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Dixie Chick Damage Control

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Nashville is NOT Hollywood. Do we need any more proof of that than two concurrent stories out of the Music City: the Charlie Daniels pro-war rant, producer for country TV channel replies, gets fired story; and the Dixie Chick Natalie Maines busts loose with an anti-Bush statement at a concert in London, feels the wrath of suburban Republicans from coast to coast story.

Unless you read Blogcritics or live in Nashville, you probably haven’t seen too much about the Daniels story because the woman who got fired for her anti-war email wasn’t a celebrity, just a civilian responding to a celebrity who had spoken the ostensible Nashville pro-war party line.

Natalie Maines is another story: the Dixie Chicks are pop-country icons already and multi-platinum superstars. She spoke Thursday night in London, she apologized Friday:

    “As a concerned American citizen, I apologize to President Bush because my remark was disrespectful. I feel that whoever holds that office should be treated with the utmost respect. We are currently in Europe and witnessing a huge anti-American sentiment as a result of the perceived rush to war. While war may remain a viable option, as a mother, I just want to see every possible alternative exhausted before children and American soldiers’ lives are lost. I love my country. I am a proud American.”

Why?

    Angry phone calls flooded a Nashville radio station on Thursday, some calling for a boycott of the trio’s music. Two Dallas stations stopped playing the group’s music because of Maines’ comments. [AP]

And:

    Country stations across the United States have pulled the Chicks from playlists following reports that lead singer Natalie Maines said in a concert in London earlier this week that she was “ashamed the president of the United States is from Texas.”

    Station managers said their decisions were prompted by calls from irate listeners who thought criticism of the president was unpatriotic.

    ….One station in Kansas City, Missouri held a Dixie “chicken toss” party Friday morning, where Chick critics were encouraged to dump the group’s tapes, CDs and concert tickets into trash cans.

    Houston country station KILT pulled the band’s records from its playlist — at least temporarily — after 77 percent of people polled on its Web site said they supported the move.

    “We’ve got them off the air for right now,” said Jeff Garrison, program director at KILT, which is owned by Viacom’s Infinity Broadcasting Corp.

    “People are shocked. They cannot believe Texas’ own have attacked the state and the president,” Garrison said.

    ….One of the country stations in Dallas that helped champion the Chicks when they were scraping by in that city playing gigs on street corners for tips, “99.5 The Wolf,” said they are listening to the listener’s views but do not think it is right to immediately jump on the bandwagon and stop playing the Chicks, said program director Paul Williams.

    Williams said it is too early to tell how strong a backlash may develop against the Chicks. He said the comments touched a deep nerve in Texas because they came from one of the biggest country groups to come out of the state and were directed at a president who calls Texas home.

    “The listener outlash is probably bigger here than anywhere else,” William said. [Reuters]

Where did all of this outraged response come from? Well, um, outraged citizens of course, but doesn’t the response strike you as a bit extreme? Check out this email that the sponsors of the Chicks’ tour, Lipton, received from a “concerned citizen”:

    Hello

    You should know that your company is being targetted by a radical right-wing online forum. You are being “FReeped”, which is the code word for an organized email/telephone effort attempting to solicit a desired response. Please go to http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/864728/posts and http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/863398/posts
    for evidence of this.

    www.freerepublic.com claims over 30,000 members.
    The opinions on this forum are often racist, violent, and homophobic. I hope you will not feel pressured by them to change your policies. Keep in mind that they are very active and will give the appearance of a widespread reaction when in fact it’s limited to their isolated group. These are not people you want to cater to, as you will see if you spend a little time observing them. And don’t feel bad. Besides you, they are boycotting Canada, France, Germany, Russia, Mexico, Belgium, and 3/4 of hollywood. They are so petty that they research goods they believe are produced by these nations and list them for boycotting. The dumb thing is they get it wrong half the time.

    I will be very dissappointed with Lipton if it tries to appease these radicals. I would continue to buy Lipton regardless though :)

    When we went to the site it was clear what was going on, this organization had not targeted Lipton for their campaign, they had selected the Chicks for “FReeping.”

    As we reviewed the site we came across a whole area that was devoted to the Chicks, and more specifically the activities of the campaign against them, check it out:

    http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/keyword/dixiechicks

    As you move around this area and start to look at specific threads you will see that these people have actively manipulated radio polls, and how proud they are of their handiwork.

    Here’s some of their exchanges regarding their specific attempts to manipulate radio polls, notice the advice given on trying to ensure that their manipulations remain disguised:

      To: webfooter
      Cat Country in Harrisburg has a poll on whether they should stop playing the Chicks. They attribute the quote to Natalie.
      Current vote is 5 for and 5 against.
      I would recommend only locals vote, but you FReepers can do what you want.
      Shalom.

