SIR Elton John has attacked the "era of censorship" in American after Whoopi Goldberg was dismissed as the SLIM-FAST spokesperson for criticising American President George Bush.

The CANDLE IN THE WIND singer is concerned by America's refusal to allow its citizens to comment negatively on Bush's controversial administration - and is angry that outspoken celebrities face losing their jobs if they dare to speak poorly of the leader.

John says, "There is an atmosphere of fear in America right now that is deadly. Everyone is too career-conscious. They're all too scared.

"Things have changed. I don't know if there's been a time when the fear factor played such an important role in America since McCARTHYISM in the 1950s, as it does now."

Bosses at diet giants Slim-Fast dropped the Goldberg from their ad campaign, after admitting they were "disappointed" in her

remarks at 8 July's (04) $7.5 million (GBP4.1 million) star-studded fundraiser for presidential hopeful John Kerry at Radio City Music Hall in New York City.

18/07/2004 10:45