I was intro'd to Negativland through a friend of my girlfriend at the time (circa 1989). This person was in an industrial group of his own (Bovine Ignition Systems. Sadofsky, where are you?) and Negativland was very much an influence and inspiration.
"Escape From Noise" was the most diabolical recording I'd ever heard. I loved hearing the bizarre overdubs, rip jobs on religion and other incisive commentaries that abounded on it.
When "Helter Stupid" came out, I grabbed it immediately. Now, I was disappointed by the tape's side two (Perfect Cut). It is not even worth mentioning.
But side one: 22+ minutes of an expose on the media, how incompetant they were then (and even more so now) and how they ran with a story, without checking their sources, without doing any real followup, and just assuming that David Brom murdered his whole family after hearing the track "Christianity Is Stupid."
The track is an amazing piece of TV newscasters who think they've got the story that'll get 'em to the network (WRONG), cuts from John Lennon and Charles Manson, and the effort by some shadowy figure trying to wring out a confession from the band (NOW IT BEGINS!).
To put a fine point on my title, I wish Negativland would do more of this on our alleged media today. Michael Moore has the inside track on it now, but the guys from San Fran. would be equally effective.
PS: This is also the band that Bono sued over, demanding they destroy all their copies of "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For." I heard a bootleg of their cover...yes, it was a slash and burn job, but His Pretentiousness needed to be brought down a peg around that time.