the ban showed that “the United States is being weakened as a democracy under Bush.”
But media are now reporting that the story was the result of a PR campaign from the record company. Local Swedish paper Smålandsposten, quotes the US Ambassador to Norway explaining that a music blacklist would be impossible, as the United States Constitution “protects freedom of speech, including music.”