Bosses behind the TV channel have been sent a cease and desist letter from executives at publishing house Warner-Tamerlane Music, accusing them of failing to obtain permission to play the popular 1991 track while reporting from the Charlotte, North Carolina event.
Now Stipe, 52, has spoken out to condemn the company and its journalistic ethics in the wake of the controversy.
A statement on the band's official website reads, "We have little or no respect for their puff adder brand of reportage. Our music does not belong there." (MC/WNWC/MT)