Thanks to Brian Turner for passing along the following news item from the Associated Press :

Wal-Mart Stores Inc., which promotes itself as a seller of clean music, deceived customers by stocking compact discs by the rock group Evanescence that contain the f-word, a lawsuit claims.

The hit group’s latest CD and DVD, “Anywhere But Home,” don’t carry parental advisory labels alerting potential buyers to the obscenity. If they did, Wal-Mart wouldn’t carry them, according to the retailer’s policy.

But the lawsuit claims Wal-Mart knew about the explicit lyrics in the song, “Thoughtless,” because it censored the word in a free sample
available on its Web site and in its stores.

The complaint, filed Thursday in Washington County Circuit Court, seeks an order requiring Wal-Mart to either censor or remove the music from its Maryland stores. It also seeks damages of up to $74,500 for each of the thousands of people who bought the music at Wal-Marts in Maryland.

“I don’t want any other families to get this, expecting it to be clean. It needs to be removed from the shelves to prevent other children from hearing it,” said plaintiff Trevin Skeens of Brownsville, MD

Skeens said he and his wife, Melanie, let their daughter buy the music for her 13th birthday and were shocked when they played it in their car while driving home.

Wal-Mart, of Bentonville, Ark., has no immediate plans to pull the CDs from its shelves, spokesman Guy Whitcomb told The (Hagerstown)
Herald-Mail. He said the company will investigate the allegations. No hearing dates have been set.

“While Wal-Mart sets high standards, it would not be possible to eliminate every image, word or topic that an individual might find objectionable,” Whitcomb told the newspaper.

Given that Wal-Mart have already established the precedent of having labels furnish their stores with G-rated versions of otherwise filthy recordings, I’m not too sympathetic. Some portion of the numbskull public has been led to believe that upon setting foot in a Wal-Mart, they are entitled to have a shopping experience that is guaranteed to include no encounters whatsoever with anything that might prove offensive. Such a premise would be wacky enough if Wal-Mart limited their offerings to jumbo-sized bags of Red Vines and automatic rifles, but given that they are such a massive supplier of DVD’s, CD’s, books, magazines, etc. it’s beyond insane. But sometimes you get the customers you deserve.

(Evanescence : time for the parents of America to sue their children for having lousy taste)