Van Morrison Evokes Antisemitic Trope With New Song ‘They Own the Media’
Irish singer-songwriter Van Morrison debuted a new song on Thursday titled “They Own the Media,” evoking an age-old antisemitic trope and outraging many fans and critics.
In the track, the 75-year-old rock and folk legend does not reveal who the pronoun refers to, but sings, “They control the narrative / they perpetuate the myth / Keep on telling you lies / telling you ignorance is bliss.” An official audio-only video for “They Own the Media” was posted on YouTube on Thursday, and had over 12,000 views by the following day.
The song is part of Morrison’s 28-song album “Latest Record Project: Vol. 1.” Other titles on the record include “Why Are You On Facebook,” “Big Lie,” “The Long Con” and “Where Have All the Rebels Gone?”
In 2005, the two-time Grammy winner was accused of antisemitism for his song “They Sold Me Out,” in which he sings in from the perspective of Jesus: “For a few shekels more, they didn’t even think twice / For a few shekels more, another minute in the spotlight.”
Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, the artist has shared conspiracy theories that target Jews, according to the Forward.
“Well the new Van Morrison album will certainly satisfy anyone who’s wondered what the Protocols would sound like with a sax accompaniment,” commented the British writer and presenter Matthew Sweet.
“It’s a terrible night for a moondance,” quipped a Pitchfork review of the new album. “On this risible and intermittently lovely 28-song collection, Van indulges in some of his most cherished paranoid theories and deepest-held grudges.”