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Bono and U2 Sell Out for (or Used By) Santorum

by Pamela Leavey

I’m speechless and utterly disappointed in Bono and U2. For all the liberal causes that Bono and U2 have stood up for over the years that they could sell out to Rick Santorum and perform at a fundraiser for him, is absolutely ludicrous and so disappointing.

Santorum met Bono earlier this year, having been introduced by John Kasich, the former Congressman from Ohio and host of Fox News Channel’s “Heartland.”

So what does the Irish rocker have in common with the conservative senator?

As in the case of Santorum, Bono’s religious convictions inform his activities.

The U2 leader shared some of his faith perspectives with the author of the book “Bono in Conversation.” He said, “It’s a mind-blowing concept that the God who created the universe might be looking for company, a real relationship with people.”

I’m sorry to have to say this, but my respect for Bono, my respect for U2 has taken a huge nose dive.

I am truly saddened that such a great icon of fight against Aids and Poverty would sell out to the Rick Santorum’s of the world. Honestly, I thought Sandrakae could not have be right when she posted this in the comments below. I’ve been a U2 fan since their first tour in the U.S. (Boy – 05/24/1981, The Hampton Beach Casino), when no one really knew who they were.

Please wake me when Bono and U2 get a clue — Rick Santorum is hypocrite, a liar and a sad statement of what a “good Christian” is.

Maybe Bono agrees with Santorum’s vile comments about gays or perhaps he agrees that Boston is the liberal hotbed for sex abuse among the clergy, I can’t imagine how he can. And, how Bono can praise John Kerry recently at a Boston performance and then fundraise for Santorum shortly there after, is beyond me.

Note to Bono and U2: I Will NOT Follow.

UPDATE: Apparently I am not alone in my disgust, John at AmericaBlog says — “Bono Supporting Santorum? Say it ain’t so… “

UPDATE: It appears Santorum’s fundraising team is selling a block of tickets at a U2 concert (Scalping), similar to what Arhnold did with a recent Stones show in Boston. I STILL don’t agree with Bono’s free wheeling hob-nobbing with hypocrites like Santorum. I also don’t agree with concert promoters making this practice a regular thing.

We saw outage from fans when the Stones allowed Arhnold to do this, now there are outraged U2 fans — and rightly so, in my opinion. Fans spend their hard earned money supporting bands like the Stones and U2 for decades, only to lose out on getting seats at a show to politicians raising money for their campaigns. It’s one thing for a band to perform purposely to raise money for a candidate — it’s another thing altogether when they allow their bands to be used as a front to raise money, particularly for causes or politicians they might not agree with.

So the question here now, is does Bono really have similar religious convictions to Santorum — or are U2 and Bono being used? I understand that Bono has his causes that are dear to him, but when those causes overlap with politics that he may not agree with, can he not draw a simple line. No doubt he raises more money for his causes from the liberals of this world, perhaps he might think about that.

Santorum Slammed Bono and U2 but Has No Qualms Fronting a Fundraiser at a U2 Concert
The U2/Santorum Controversy Continues: DATA Issues a Statement on Behalf of Bono

40 Responses to “Bono and U2 Sell Out for (or Used By) Santorum”

  1. You of all people should know better than to quote right wing news sources.

    Go here, and read this:

    And know that Bono would kiss the devil himself if it meant he could get money for world relief.

  2. I don’t care who Bono kisses quite frankly – I disagree with their performing for Santorum, and honestly it’s not the first time a liberal blogger has quoted a right wing news source and I doubt it will be the last.

    If the man can’t muster a better set of scruples in his causes his music and praise for his isn’t worth my time for the moment.

  3. But Pamela.

    According to a U2 message board, they are not playing for Santorum. Santorum bought some tickets for a U2 concert. That’s all. The story is false.

    I’m sorry. But that source has lied about Kerry. I don’t trust them. And it appears here that they were wrong. Not a big surprise.

    Sorry about my earlier anger. But I just got done explaining to a Daily Kos person about not using the Boston Herald against Kerry. Using Newsmax is like taking Drudge’s word that Kerry cheated. It’s like deciding the Smear veterans knew what they were talking about. It’s like getting your news from Rush Limbaugh and Fox. They distort. And if that U2 board is correct, Newsmax got this wrong as well.

    Do you see what I mean?

