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Fallon, Bachmann & The Roots Respond To Fishbone Controversy

12:01 PM Wednesday 11/23/11 | |

Jimmy Fallon says he’s sorry for The Roots’ snarky song choice during U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann’s intro on Monday’s “Late Night” show, and the Republican presidential candidate says that Questlove should be fired or suspended.

On Monday the house band played a portion of a Fishbone song called “Lyin’ Ass Bitch” as Bachmann walked onto the “Late Night” set. The song is featured on the ska-punk band’s 1985 self-titled, debut EP.

The Wall Street Journal blog Speakeasy posted a statement from Questlove on Tuesday: “The performance was a tongue-in-cheek and spur of the moment decision. The show was not aware of it and I feel bad if her feelings were hurt. That was not my intention.”

Before playing the song Questlove gave fans a heads up on Twitter on Monday. The Roots drummer wrote, “aight late night walkon song devotees: you love it when we snark: this next one takes the cake. ask around cause i aint tweeting title.” He added a link to the EP on iTunes and tweeted, “take a guess. buy the record anyway. its classic and should be in your vocabulary.”

Fallon also took to Twitter to share his thoughts on the matter. On Tuesday he wrote “@questlove is grounded.” Later that day he apologized.

“I’m honored that @michelebachmann was on our show yesterday and I’m so sorry about the intro mess. I really hope she comes back,” Fallon tweeted. “Actually it was a really fun interview. She helped me with my Minnesota accent. (I still sound Irish.)”

Wednesday morning Bachhmann appeared on Fox News Channel’s America’s Newsroom to talk about Pakistan as well as the Fishbone intro.

She explained she wasn’t familiar with the song and didn’t find out about the tune’s title until Tuesday when she was on her way to the presidential debate. Bachhmann added that she didn’t have anything against Fallon, who she hopes to talk to today, but that her beef is with NBC.

“It was a great opportunity to be on the show. I’d love to go back again,” Bachhmann said. “But I think the point is … if that song had been played for Michelle Obama, I have no doubt that NBC would have apologized to her and likely they could have fired the drummer, at least suspended him.”

“None of that happened from NBC. And this is clearly a form of bias on the part of the Hollywood entertainment elite, but it’s also, I think, sexism as well. This wouldn’t be tolerated if this was Michelle Obama; it shouldn’t be tolerated if it’s a conservative woman either. … Of course I accept Jimmy’s apology, but this really needs to come from NBC, and this is an outrage that happened.”

It’s a safe bet to say The Roots wouldn’t play the Fishbone tune for the first lady. Questlove’s Twitter avatar features a picture of the drummer and President Barack Obama.


  1. nic65 wrote:

    07:36 AM, Nov 30, 2011

    Norwood Fisher of FISHBONE recalls the early days of always being booked at the wrong venue. Read more about Michelle Bachmann's least favorite band at WorstGig.com.

  2. nic65 wrote:

    07:34 AM, Nov 30, 2011

    Norwood Fisher of FISHBONE recalls the early days of always being booked at the wrong venue. Read more about Michelle Bachmann's least favorite band at WorstGig.com.

  3. Good wrench wrote:

    10:53 AM, Nov 27, 2011

    What is your f***ing problem? I didn't politicize this nor have i made this personal. It isn't right-left, it's right or wrong. Denegration of women disgusts me as do those that justify it in music as freedom of expression. I concede your right to applaud that regardless of my distaste for it.

  4. DeltaSigChi4 wrote:

    01:34 AM, Nov 27, 2011

    My remark/comment/post was an affirmation of support of ?uestlove and the entire group's decision to play whatever *** song they deemed fit. As an artist, or alleged artist, one would think that this teabagged republican would understand artistic integrity. Maybe reading comprehension is an area in your life that you need some adult education courses/refreshers on.


  5. ahhhhhh wrote:

    07:12 PM, Nov 26, 2011

    So Delta you criticize a user whose post strays from music on a "comment section on a MUSIC website", yet you dont say ANYTHING related to the article in yours?

    Furthermore good wrenchs post simply stated the absurdness of defending either party too far.

    Republicans and Democrats are the same, common sense will show you that.

    Oh, and I like Fishbone. And the Roots.

  6. Good wrench wrote:

    06:50 PM, Nov 26, 2011

    BTW... I am a musician. It's been fun. Let's do it again real soon.

  7. Good wrench wrote:

    05:27 PM, Nov 26, 2011

    Conservative gospel? Are you kidding me? I didn't think that conservatives had an exclusive on manners, but I appreciate the warning. Hey, this has been fun and thanks for the well wishes. Best to you and yours as well.

  8. DeltaSigChi4 wrote:

    12:45 PM, Nov 26, 2011

    You are in the wrong place, Hess. This is the comment section of a MUSIC website. Faux news is another forum; I would suggest you mossy on over there at your earliest convenience. You will be preaching to those that want to be sanctified by the conservative gospel there. Have a nice life.


  9. Good wrench wrote:

    09:33 AM, Nov 26, 2011

    Wow... that was really profound. You really put me in my place. Nonetheless, I stand true to the principle that you treat others as you would have them treat you. Bachman was a GUEST on a nationally televised show for which Questlove works. It was unnecessary regardless of anyone's views. Anyone that wants to hail him as some kind of hero should first ask themselves if they would want to be on the receiving side of the insult or be in their employer's position of having to apologize for their bad judgment.

  10. DeltaSigChi4 wrote:

    10:23 AM, Nov 25, 2011

    My life is not made miserable by her epic failure(s). She is an irrelevant worthless human being who is as ignorant as they come. She is hardly fit to be a U.S. Representative, and is a laughing stock of anyone who knows anything. I will chalk you up under the tribe of those who do not know ***, since you are feigning such offence at someone calling her the lying *** that she is.


  11. Good wrench wrote:

    07:09 AM, Nov 25, 2011

    It's a stretch to draw any parallel between those who choose to maliciously make personal attacks or sling unsupported insults at a specific individual and my characterization of those extremists spewing such venom as pinheads.  I don't care if it's Bachman or President Obama - please show a little decency here. I am not voting for the woman, but calling her names would just make me look like a classless fool. If you want to argue her views or share with the world whatever she has done to make your life so miserable, then bring it.

  12. tomm1 wrote:

    05:46 PM, Nov 24, 2011

    hey DeltaSig, way to add to the intellectual discourse! You seem to be the example that "one does have the right to be an ***."

Artists Mentioned in this article