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Rick Santorum Doesn’t Call for ‘War on Heavy Metal’

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Do a Google search for “Rick Santorum declares war on heavy metal” and you’re bound to get dozens, if not hundreds, of hits, as a satirical article posted last week worms its way securely into the blogosphere. Appearing originally at tryannyoftradition.com, the spoof piece (written by Keith Spillet) ignited an immediate furor not only with gullible metal fans, but also with politicos and other passersby – including fellow bloggers.

Raged Mike at the popular MikesPrattle blog (since taken down): “Rick Santorum is now bringing up the evils of heavy metal again, once again proving he’s stuck in some sort of 80s baptist mentality. Even his list of bands in the above article could have come straight out of 1983 … Iron Maiden, W.A.S.P. (or The WASP as he puts it), Black Sabbath and Venom. This music he thinks leads kids to witchcraft, satanism or something else equally pernicious. Apparently he’s never heard of Morbid Angel or Immolation or Deicide, all groups quite a bit higher up the theoretic Satanic scale.”

On Facebook, the issue has had its own weather system form around it. While some fans seem to get the joke (and Spillet’s site, though not flagged as a satirical space, is comprised of these The Onion-style rants), the bulk of people following the story seem to have bought in hook, line and sinker – feeding into a hoax piece that no doubt has to be causing Santorum’s campaign more than a few heavy metal headaches.

On metal-based websites throughout the world, Santorum is being verbally bludgeoned for his “stance” against metal. Quoting the original article: “If you listen to the radio today, many of these brand new, so-called heavy metal music bands like Black Sabbath, Venom, The WASP and Iron Maiden use satanic imagery to corrupt the minds of young people,” announced Santorum at a 10,000 dollar a plate sock-hop in Valdosta, Georgia on Thursday.”

And this nugget, which implicates the Republican presidential frontrunner, Mitt Romney: “In response to Santorum’s metal onslaught, Mitt Romney officially denounced his earlier position of “tolerance towards all fans of extreme music”. This, in spite of the fact that GWAR played his inauguration as governor of Massachusetts back in 2003. But things have changed since 2003 and embracing heavy metal music is about as popular as selling baby organs on Ebay or clubbing seals. Romney will need to begin pretending to be something else if he plans on facing Obama in the general election in November.”

As easy as any of these “facts” were to check, that step was obviously ignored by many readers, as is often the case in today’s knee-jerk digital world, where readers often leap first and ask questions later – or never at all.

And while it all may be a spoof, in the absence of something clearly identifying the article as a parody piece, it seems to have taken root with more than a few headbangers. It’s probably worth remembering that what’s left online are thousands of blogs and comments that will forever preserve people’s cluelessness, thus keeping the “joke” eternally alive.

Watch ‘Santorum Focuses on Conservative Values’ Video

Watch ‘Heavy Metal Church’ Video

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