  4. Anonymous

    After further research I acknowledged that Santorum’s campaign is “scalping” tickets for his benefit — as Arhnold did with the Stones in Boston. In my book it still is wrongminded and it sends a bad message to fans that they can lose out on seats to highrolling polical donors fundraising for their own cause.

    Who can stop this from happening. The performers and the concert promoters.

    Bono may feel compelled to smooze with the likes of Santorum to gain support for his causes, but it reaks of sell out to me at this point. Everyone with a cause has to draw the line somewhere — and in my book, Rick – man on dog – compromises Bono’s good work.

  5. Whew. For a second there I was asking myself “what would a conservative do?” and considered *burning* my U2 collection. I agree, Pamela, that it dosn’t look good either way. I understand Bono’s desire to bring as many people to the table as possible to further his goals, but Santorum is damaged goods.

  6. Bono is the reason I’m a liberal. Whatever he does, I will follow. I don’t see how anyone’s value of him could ever be swayed by one ‘false’ story. Give me a break. He has far more credibility than 90 percent of the Democratic senators.

  7. Those willing to jump on Bono and U2 based on a dubious news story are the ones that are being hypocritical and judgemental–exactly what we all dislike about Santorum. Do you really need to question Bono’s motives after decades of humanitarian work?

    How are the band, or the concert promoters, supposed to stop who buys the tickets to their shows, and who the purchasers turn around and sell them to. This happens all of the time at concerts, sporting events, musicals, plays….everything.

  8. Anonymous

    Concerts like U2 and the Stones are limited to ticket purchases of usually between 6 – 10 tickets for the express reason of curtailing scalping. In the case of the Stones concert and this Santorum fundraising fiasco more than the amount of tickets limited to fans to be sold in a block were obviously sold to the person organzining this event for Santorum. The same thing happened with the Arhnold fundraiser at the Stones concert.

    How are bands or concert promoters supposed to stop this? Easy, they enforce their ticket limits and they don’t allow anyone outside of the realm of “fans” to by tickets in large blocks.

    It’s a know fact that some concert promoters hold on to “large blocks” of tickets for this purpose or to appease “sky box” owners. It’s a practice that is unfair to consumers and fans. That’s why some bands limit their ticket sales to even less than 6 tickets in a block, and don’t allow “special interest” sales. Some bands even cap the cost of tickets to their shows to make them more afforable to their fans. We saw this with Springsteen when he did the “Rising” tour.

    I know some concert promoters and I know they hold on to choice tickets for “guest list” folks. Often those are the tickets that are sold for this sort of thing.

    The story may have come from News Max which is dubious, and they may have embelished the connection between Bono and Man on Dog Santorum, but it is a fact that a fundraiser is being held for Santorum at a scheduled U2 show.

    What I question is where Bono draws the line. Everyone has a line in humanitarian work, as also in politics. Bono praised John Kerry at a recent concert, referred to the mess our country is in and then turns around and “accepts” a fundraiser to be held at a concert to benefit a politician who upholds the neo-con agenda. Where is the sense in that?

    If Bono self admittingly would kiss the devils ass for his cause, that does not impress me. I thought better of him.

  9. Boston

    If Bono is the reason you are liberal, I am sorry. Hailing from the great state of MA, myself, I am liberal from the values instilled in me by the great liberals of MA.

    The sotry is not wholly false, it’s a fact that a block of tickets have been bought and sold for a Santorum fundraiser.

  10. Todd

    Santorum is damaged goods. I support and honor the work Bono has done over the years, I question his motives in getting it done at this point. As I said above everyone has a line – I think Bono should draw a line – the majority of support for his work comes from liberals – in this he snubs those who have supported him all these years. Santorum is the antithesis to much of what he has done.

  11. Pamela Leavey

    Not everyone is blessed to be born with a silver spoon in their mouth so to speak, or even born within a blue state. You should remember this when dealing with people who seem to have no clue about what drives you and how you could have such foreign ideas to them. Some people have no choice but to wait until later in life to come into contact with these liberal values you mention. I’m sorry you will never truly understand the other side as I do, what motivates them, and most importantly what they have missed.

  12. Why don’t all you crying whiners, move to China where the state will take care of everything for you, or get a job in the real world. For heaven’s sake, you’re liberal because of a rock star? and I’ll bet you pray to Bruce Springsteen and Eddie Vedder as well….

    No i wasn’t born with any cutlery in my mouth, silver or otherwise. I worked to get my college degrees and put them to use providing grist for the economic mill, providing for my family.

