Walter Reed Bars Baez

Army blames short notice for activist's exclusion from hospital
By Marie Morris,  Newser Staff
Posted May 2, 2007 3:45 PM CDT
Walter Reed Bars Baez
Joan Baez arrives for the 49th Annual Grammy Awards on Sunday, Feb. 11, 2007, in Los Angeles. In a letter to the Washington Post published Wednesday, May 2, 2007, Baez says she doesn't know why she was not allowed to perform for recovering soldiers recently at Walter Reed Army Medical Center as she...   (Associated Press)

(Newser) – Patients at Walter Reed Army Medical Center were treated to tunes by John Mellencamp last week, but not Joan Baez—hospital officials refused to let the legendary folk singer and antiwar activist join him. A spokesman told Rolling Stone the request to include Baez came too late. Said Mellencamp: "We asked why and they said, 'She can’t fit here, period.' "

In an interview with the Washington Post, which recently reported on substandard living conditions and vermin infestation at the hospital, Baez said, "One of my more cynical friends said, 'They let the rats in, why not you?' " Officials also turned down a request to admit Dan Rather; the longtime CBS newsman now works for HDNet, which aired the concert. (Read more Joan Baez stories.)

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