You might think Meat Loaf had been absent from the television airwaves lately for any number of reasons -- like, say, the fact that his music appeals mainly to an older crowd, or the fact that he hasn't had a hit single since 1995, or maybe even the complete mental breakdown he suffered the last time he starred on a reality show. But no: According to Mr. Loaf, TV programmers don't like him because he's -- gasp! -- a Republican.

Meat discussed his political blacklisting during a recent interview with Esquire, bringing it up during a discussion of his new album 'Hell in a Handbasket.' Explaining the title, he said, "For the last six or seven years, I've been saying the world has gone to hell in a handbasket. And the reason I say that is not because of Iran getting a nuke or Israel wanting to bomb Iran."

Forget about nuclear weapons: According to Meat Loaf, the hellbound basket we're in is one woven of rudeness and spite. "'Hell in a Handbasket' is not dealing with the political nature of the country. It's dealing with the humanity and the compassion of the world. I can give you an example -- I've been banned from two TV shows. Because USA Today has me listed as a Republican."

It's all indicative of what Loaf calls "A lack of humanity. A lack of compassion. A lack of self-examination, which is what [the first single] 'All of Me' is about -- the total disregard for one's own humanity and how he looks at himself. Now, that kind of stuff leaks out into the world. It's what causes what happened in the halls in Wisconsin. It's what causes a congressman to yell at Obama, 'You lie!'"

Meat continued to tie our current national malaise into his new music, saying, "There's a song, 'Our Love and Our Souls,' and I think those are really the things people need to return to. 'Nothing lasts forever but our love and our souls.' That's what people need to think about."

Bringing the conversation to its logical conclusion, Loaf surmised, "I'm starting to feel like John Lennon here."