Thursday, May 08, 2003

Who can you trust?
Net Music Countdown
According to the father of the Erwin sisters, Dixie Chicks, Martie (MaGuire) and Emily (Robison), the Chicks didn't exactly pose nude for their now famous Entertainment Weekly cover. Paul Erwin reportedly says the nudity was accomplished by an accomplished air-brush artist, so reports MJI.

This stop-the-presses revelation comes as a surprise to no one who has actually seen the photo.

In other news...
Metroactive News & Issues | Airwaves, Shock Waves
It started with Georgia-based Cumulus Media, America's second-largest broadcasting company, publicly bulldozing Dixie Chicks CDs after lead singer Natalie Maines admitted to a London audience that she was ashamed of the behavior of fellow-Texan President George W. Bush. The New York Times, on March 31, reported that stations owned by Texas-based Clear Channel, the nation's largest broadcasting company, had stopped playing the Dixie Chicks because of the remark. In a decision cited in international media reports, MTV-Europe nixed all B-52's videos to avoid invoking thoughts of war and planes. Madonna also purportedly joined the fray by banning her own Bush-and-fatigues video on April 4, just days before its scheduled release.
"It's kind of a sad statement about the psyche of the nation," says Gary Schoenwetter, operations manager for San Jose rock stations KSJO and KUFX, adding that some touring musicians have asked not to be interviewed about the war, because they're against it and fear reprisals.
Despite Schoenwetter's sympathy for the Dixie Chicks, whose wartime artistic crime was speaking out at a concert, he happens to work for Clear Channel, which owns KSJO and KUFX. Schoenwetter, who is in charge of programming, says that there was no mandate sent down from Clear Channel headquarters regarding the issue, but he combed through station playlists anyway after the war broke out, looking for anything that he thought would be "in poor taste."

What? "No mandate sent down from Clear Channel"? But that would mean... the New York Times is wrong!

Well, at least there are those two Colorado Springs DJs who are on suspension for playing the Dixie Chicks. My faith in conspiracy theories is restored.

Or... Heavens, I'm so shaken by the suggestion of inaccuracy in the NYT (not to mention the thought that the Dixie Chicks photo may have been doctored) that I'm having... thoughts. Two DJs are due for a vacation anyway. They decide, in conjunction with station management, to play a Chicks song the day before they go. Free publicity from the Associated Press generates a wave of letters demanding the return of both the DJs and the Chicks.

Would any organization be so coldly manipulative?

Does any of this have anything to do with free speech? Natalie Maines, after all, wasn't arrested. And economic consequences of public actions come as a result of thousands of individual free people exercising their rights. And even President Bush told Tom Brokaw that it was no big deal:
MSNBC.COM | Dixie Chicks say reaction to Bush remark is 'overboard'
In an interview with NBC television's Tom Brokaw on Thursday, Bush said the Dixie Chicks were "free to speak their mind."
"They can say what they want to say ... freedom is a two-way street. But I don't really care what the Dixie Chicks said, I want to do what I think is right for the American people and if some singers or Hollywood stars feel like speaking out that's fine," Bush said.

Hm. Seems MSNBC left something out that changes the flavor of the remark. - Dixie Chicks Won't Walk Off Stage If Fans Boo
We finally have Bush's reaction to Maines remark. In an interview with NBC's Tom Brokaw, Bush said "The Dixie Chicks are free to speak their mind."
But, he added, that the Chicks "shouldn't have their feelings hurt just because some people don't want to buy their records when they speak out. You know, freedom is a two-way street."

Emphasis mine. I wonder why so many reports leave that part out.

Well, I'm glad that's over.

As comedian Argus Hamilton said, "It takes a real leader to restore honor and dignity to the White House and get women to take off their clothes at the same time."

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