    If all of you are so bloody lliberal, “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country” or is that asking too much?

    this country needs statesmen (and women), not a bunch of BS politicos no matter what color their state, skin or children may be….

    Semper Fi

  13. Boston Says: October 11th, 2005 at 12:20 pm

    Hold just one minute Boston. I am from a small town in MA originally and was NOT born with a friggin silver spoon in my mouth. Furthermore, I’m a single mother, an only parent and have been on welfare, so I know very well, what motives your so called “otherside”. I am one of the little people and frankly you are the one being offensive here.

  14. GWB
    Interesting perspective. I too worked my way through school. I have a job. Why would you think a liberal wouldn’t have a job?

    I knew a Vet for Kerry who was a Marine. He’d say “Semper Fi” after every phone call he made after the campaign if he was talking to a vet, except that he added “man”. I asked him if he’d been at Dewey Canyon. He said yes, Dewey Canyon I and III.

    Interesting that you quote JFK. Wasn’t he one of those “socialist liberal types”? Or so I’ve been told by Conservatives I’ve met.

    We’ve done plenty for our country. Hell, half the people I know who are against this war are veterans. They know what war is, you see. GWB doesn’t. He’s never seen it.

    Sorry dear, you’ll have to pick one. Support the troops or support Bush.

  15. Wealth is not the only silver spoon in the world. I’m referring to the mind and heart. Poverty motivates the other side? I’m not sure what youre saying there. People like Bono can sometimes be the one ‘bridge’ that spans from red to blue. I didn’t say that Bono was the only reason I’ve stayed a liberal, but he was one of the big reasons I had a change of heart in the first place.

  16. GWB

    Youre a coldhearted idiot. Youre exactly the kind of person I’m referring to when I think of all the children in the world that have to grow up listening to your bullshit and nothing else. God save them. Hopefully they will find a way out.

  17. GWB Says:
    October 11th, 2005 at 12:48 pm

    I resent everything you said, up to and including “Semper Fi”. I will have you know, that I am a former MARINE. Step lightly Fool!!

  18. Boston

    Honestly I am not sure what you are saying here. I personally feel it is bad form for Bono and U2 to allow this to ahppen at their concert — that is my opinion. People who are fans for decades miss out on getting concert tickets when concert promoters sell large blocks of tickets to groups to use as fundraisers. The little people get hurt, the people who buy their records and save their pennies and dimes get hurt.

    I would have loved to take my 16 year old to see U2 next month, but I couldn’t afford the high priced tickets. Then I hear that a block of tickets are sold to the highest bidder for a fundraiser for Rick Santorum – that’s a sad statement.

    Many bands put a cap on their ticket sales and prices so that their fans can afford to attend their shows. I’m disappointed that U2 would allow this to happen. They quite obviously do not support the neo-con agenda, they can step up and demand that the tickets are returned and return the money.

    Rick Santorum does not respect Bono or U2 – see my post above. Why would they allow this to happen at their show?

  19. Boston

    My heart and mind tells me that the little people are hurt by this event being held at a U2 concert. My heart and mind disagrees with this practice by politicians and their fundraisers using a concert to promote raising money for their campaigns. It’s one thing to stage a concert expressly to raise money for candidate or a cause, it’s another thing to buy blocks of tickets to use to raise money for a candidate or a cause and have others shut out from attending the show.

  20. Pamela–

    A hypothetical anology:

    When Republican bigwigs entertain their right-wing, nut-case friends and candidates in the boxes of Fenway Park, does that make the liberal owner of the Boston Red Sox a sellout?

    I mean, come on, DATA has even now put out a statement saying that the band has no control over the politicians that are setting up fund raisers at their concerts. I’m evidently not as tuned into how the concert/promotion business model works. I’m sure its crooked like 90% of other business transactions. I simply don’t buy the fact that the members of the band are complicitly supporting the candidate.

    Look, I wish concert tickets were cheap also. I just paid $100 of hard earned money for a John Mellencamp concert–an artist that is truly a champion of the “little guy”. There are only so many things these artists can control, and I think JM, Springsteen and U2 all use their soap boxes pretty damn well in support of liberal causes.

  21. FYI: Statement issued by DATA:

    From the horse’s mouth, as it were:




    “It is not uncommon for politicians, from both parties, to organize events at all kinds of music concerts. If any such events take place at a u2 concert, it is without the involvement or knowledge of Data, U2 or Bono. U2 concerts are categorically not fundraisers for any politician – they are rock concerts for U2 fans.”