      To: webfooter; LindaSOG; Kathy in Alaska; radu; bentfeather; southerngrit; Bethbg79; All
      One of the country stations in my area is boycotting them: Here’s the link! Please freepmail them thanks! I have done so already!!
      WCMS

      38 posted on 03/13/2003 1:52 PM PST by MoJo2001 (God Bless Our Troops and Allies!!)
      [ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies ]

      To: All
      LOL!! Um, email them! Don’t freepmail them! My bad!

      39 posted on 03/13/2003 1:52 PM PST by MoJo2001 (God Bless Our Troops and Allies!!)
      [ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 38 | View Replies ]

      To: MoJo2001
      FReep Natalie Maines’ hometown country station!
      Natelie Maines’ home radio station (KLLL.com) and email address of the DJ’s. Just in case anybody wants to drop them a friendly email about boycotting the Chicks. As a bonus, pappa and the family live here too, so you are sure to get noticed.

    ….As always the “squeaky wheel gets the grease” and these weasels know how to squeak.

    Consider a radio station that receives 1,000 calls and emails from listeners demanding that they boycott the Chicks music, they ignore the fact that 17,500 fans have bought tickets to a show in a couple of months and seem to think that these 1,000 calls/emails are somehow reflective of their audiences’ wishes. Yet, the box office at the local venue receives only 3 calls regarding the show and wanting to know if they can arrange to return the tickets! Now the authenticity of the 1,000 is in question!

This email is unidentified and has its own ax to grind, but it does remind us that listener, customer, citizen complaints are often the result of organized campaigns and not the spontaneous behavior of independent individuals.

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About Eric Olsen

  • http://www.morethings.com/log Al Barger

    listener, customer, citizen complaints are often the result of organized campaigns and not the spontaneous behavior of independent individuals.

    This sounds EXACTLY like spontaneous grassroots behavior. Is it illegitimate somehow to communicate what you’re doing, and encourage others to join in?

    Some of the Freepers can get a little radical, but they’re not much of a nefarious outfit. Much as you don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows, you don’t need a Freeper to tell you that the Dixie Chicks have squandered huge reserves of public good will for the sake of cheap self-indulgence.

    I forsee a USO tour in the Dixie Chicks near future.

  • Eric Olsen

    Don’t disagree with anything you’ve had to say on the matter Al, just digging into the workings of it all. Everyone has an agenda.

  • http://www.flaskaland@blogspot.com bflaska

    Some still have common sense.

    http://abclocal.go.com/ktrk/news/31403_local_rodeofight.html

    Brawl erupts after song played at rodeo

    Felix Fanaselle says he and another rodeo patron got into a fight during the playing of Lee Greenwood’s Proud to be an American.
    By Elma Barrera
    ABC13 Eyewitness News
    (3/14/03) — Talk of war with Iraq has sparked an atmosphere of tension and anxiety. And it may be to blame for a brawl that broke out at the rodeo Thursday night.

    ABC-13 report

    With some 15,000 to 20,000 folks at the rodeo drinking beer and having fun, things can get a little out of hand at times. It happened when a tape of Lee Greenwood’s song Proud To Be An American was playing. Some rodeo fans were standing and others were sitting down. Felix Fanaselle and his buddies chose to remain seated.

    “This guy behind us starts yelling at us (because) we’re not standing up,” said Fanaselle. “He starts cussing at us, telling us to go back to Iraq.”

    The 16-year-old said the man seated behind him started spitting at him and spilling his beer on him and his friends.

    “By the end of the song, he pulled my ear. I got up. He pushed me. I pushed him,” said Felix. “He punched me in my face. I got him off me.”

    When the dust settled, Fanaselle had been handcuffed and released. He and John McCambridge were cited for “mutual combat” and fighting in public. That’s a $200 fine. Fanaselle’s lawyer says you don’t have to stand for a country and western song.

    “I guess next time, he’ll think maybe we need to stand for the Okie From Muscogee,” said attorney Clayton Rawlings. “This is phony patriotism. This man needs to be ashamed of himself for what he did.”

    Rawlings says he and the Fanaselle family will give McCambridge a chance to make this right without going to court. The family says the biggest insult was McCambridge telling Fanaselle to go back to Iraq. Fanaselle is half Hispanic and half Italian.

    “He was born in this country and who is this clown to tell him to go back where he came from? He came from Houston, Texas, so he is where he came from,” said Rawlings.

