*CBS has defended its decision to mute the mess out of Lil Wayne, Drake and Eminem’s rap performance at the end of Sunday’s Grammy Awards telecast, even though witnesses say the artists were doing a good job of censoring themselves.

“We have great respect for artists’ creative freedom, but there are certain things you can’t say, or sing, on television,” CBS spokesman Chris Ender told the Associated Press.

The Los Angeles Times counted “at least 10 times” that the mute button was pushed during their performances of “Drop the World” and “Forever”* with Travis Barker and rock guitarists.

Grammy executive producer Ken Ehrlich told the newspaper that he himself played no part in hitting the button. The network, he said, has “a responsibility to standards and we have a responsibility to represent music of the moment … and we can’t do a show that represents everything that is out there without this being part of it.”

On its “Vulture” blog, New York magazine commented “It’s all kind of bizarre Why were whole lines being cut to avoid one profanity? Why was the music cut out along with the [singers]? Did the bleep button keep getting stuck in the on position or something?”

The magazine then proceeded to print the censored lyrics. Click here to view: http://nymag.com/daily/entertainment/2010/02/eminem_lil_wayne_and_drake_get.html