    For more information, contact Christopher Lagan, xxxxxxxxx

  22. Erica

    Bands can control how their tickets are sold. Springsteen has done it in the past, Pearl Jam as well. I just posted the DATA statement and spoke with their spokesperson. I’m relieved to see that Bono does not condone this.

    I’m not the only liberal blogger who was shaken by this. AmericaBlog posted about last night, Joe Trippi and others as well. We’re all entitled to our opinions. Personally it seems to me that campaign fundraising laws should not allow this. As I have said, it is one thing to expressly have a concert that is a fundraiser, or a baseball game or whatever, but when politicians use regularly scheduled events for the public to do their bidding, I feel it is wrong. Just my opinion.

  23. The way I see it, Rick Santorum is selling out his conservative base. He’s the one funding all the things that Bono is doing. I say more power to Bono that he can get conservatives to pay him. I sympathize with the high prices, if U2 lowered their face value of their tickets, scalping would be even more extreme. The demand is what is going to drive prices, not the band.

    I realize the amount of right wing nuts on blogs these days, so I understand the defensiveness. I was just trying to say that it sounds like you were lucky enough to grow up around people that cared about others and taught you how to do the same.

    Keep enjoying the U2! GWB will never get it.

  24. Boston

    My mother and my sisters were kennedy Dems, my dad a republican. I’ve had more than my share of suffering and I know it’s easy to get defensive sometimes. Thanks! 🙂

  25. That’s fine. I didn’t post that last bit for the sake of argument. Bono’s people issued a statement, so I thought I’d post it for FYI’s sake.

  26. Hoooooooold on everyone.

    I think blaming Bono, U2 or even the concert promoters for being in cahoots with Santorum is unjustified. Here is something I know as fact because my wife works for an arena that books these types of concerts:
    It sounds like Santorum is holding this fundraiser in a private suite. The private suites or large luxury boxes are owned by corporations or wealthy individuals. They are purchased often before the arenas are constructed. The owners of the suites can host whomever they want to – within legal limitations of course. This means that they can have a birthday party, a stag or a fundraiser. It’s the suite owner’s call and any rock group or their promoters who have booked the event with the building have nothing to do with it, can do nothing about it and most of the time have no clue what takes place in the suites. This being a rare exception because news of it got out.
    My wife tells me the suite owners get a certain number of tickets for concert events and have the option to buy more. So how can these kinds of acts possibly be expected to monitor who does what in these private suites?
    In order for the fundraiser to include the concert in it’s agenda, the band has to book the date first. That means they (U2 in this case) have already entered into a legal agreement with the building they are to perform in well before any fundraiser has even been organized. Backing out because they object to such a suite-hosted event would likely be a breach of their contractual agreement. And as far as limiting tickets goes, my understanding is that the bands cannot affect the agreement suite owners have with the building.
    So cut Bono and the boys some slack.
    p.s. It will be intersting to hear what Bono will say to Santorum from the stage that night.

  27. Erica

    I honestly don’t get why this has to be an argument at all. I’m a longtime fan of U2. Saw them in NH during their first tour when no one even knew who they were. I was saddened to think they might condone this, especially after Bono praising JK recently in Boston. If I am or was disappointed with them I am entitled to my opinion.

    I’m glad this has been cleared up by Bono’s spokeperson. If nothing else it gave Santorum more bad press which works for me.

  28. married to in the know Says: October 11th, 2005 at 3:17 pm

    I have two good friends who are concert promoters. I spoke with one earlier today about this and posted about it on one of the other threads about this and perhaps here. It’s something at this point that perhaps the FEC needs to look at, it doesn’t seem all that ethical to me.

  29. While I am not a Rick Santorum fan – some of my best friends are dogs – the only thing I see here that is unethical is the misleading promotion of the fundraiser as being endorsed or affiliated with U2. I agree this is an area I think the FEC could look into. Maybe U2 could even consider legal action against RS.
    The point of my previous post was to defend the ethics of the artists involved. This is something the bands and promoters can really do nothing about because it is not illegal to hold these gatherings in private suites regardless of the event going on in the bowl. Also because the timeline precludes that the fundraisers are organized after the contracts have been signed between band/promoter and building. I’m no lawyer but I would think even an item in the bands ryder couldn’t be enforced – your promoter friends would have more insight there.
    The best thing that could happen until a change in the ethics rules would be for bands that oppose this simply ridicule them from the stage. Their fans would probably love it and it may even, like you say to Erica, make the news and embarrass guys like Santorum and Arnold.