    Rawlings says if the citation isn’t dismissed after witnesses testify, they’ll be going to court with accusations of assault and battery, mental anguish and lawyer’s fees. Eyewitness news tried to contact John McCambridge in Austin for his side of the story, but so far there’s been no response.
    – Talk about this story
    – General posting board

    Last Updated: Mar 14, 2003

  • http://www.morethings.com/log Al Barger

    What a retard. This jerk really needed a good Texas beat down. I for one sure as hell wouldn’t be standing up for the *$&%^ Lee Greenwood crapfest. This story is WAY out on the stupidity scale. I’d suspect that the guy was an anti-war plant if I thought they were that clever.

    I personally might well have been willing to stand up for the “Okie from Muskogee” however.

  • http://arguewithsigns.blogspot.com bryan

    I don’t know. I live close to where the Chicks’ tour is supposed to start – Greenville, SC, and the people I’ve spoken with around here are just upset – period. I don’t know that they even know what freerepublic.com is.

    Besides, what freerepublic is doing is no different than what moveon.org does all the time, or what poetsagainstthewar.org is doing.

  • Eric Olsen

    Bryan, I’m not saying people aren’t upset of their own accord, just pointing out that at least some of the reaction is organized – on both sides, of course.

  • Cindy

    Flashbacks to the late ’60’s and early 70’s…except R. Milhouse Nixon’s dead and most of his thugs are powerless…except the ones that are still working in and around the Whitehouse. It’s suddenly become unpatriotic/UnAmerican to express one’s beliefs again and it scares the living hell out of me. Is this what I protested for 30 years ago????

  • http://orientalredneck.blogspot.com Tony

    Well, to me, it seems that this stuff is no different from an organized letter campaign, which is an old tactic. Only the technology changes.

    And as for Cindy’s comment, I agree that Dixie Chicks have the right to say what they want. However, I have the right to be pissed off about it and express it. The same holds true for other angry Dixie Chicks fans. Their First Amendment rights don’t trump mine, do they?

    Regards,
    Tony
    PS – Didn’t even know what a Freeper was until 2 weeks ago.

  • Andrea

    Brawls breaking out over Lee Greenwood music??? Freedom fries??? “I’m ashamed that George Dubya comes from Texas” as justifiable cause for the public response it seems to have prompted. Whoa! Okay, so democracy is not saying anything if you don’t have anything “nice” to say, than? Let’s hear it for that much-vaunted ‘freedom of speech’ everyone’s always going on about…….

  • dee

    it’s okay to have your right to free speech in this country where it is your right as a citizen but i have a problem with it when you air you opinions in a foreign country just to get a favorable response from the paying audience.

  • mike

    I say that if the rest of the world doesn’t like America, we should just blow ‘em away–oh, right, we already are.

    The world won’t be laughing when they’re all dead and it’s just the USA left on a cold blasted rock!

  • Woland

    I’ve been visiting radical right-wing websites all week and getting into ‘debates’ on message boards. The people trashing Dixie Chicks CD’s are the same people who think Rachel Corrie was a ‘waste of skin’. Miserable, hateful, cruel people.

    And they defend themselves as such. Baffling.

    Let people be free to speak their minds. Don’t hold them (and others) hostage by their opinions.

  • mike

    Hey, I was put on this earth to take the Hate Radio crowd hostage by their opinions. Country music is on the soundtrack when these people copulate and reproduce. Got any good right wing message boards for me? I just got kicked off freerepublic.com for the zillionth time, this time for describing, in detail, the joy of doing all the Chicks at one while they spout out anti-Bush diatribes–in British accents, of course, and then summarize Chomsky’s Aspects of a Theory of Syntax as the cum. Heaven!

  • Joni Negus

    My only comment is this: does anyone remember the First Amendment to the Constitution? Ms. Maines comments, while possibly being in bad form, are hers to make. She is entitled to her opinion and she is ENTITLED to express it. Our Constitution says so! All of you right wingers…you do remember the Constitution, right?

  • Karen

    If a member of the Dixie Chicks wishes to express criticism of America’s President or his policies that is their right. It is a right they have that most of the world does not, because hundreds of thousands of American soldiers from the Revolutionary War to now were willing to give their lives to protect our freedoms, including freedom of speech. I will support to the death their right to say what they will in this country – among members of our American family. But to do so outside our borders, among people who hate us and our way of life seems treason to me and much of the US.

    Most people with families know that however much family members may fight amongst themselves, no outsider may attack one member of the family without attacking all. That is the way families are. It is unfortunate that the Dixie Chicks, along with several former Presidents and Hollywood ego-airheads, choose to align themselves with our nation’s enemies and against the family which has afforded them their very right to protest. It is gross ingratitude at the very least. If you feel more closely aligned with our enemies, please go live with them and see just how much you are allowed to protest there.

