Today, the right-wing site The New Ledger has a report about House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-CA) “problem” with “patriotic music”:
If you’ve ever been stuck on hold with a congressional office in the past, at least you’ve been able to enjoy some good patriotic music, as opposed to the lilting tones of generic smooth jazz that have been driving elevator users insane for decades. For years, congressional offices have played patriotic anthems as the background music during hold times.
Not any more. After we were startled by the hold music when we called a House office recently, sources on Capitol Hill informed us this week that the Democratic House leadership has made a sweeping decision that congressional offices now have the options of “smooth jazz” elevator music or no music at all.
The post was picked up by various right-wing blogs. Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI) has even sent a letter to House Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Daniel Beard — who, The New Leader points out, “reports to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi” — objecting to the change.
This conspiracy theory is the craziest thing since freedom fries. And birthers. ThinkProgress spoke with Beard’s spokesman Jeff Ventura, who cleared up the confusion:
The music was changed during recess as a pilot program in an attempt to offer offices a choice of hold music. […]
This had nothing to do with the leadership — not in the beginning or the final outcome.
Here’s what happened: Congressional offices have traditionally been able to have a choice of music or no music. The CD that had been in the congressional muzak system for “a long time” was a “patriotic tunes CD.” The CAO’s office wanted to test a program giving people a choice of multiple CDs and decided to try out a jazz CD because it’s “what a lot of companies have when you’re on hold.” However, based on the feedback they received, they simply decided to go back to the old system.
So for the record, there is no left-wing conspiracy to ban patriotic muzak.