Who has been covering the crucial Creed beat? Why, FOX News, that’s who! The last time the messianic post-grunge band released an album, 2009’s Full Circle, a live performance on Fox & Friends came first. This morning, as Scott Stapp and his crew are readying their next album, Kid Rock’s former sex tape partner made a return visit to the very hard-hitting music journalism program (via Gawker). Do you believe in coincidences?!
You’d better, because Stapp’s appearance also happens to line up almost exactly with the campaign strategy of Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney and the independent “super PACs” opposing President Obama. Like them, Stapp adopts a more-in-sorrow-than-in-anger tone and praises the president — hell, Stapp even says he voted for Obama in 2008, although good luck finding any quotes from him to that effect four years ago. When Creed’s frontman gives you his word, you take it, right?
In crucial states like Ohio, polls have suggested that in order to win, Romney needs to peel away some voters who are currently warming to a second Obama term. And good golly, here’s Stapp, the very model of a modern persuadable swing-state voter: “I’m just disappointed,” he said. “I had very high hopes and expectations and was really inspired by President Obama. And I still am, he’s an amazing speaker. But I just found his — in my opinion — his administration ineffective. A lot of promises, but no real delivery.” Here’s where his professionally fair-and-balanced hosts helpfully pointed out, “And you live in the all-important state of Florida!”
To be fair (and balanced), Stapp leaves Romney a perfect opening to claim he is laying out his plan in tomorrow night’s debates (which Stapp erroneously calls “these debates tonight”). “Most importantly, it’s, ‘What’s Romney offering?'” Stapp said, convincingly playing the part of someone who hasn’t read the news in 12 months. “And that’s kind of where I sit right now. It’s, ‘Where’s the plan? Lay it out, so the American people can understand it.'” Here’s where his host, again helpfully, asked, “Do you think the debates will help?” And Stapp said he hopes so, saying his “heart and soul” longs for either a Ronald Reagan or a Franklin Delano Roosevelt, ignoring the fact that the two had extremely contradictory views on actual policy.
And then Stapp came back to his main pitch, still in sorrow, not anger. “For me it’s hard to commit and to trust to President Obama again, because I was so inspired and thought everything was gonna change,” Stapp said. “And I know he walked into a tough situation. But I feel change is in the air.” For whom will this self-described “independent” vote? Suspense is also in the air! Maybe Gary Johnson?
Stapp doesn’t mention his support for Obama in his recent tell-all book, Sinner’s Creed. He doesn’t mention Roosevelt, either. But he mentions Reagan a couple of times. “My high school years coincided with the Ronald Reagan ’80s, a time of moral renewal for a country recovering from the decadence of the ’60s and ’70s,” he writes. Ah, yes, a guy who equates the era when African-Americans, women, and gays started to gain more rights with immorality and “decadence.” Of course he’s undecided. The guy has the smell of Santorum all over him.
Creed’s reunion three years ago led to a spate of modestly reappraising coverage. Stapp told SPIN, “If I could take it all back and do it all over again from the middle of 2002 to November of 2006, I would.” Slate, in a quintessential #slatepitches moment, argued, “Creed Is Good.” Details also commissioned a not-entirely-disparaging feature-length profile.
Stapp’s foray into politics comes in an election season when musicians have been particularly vocal. Foo Fighters, Bruce Springsteen, tragically obvious Creed influence Eddie Vedder, Beyoncé, Jay-Z, Katy Perry, Stevie Wonder, Chris Cornell, the National, and others have thrown their support behind the incumbent. Lynyrd Skynyrd and Kid Rock are among those lining up behind the Romney-Ryan campaign, which has also praised the Killers, Rage Against the Machine, and Zeppelin, Led. R.E.M. hit FOX News with a cease-and-desist letter demanding the network not use their music. Meanwhile, former FOX News host Glenn Beck’s non-bromance with Muse continues apace.