    Just as these people have the right as Americans to say what they wish, we have the right to listen or ignore them. I see no reason to reward with my money people who are ungrateful and who are attacking my family. I do not knowingly support companies who destroy the environment or the values in which my family believes. I do not have the bully pulpit of politicians or celebrities. I only have the money which makes their lives comfortable and famous. It is my right not to support those who are attacking my family. They may say whatever they wish, but don’t expect me to pay for it. If you want to call that a boycott, then do so. But I doubt you’d willingly pay for poisoned food products at the grocery.

  • brad

    i agree with karen,ms maines can say or do as she pleases it is her right,but,my right is to not spend my money on her artistic efforts in any form.now that being said,who said that world opinion ruled how we run our country,i give a rats ass how france germany russia or iraq is ran i could care less i’m sick and tired of the world opinion,its that opinion that has put us where we are today at the brink of war for land we have already fought and spilled blood over and we let world opinion tell us not to take bagdad in 1991.and all the left wing blames george w well i blame george sr and bill clinton they should have taken care of this long ago.what’s funny is that noone mentions the fact that in 1998 ole bill was ready to do the same thing but did not.so,we all have a finger to point at someone and the one i point is the middle finger at the world opinion.

  • david

    The chick expressed her opinion as is her right to do so. All of those who disagree with her also have the same right. She is not being thrown in jail for what she said, that would be a violation of her 1st amendment rights, someone organizing a boycott against the product she sells is also an expression of 1st amendment rights and not a violation of her rights. Anyone is free to express their opinion and not fear repercussions from the Govt., they are not free from the resulting repercussions from others who have the same rights, as long as the repercussions take legal form. Boycotts and demands that radio stations drop artists are all legally protected 1st amendment rights. So get off your high horse spouting off about how right winger’s don’t respect her rights.

  • Nicholas Hentschel

    “World opinion” didn’t make us not take Baghdad; that was Bush, Sr.’s decision. In fact, we’ve actually taken a lot flak, both at home and in the world beyond, for not finishing the job, and thus leaving the Iraqis at Saddam’s mercy for the past 12 years. (Note also the film, “Three Kings.”)

    Bush the Elder’s decision not to topple Hussein has provided a decade-plus of amuunition for those who believe that the Gulf War was simply about oil, and not about Kuwait. And if, for the sake of argument, they were right, then it actually shows, as I said, that not finsihing Saddam the FIRST time consituted a defiance and a sacrifice of world opinion and welfare in favor of our own interests, not vice versa.

  • Missy

    Yes, it is also the right of folks to boycott the Chicks if they so desire–but organized boycotts designed to drown out the (probable) majority? I don’t mean “majority” as in majority support for the war, but majority as in majority who don’t give a shit what Natalie Maines says. I live in South Central KY, just north of Nashville, and know a ton of Dixie Chicks fans who don’t give a rat’s ass what Natalie Maines (or Charlie Daniels, or Kid Rock, or Martin Sheen, etc) think about the war, or the president. But if I thought a vocal minority could somehow stop a show that I paid money to see, or songs I like pulled off the radio because she opened her big, Texas-sized mouth, I would care, but still not about what she said.

    Seriously folks, just what do you think a Dixie Chick’s power is? Is it more powerful than the oil companies, gun manufacturers, chemical developers, etc, who stand to get rich off the war? Is it more devastating than our own gov’t who GAVE the gas to Iraq that it used on the Kurds? Is it more anti-American than the French who have entered into an unholy economic agreement for oil with Iraq? Pick your battles people, one little chick with an opinion is not worth all this…

  • James Adams

    I have listned for many years to those in politics and to those in the public eye understanding that many times what they say is only self-serving. They think that by stating certain views that they can discredit the opposite party or gain noteriety. I have allowed this free will of attitude because it is our inalienable rights to say what we believe. Only now though I have listned to the Dixie Chicks and for example Daschele proclaim that our President is a failure in his attemts at foreign policy. I later heard an Iraqi politician take that statement and throw it back at us saying that our people do not support the President how can we allow people that represent others behave so callously their very statement is now a part of Iraqi’s denial they say that our nation is not united and therefore they have the rights to join against us. We must confront Daschule and those that can not understand the need to swing a big stick sometimes to have peace at another we must make them understand how by not uniting in our efforts they have betrayed our nation. We must all be united our soldiers must never believe that they are taking actions that are not supported by all and that everything possible was done to bring peace to the region without conflict. Thank You.

  • Missy

    “We must all be united our soldiers must never believe that they are taking actions that are not supported by all and that everything possible was done to bring peace to the region without conflict.”

    Respectfully, I think that’s a crock. Do you really believe that dissent should be subverted so our soldiers can believe that the whole of the country wants to send them off to die? Personally, if I were a soldier, I would prefer to think there were still folks at home willing to risk the wrath of public opinion to fight to see that I didn’t need to die for this.

