Springsteen Slams Media, Bush

Bruce Springsteen (search), who once bemoaned the television wasteland in his song "57 Channels," offered some fresh criticism of the small screen and its political coverage: enough with partisan politics and "Fear Factor," let's focus on the facts.

"Things are distorted by ratings and by money to where you're getting one hour of the political conventions," Springsteen says in an interview for the Oct. 14 issue of Rolling Stone magazine. "No matter how staged they are, I think they're a little more important than people eating bugs."

The New Jersey rocker also offered harsh words for the Bush administration (search) and its efforts to "sanitize" coverage of the war in Iraq (search).

"The fact that the administration refused to allow photographs of the flag-draped coffins of returning dead, that the president hasn't shown up for a single military funeral for the young people who gave their lives for his policies, is disgraceful," Springsteen says.

Springsteen, before launching his Vote for Change tour with the Dixie Chicks, R.E.M., Pearl Jam (search) and other artists, said he had noticed a change in media coverage of the election — and he offered an explanation for the switch.

"I think Fox News and the Republican right have intimidated the press into an incredible self-consciousness about appearing objective, and backed them into a corner of sorts where they have ceded some of their responsibility and righteous power," he said.