Waist Deep in the Big Muddy
One of Pete Seeger‘s first national television apppearances after being blacklisted for more than a decade, on the Smothers Brothers Comedy hour in January, 1968, at the height of the Vietnam War.
Seeger had been blacklisted after his appearance before the House Un-American Activities Committee, where he refused to give the names of anyone in the leftist organizations he had participated in. Seeger’s refusal was unusual, in that he invoked the First Amendment, in particular the right to peaceably assemble. Most of those charged with contempt by the committee invoked the Fifth Amendment–freedom from self-incrimination.
Seeger had been scheduled to perform the song on the show a year earlier, but CBS had cancelled his appearance edited Waist Deep in the Big Muddy out of the broadcast, over objections to his criticism of President Johnson. The more things change the more they stay the same.