  • http://www.morethings.com/log Al Barger

    One small point in this debate. Several people have ascribed blame or additional culpability to the Dixie Chicks for making their remarks while on foreign soil. I will go so far as to defend them on this specific count. They were in London, not Baghdad. Sean Penn just flat needed an ass kicking for going to Baghdad to talk his crap. The Dixie Chicks were in England among our staunchest allies. That’s more like discussing it amongst friends. Criticize them for being disrespectful, but their locale really shouldn’t be an issue here.

  • http://www.kalyr.com/weblog Tim Hall

    …. But to do so outside our borders, among people who hate us and our way of life seems treason to me and much of the US.

    I though those comments were made in Britain, not in Saudi Arabia.

    Since when has disagreeing with some of the policies of current President become “Hating America and their way of life”?

    Or have some sections of American Conservatism collapsed into a state of clinical paranoia?

  • Gale

    It bothers me to no end that anyone, celebrity or otherwise, would be so thoughtless as to make such as statement against a President who seems to have nothing but the interests of our great nation at heart. Natalie Maines should be ashamed of herself, but a running scared, forced apology won’t quite get it. She has the right to think or say whatever she please; previous wars and sacrifices have given her that right, but she needs to temper her rights with some common sense and judgement. She should take her concert to Baghdad and make a similar comment about Saddam!! Then she would realize how great this nation really is.

  • http://nerichardson.co.uk Nigel Richardson

    Did I miss something? Did Natalie Maines say something horribly libelous and damaging to the American nation besides that fairly innocuous remark about being embarrassed that Bush was from Texas? Or are people really still getting their panties in a tangle at the thought of Saddam getting some kind of military advantage out of knowing the short blonde one from the Dixie Chicks made a crowdpleasing wisecrack at a concert in London?

  • Rowdy Girl

    I LOVE the Chicks music…but will not support them at this time. Not because of what anyone else says or does but because I am ashamed that they are from Texas! I absolutely loathed Clinton and thought him a womanizing good-ole-boy, but would never have disrespected the office of the Presidency by stating how I felt in a public forum. We expect our kids to have respect…but show none ourselves in front of them and then wonder why they have no respect for us or anyone else!? MOST Texans are not ashamed of Bush…just of the Chicks right now! A Newsweek poll shows that 65% of Americans support Bush….the Chicks will wonder where 65% of their sales go!

  • Anon

    Judging from the comments, it looks like this board is being Freeped too. You should be aware that linking to a freeper post is sure to get you noticed. The operators scan their logs and retaliate when they notice substantial numbers of hits referred from liberal websites.

  • Anarchist666

    “It is a right they have that most of the world does not, because hundreds of thousands of American soldiers from the Revolutionary War to now were willing to give their lives to protect our freedoms, including freedom of speech.”

    The scary thing is, I’m sure you believe this nonsense. What did the Spanish American War, WWI, Korea, Vietnam, and Gulf War I, among many equally pointless conflicts, have to do with freedom of speech for Americans? Oh yeah, that’s right, during WWI they put someone in prison for making a movie critical of British conduct during the Revolution, and someone else for passing out copies of the constitution. And let’s see, during the Vietnam war we had CONINTELPRO and dead students at Kent State. I’m willing to bet you know nothing about any of these subjects, with the exception perhaps, of Kent State.

    “I will support to the death their right to say what they will in this country – among members of our American family. But to do so outside our borders, among people who hate us and our way of life seems treason to me and much of the US.”

    The British hate us? Everybody except Blair I guess. Funny, my copy of the constitution omitted that part about it being treason to question the US government while abroad. Treason carries the death penalty. So should we execute the Dixie Chicks? Just who is it exactly that hates our way of life? Maybe all those Christian fundamentalists who bomb abortion clinics and want to censor our books and movies.

    “Most people with families know that however much family members may fight amongst themselves, no outsider may attack one member of the family without attacking all.”

    So if my brother-in-law molests his neighbor’s daughter, or drives drunk and runs over a kid on a bicycle, I should consider an attack on him from outside the family an attack on me, and defend him? Are you Hatfied or McCoy? Or do you really believe this drivel? This might be a good attitude for a tribe of superstitious primitives, but it’s downright pathological in an ostensiblly civilized constitutional republic.

    “If you feel more closely aligned with our enemies, please go live with them and see just how much you are allowed to protest there.”

    This childish attitude about dissent was passé in the 60’s, when it was far more eloquently expressed as “love it or leave it.” It means: I can repeat mindless slogans as I’ve been told, but I have nothing intelligent to say of my own.

    Try thinking for yourself instead of repeating idiotic cliches.