  30. married to in the know

    Thanksfully the noise created by myself and other liberal bloggers shed some light on this and now people understand (including myself) that this is not something endorsed by Bono or U2. So in the end, the truth comes out — the right wing lied again. That’s what we’re here for.

    I live in CA and probably dislike Santorum more than Arhnold and that is saying a lot. I have long admired Bono and it was unfathomable to me last night… many of us liberals got snookered briefly by the right’s spin on this, but again by doing this we were able to expose the truth.

    I do hope the FEC looks into this practice it seems very unethical to me.

  31. LOL Pamela, since when does Santorum=Ethical? Nice to see you get fired up again 😉 Go get ’em.

  32. GWB

    “I worked to get my college degrees and put them to use providing grist for the economic mill, providing for my family.”

    You miss the point in your post above. I don’t really care much about Bono or U2 either, but that’s not what matters.

    First of all, what makes you think you (or Bush supporters) are the only ones who work hard to provide for their families?

    The real point is, when will you wake up to how badly people like you are being screwed by Bush’s policies?

    Can you afford decent health care coverage? Far too many hard working people are either uninsured or have insurance coverage which does not really cover their needs.

    Is your job secure, or will you be replaced by someone in China making two cents an hour?

    Is the money you are making secure, or will it lose its value over time due to the Bush deficits?

    Are you and your family secure, or are you at incrased risk due to the way Bush has botched foreign policy and placed us at increased risk from terrorism?

    These are the real issues, so don’t think that just laughing off discussion of rock stars means everything is ok in Bush World.

  33. Ron Chusid Says:
    October 11th, 2005 at 4:46 pm

    “Is your job secure, or will you be replaced by someone in China making two cents an hour?”

    Amen to that!! I pulled out two packs of Crawfish Tails today. I didn’t notice at the time I bought them, that other than the packaging info about La., there was a small discreet sticker on the back with “Product of China”. Talk about a kick in the family jewels, when China floods our local stores with seafood, in Louisiana of all places.

    Is nothing sacred anymore? People like GWB won’t get it till it has effects on them. Shipping seafood to Louisiana from China, is like me shipping sand to Venice Beach. Good Grief.

  34. Donnie,

    I know businessmen who brag about how much money they save by moving plants to China and India. (India is becoming more popular as they speak the same language and don’t have the Communists in control).

    Short term it certainly makes sense for them to slash their costs and increase profits.

    I just can’t help but wonder who they will have left to sell their products to if this trend continues.

  35. Ron Chusid Says:
    October 11th, 2005 at 5:17 pm

    I agree. Do they not realize that what they do cripples their own country? But then again they don’t really care.

  36. Donnie,

    I don’t expect them to think in terms of whether it cripples their country. As a former Republican I’m sure you’ve been exposed to all the economic arguments they use as to why everyone benefits when they pursue their self interest. What I hope they will eventually get is that they also suffer if the economy is hurt to the point where few people can buy their products. Of course we know American businessmen only look at short term profits, not the big picture.

  37. Ron, I never supported a lot of the damaging policies that have caused things like that. NAFTA, CAFTA, and the likes, have always gotten sharp replies down here in my area. Our seafood industry has suffered a lot in the last few years. Once upon a time, a man could fish for a living and raise a large family. Those days of our ancestors are long gone now.

  38. Donnie

    I hear you about the fishing industry. I’m from a seaport in MA — fishing is limited now because the area has been overfished by the big commercial fishing corps, then there is serious mercury problems up there and the red tide this summer didn’t help.

  39. Pamela, it started with the TEDS. Turtle Excluder Devices. Over the years, some much has been subjected on the shrimpers, that it was almost not worth going out. The storms just made it worse. Fishing has been subjected to limits that cripple us in times of good harvest. There is so much that contributed to the topple of our way of life.

  40. I think that it a little silly for any politician to use a band to gain favor with the masses. Its just another distraction technique, dont look at my record, or think about what I;m saying- I have concert tickets- I’m cool. No, You’re pathetic.

    What scares me the most is, it works.


    Anyway, if you’re interested in knowing what U2 is up to check out this link about Cannes http://www.thenewsroom.com/details/319452 I dont think Santorum was there 😛