Kurt Cobain on FAIR: ‘Tries to Expose the Truths’

Kurt Cobain

Kurt Cobain, August 1993

Kurt Cobain called FAIR “an underground leftist organization that tries to expose the truths,” saying we had “been working for years to expose a lot of injustices.”

Cobain said this in August 1993, when he, with Nirvana bandmates Krist Novoselic and Dave Grohl, were interviewed by a German music journalist (8/10/93). We just found out about the interview this week, when a friend pointed out to us a video of the interview that was posted on YouTube (12/11/13) last month. That link should take you to the middle of the video, where Cobain and Novoselic discuss FAIR as an example of a political group they were working with:

Kurt Cobain: We’ve had a few offers from some political organizations, like the FAIR organization, who has been working for years to expose a lot of injustices, and to try to promote real truths in a lot of things that have happened politically. It’s like an underground leftist organization that tries to expose the truths.

T-shirt from benefit concert for FAIR

Concert T-shirt from the FAIR benefit show Nirvana did at the L.A. Forum with Butthole Surfers, and for another show at the Troubador feauturing Henry Rollins and X.

And, you know, they’re totally masked over by USA Today and magazines like that, you know, right-wing-owned magazines. A lot of time the truth, and the details, of a story aren’t ever reported. And that’s what this organization does, so they came to us. And of course we’re going to want to do something with them to help them out….

Krist Novoselic: FAIR is an acronym for Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting. And I think I’ve been really conscious of what’s been going on in the media, with being part of the media, you know. And then I just look at how the press responds, like you know, with being all over the president; or being all over Waco, Texas; or Amy Fisher.

You know, it’s really interesting. There’s a lot of bozos out there who just–they form public opinion. You know, people really don’t think for themselves, and they’ve got a big responsibility. So they’re just basically exploiting it.

And there’s this group here that’s into, like, truth. Reality. You know.

Nirvana did do a benefit concert for FAIR at the L.A. Forum on December 30, 1993, along with Butthole Surfers and Chokebore. (See the L.A. Times review, 1/1/94.) The concert turned out to be Nirvana’s final Los Angeles show; a little more than three months later, Cobain was dead. Alternative Nation (9/26/13) posted a fan-shot video of the performance:

About Jim Naureckas

Extra! Magazine Editor Since 1990, Jim Naureckas has been the editor of Extra!, FAIR's monthly journal of media criticism. He is the co-author of The Way Things Aren't: Rush Limbaugh's Reign of Error, and co-editor of The FAIR Reader: An Extra! Review of Press and Politics in the '90s. He is also the co-manager of FAIR's website. He has worked as an investigative reporter for the newspaper In These Times, where he covered the Iran-Contra scandal, and was managing editor of the Washington Report on the Hemisphere, a newsletter on Latin America. Jim was born in Libertyville, Illinois, in 1964, and graduated from Stanford University in 1985 with a bachelor's degree in political science. Since 1997 he has been married to Janine Jackson, FAIR's program director. You can follow Jim on Twitter at @JNaureckas.