  • http://www.geocities.com/sid_didnt_do_it/ The Damned Yankee

    This whole Dixie Chicks thing seems like yet another tempest in a teapot for the Right to start beating on their chests and loudly proclaiming their undying love for the President of the United States (aside: How come Clinton was never cut this kind of slack when he bombed Sudan and Afghanistan?). I mean, let’s get serious, here. Is Natalie Maines’ one off-the-cuff comment that much worse than anything said by Jay Leno, David Letterman, or the cast of Saturday Night Live, all of whom have taken any number of shots at the President in the past? And yet, nobody is demanding that Tina Fey be tried for treason.

    Get some perspective, people.

  • Aimee

    If you think that anyone is supporting the Dixie Chicks just look at ebay. You can get any concert ticket you want, anywhere you want. You can also buy a “Piss On” the Dixie Chicks sticker for your car. I think that will be a hot seller.

  • david

    The logic of the argument in the post below is typical of the misrepresentation by liberals of conservative arguements :

    “So if my brother-in-law molests his neighbor’s daughter, or drives drunk and runs over a kid on a bicycle, I should consider an attack on him from outside the family an attack on me, and defend him? Are you Hatfied or McCoy? Or do you really believe this drivel? This might be a good attitude for a tribe of superstitious primitives, but it’s downright pathological in an ostensiblly civilized constitutional republic.”

    Using the same metaphor, the real point is if you join with, or condone, someone from outside your family attacking a family member, you then align yourself with the outsiders reason for the attack. In this case, it means you believe all the nonsense about war for oil, and believe that the President is wrong to act upon his belief that Iraq is a threat that must be confronted, and you believe Saddam should remain in power come what may, which is what the outsiders are preaching, among other more outlandish things. The Dixie Chick aligned herself with a point of view that the majority of Americans disagree with, and in fact find offensive, thus the backlash. If she had said the same thing in the context of a worldwide debate over tax policy, she would not have gotten the same reaction, because the reasoning behind the attack would not be as disapproved of. I.e., in the same over simplified nature of the above post if someone attacks your brother physically because he took your candy, you may very well rise to his defense, as you don’t consider the provocation merits the attack, however in the delibrately extreme case given above, most people would not defend the brother.

  • Marc

    Regarding the Dixie Chicks… What natalie said was insulting. Being famous does not mean that your opinion is more important than others yet I am amazed at the number of people in hollywood (and now 1 small corner of the country music industry) that seem to think it is. I, personally am not part of any “group” or “organization” but simply an American who was insulted by her statement. I have lost any and all respect for her and could care less what they do from now on…….no apology neccessary. The damage has been done.

    I also think the conspiracy thing listed above is a load of crap.

  • Gene

    I pay alot of money to hear a groups music not their political position. Stick to the music only and keep your opinions to yourself.

  • LindaSoG

    FACT:

    More Americans support the Troops then don’t support the troops. As hollywood and nashville will find out, when they mouth off thinking that the majority is with them.

    Dixie Chick found out!

    Support the troops.

    Everything you treasure here in the United States you have because of our Military. Someone’s son died for your right to wake up and have a cup of coffee, trim your nails, wash your hair, have children, go to beach, eat, walk, sing and worship the G-d of your understanding.

    LindaSOG

  • Saira

    It’s been said before, but the same 1st Amendment right that allows the Dixie Chicks to say they hate the President is the same 1st Amendment right that gives people the right not to support them.
    Now, well I’m no republican I support the troops in Iraq and President Bush. How many more people does Saddam need to butcher before the left will want him removed? That being said I have a question for the conservatives. How come it’s okay to insult Clinton and not to do the same for Bush? I’m not asking this to be offensive, I just would like an answer.

  • Heather

    It just seems funny to me that musicians, such a Toby Keith can release “Courtesy Of The Red White and Blue” which makes reference to “Putting a boot up their ass.” And as the news is stating the death tole of the Iragi people: Woman, the elderly, children and babies are getting that boot up their ass, as Toby Keith so proudly sings. THAT is something to be up in arms about! Not whether the Dixie Chicks like Bush or support this war. They support life and I support them!

  • Roger Dobson

    WHere was Natalie when Saddam was gassing over 5,000 of his own people, if she is so concerned about Iraqi life. She has left her Texas roots and traded them for the left wing radical “Girls Gone Wild” party life style, which does’nt make good Mommy material. Now, who is the shame on?

  • Ash Plissken

    Um… there are women, elderly, and babies fighting against our troops in Iraq? The boot-asses to whom Mr. Keith is referring are those who are actively fighting against the ideals of liberty, not the civilian casualties with whom they intentionally shield themselves.

  • Tina

    This is directed to Heathers comment…..Just think about this….. what about the men,women, and children….who ‘got a boot up their ass’ and died on Sept 11th. And think about all the babies who don’t have a mother or father, because of it.

  • Heather

    In response to Ash: Are you that naive to think that the ONLY civilans that are being killed are the ones that are being used as shields? This from BBC: “US raid ‘may have caused deaths’
    Coalition forces say air strikes on Baghdad may have resulted in civilian deaths after 14 were killed in a residential area of the city.” We’re NOT just bombing, as you stated, civilian casualties with whom they intentionally shield themselves. And if that’s what you believe, you’re lying to yourself. We are bombing their cities, homes, killing their family members. This is not a war to liberate the Iragi people. “Kill them to liberate them” Doesn’t make much sense. This is a war for oil.

    And to Tina: Yes, Tina those children of September 11th lost their Mothers and Father. But Irag had NOTHING to do with that. Find me one article says it did. And as they say, this war is to prevent further attacks to the U.S. and destroy their weapons of mass destruction, then why aren’t we going after Japan? BECAUSE THEY DON’T HAVE OIL! Don’t just rely on government owned news stations to give you the “facts.” Do your research and come to your own conclusion. You’ll be amazed at what you’ll find.
    What makes an American life more important than an Iragi one. September 11th shouldn’t have happened and neither should this war. An eye for and eye, seems to be the what American’s feel is justice. Yes, remember September 11th, how it felt, how many we lost…that is EXACTLY what’s going on in Iragi right now. Lives are being lost. If this war was happening on Amaerican soil, this country would be feeling a whole lot different about it!

  • Don

    “WHere was Natalie when Saddam was gassing over 5,000 of his own people, if she is so concerned about Iraqi life.” (In grade school, I’m guessing)

    Ask instead “Where was Rumsfeld?”. He was shaking hands with Hussein and promising him our undying support. We sold him the chemicals to make the poison. We sold him the helicopters to deliver the poison. We (the US govt) supported him before, during, and after the gassing. Who’s evil?

  • Heather

    RIGHT ON, DON!!!!

    “WHere was Natalie when Saddam was gassing over 5,000 of his own people, if she is so concerned about Iraqi life.”

    I would also like to comment on the above statement posted by Roger.

    Where were you?

  • PFC. M. Sprague

    What’s A FReeper??? are they like the protestors that threw water baby dolls full of red food dye at my dad when he returned from Nam?? Or are they people who support our country or soldiers like me and freedom in General? Probably neither..probably just another group pushing it’s agenda and thinking it is right ..or left if you will.. The Chicks can say what they want about things; but like my Dad always said if you say something be prepared for the shit that comes back and don’t cry about it and blame someone else..and above all never apologize for it..you beleived enough to say it..stand by it.. or just don’t say it. Freedom of speech doesn’t imply freedom to think first…that is supposedly a given that occurred before you opened your lips. It was just something probably targeted to the French..designed to endear them to the French popular opinion and sell more tickets and records…a live commercial if you will..never intended for the folks back home. After all music is a business and business above all must sell to it’s market. If your looking for artists who won’t sacrifice beliefs for profit go to a starving artists art auction, they are among the few who are left.

  • Marty

    Have we all gone mad? Maines is not a sophisticated diplomat. She made a relatively innocuous statement, even if overseas, that wouldn’t make the smallest dent in President Bush’s standing. Every president gets hammered in far stronger terms without his critics being blacklisted and reviled in such an unseemly way. We have seen the midgets like Charlie Daniels, but where are the level-headed moderates with some sense of decency and proportion? Where are those in the industry who will say: “Maines said a dumb thing off-the-cuff, but this exercise in overkill, this nastiness, intolerance for dissenting views and ruining of careers has got to stop.” She apologized. She did not criticize our troops. Her comment was uttered before the war began. From the reaction, a reasonable person could conclude that she had called for the defeat of our country.

    Of course fans have every right to boycott, apply pressure, etc. and dj’s and country stars have every right to bludgeon a dissenter who doesn’t toe a particular line. Nobody disputes that. But where does this spirit of intimidation, lack of forgiveness, lack of generosity, this ice cold hardness come from? These ‘patriots’ who wrap themselves in the flag and work themselves and others up to fever pitch hysteria over such a minor incident are behaving in a most un-American way. These people who are among the first to accuse others of political correctness are themselves enforcing a political correctness and conformity of thought that is truly frightening. Is this the America our troops are fighting for? Let it go already. Marty

  • marty

    I know I said that it’s time to forget this incident, but I just did a little more reading about Charlie Daniels and his comrades. God bless Charlie Daniels! God bless Travis Tritt and the rest of the Thought Police! God Bless these Paragons of Political Correctness! Super Patriots! Natalie Maines’ comment had all the sting of a wet dishrag. To call it a pinprick would be an overstatement. President Bush does not need the likes of Charlie Daniels to defend him. I would bet that if President Bush were acquainted with this idiotic episode, he would have graciously accepted Maines’ apology. And if he were informed that Charlie Daniels and his pals were trying to destroy Maines for her comment, he would be shocked and embarrassed. With friends like Daniels, our President doesn’t need enemies.

    Any mature adult, of whatever political orientation, upon hearing Maines’s comment would simply have reacted with a shrug of the shoulders and maybe a tiny wince before letting it go. But not Charlie Daniels! Stewing in his own bile, hateful, petty, he wants to destroy Natalie Maines. Step one inch over the line and that’s it. There are no second chances. Don’t waste your breath with an apology – it will be rejected out of hand. Boycott Lipton! Pulverize some cds! No, lets burn them! Better yet, let’s use both methods! Let’s get a rope, grab Maines and head for the nearest tree! Charlie Daniels! What a warmhearted, forgiving kind of guy! What magnanimity! What courage! What gallantry! What a hero! What a Patriot! What a Man!

  • marty

    CORRECTION:
    The above comments about Charlie Daniels were based, in part, on a posting on another website that I can no longer find. The posting said (approvingly) that Daniels was writing to Lipton to protest the company’s sponsorship of the Dixie Chicks. There has been an organized campaign to get the company to drop the Chicks, but I am no longer sure if Daniels is a part of the effort. I do not know if Daniels is out to destroy Natalie Maines or not. It is not reassuring, however, that he has failed to disavow or criticize the efforts of fanatic talk show host Mike Gallagher to organize a concert in Greenville, S.C. to be held the same evening as a previously scheduled Dixie Chicks concert. The purpose, under the guise of raising money for military families (which could be held at another time), is to punish the Dixie Chicks and especially Natalie Maines for her politically incorrect comment, innocuous as it was. Gallagher has lined up the Marshall Tucker Band and according to press reports, the only reason Daniels and other big shots will not be there is due to scheduling conflicts. While I don’t know if Daniels wants to destroy Maines, you can substitute any number of names in place of Daniels in my earlier post and the point remains the same. Gallagher will do and so would the names of a number of country celebrities or fans.

    Charlie Daniels is a supreme hypocrite, and because of his willingness to exploit his celebrity and influence, contributes mightily to our nation’s political and moral malaise. As a celebrity, he climbs up on his soapbox to impugn the patriotism of other celebrities who climb up on their own soapboxes to espouse views with which he disagrees. While lamenting the political correctness of those on the left, he attempts to intimidate those who don’t adhere to his own brand of political correctness. I am no fan of Bill Clinton, but I wonder if Daniels criticized Tom Delay and Donald Rumsfeld when they went on TV to denounce not only the President, but also the prosecution of the war in the Balkans at a time when American pilots were risking their lives in the skies over Serbia. Being the hypocrite that he is, I doubt it.

    As far as I know I have never heard the music of the Dixie Chicks or Charlie Daniels. What drew me to the controversy was the gross overreaction to Maines’ comment, and this despite the fact that it was uttered in England. Far, far stronger comments have been leveled at every president who has served during war, while the war was underway. Maines mild remark was uttered before war had broken out. In particular, Clinton and FDR were savaged during wartime concerning prosecution of the war and the critics were not subjected, as far as I know, to such a brutal reaction as Maines has been. So I have tried to understand the hatred and vindictiveness that Maine’s remark has engendered. I have failed in this.

    I have always detested and argued against the political correctness and shallowness displayed by so many on the left. But I have concluded that the political correctness, shallowness, and fanaticism on the right at this time represent the greater danger to our nation. People of good will had better fight to strengthen the moderate, non-ideological center, where forgiveness, compassion, and respecting the views of others are attributes that are not frowned upon.

  • Malachi

    Hey, I don’t think the Chicks deserve all of this controversy over a little comment made about the way she feels. And neither does Toby Keith. What if every time you said something you felt, you got punished for it? That’s NOT what America is about. Sure, there are plenty of poeple dying, but they are dying so we can have our freedoms, the first being freedom of speech. Toby Keith very effectively and proudly displayed his feelings about his country,as did Natalie Maines. To punish them for that would be un-American.It would be like punishing me for wearing this Dixie Chick shirt right now, or typing my feelings into this computer. I love my country. I support our troops. But I also support and love the Dixie Chicks, because they will always be the #1 trio in country music. If you have a problem with that, who cares? I am an american. I have the right to speak my mind.If you don’t like that, Toby Keith, or the Dixie Chicks, MOVE TO ANOTHER COUNTRY. I’m sure France would accept you with open arms. Au Revoir!
    Malachi

  • mugu

    am here pls keep offffffffffffff