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Chicks In Fix Cry Hicks In Sticks

Nobody covers breaking news like NPR, which is still obsessed over the 2003 story of the Dixie Chicks and GWB. As Tim Graham writes this weekend at Newsbusters, "NPR Exaggerates How the Dixie Chicks Were 'Effectively Blacklisted' Under Bush:" while promoting a new solo album from Dixie Chick Natalie Maines:

When Natalie Maines of the Dixie Chicks said on stage in London days before the Iraq War began in 2003  that she was ashamed to be from the same state as President Bush, it caused a firestorm of protest among country music fans. But among the liberal media, they became the hottest property going. Their tour continued, they were naked on the cover of Entertainment Weekly to mark the protest and starred in a Lipton Iced Tea commercial spinning off the controversy.

When their next CD came out in 2006,  CBS’s 60 Minutes hailed them and their new album. Time put them on the cover and called them women “with the biggest balls In American music.” On Thursday’s All Things Considered, anchor Melissa Block told a much different tale – that they were “effectively blacklisted,” which drove Maines to take time off:

MELISSA BLOCK: But then came the collapse, after what the Chicks call the incident. It was 2003, just before the Iraq War. And on stage in London, Natalie Maines said the Dixie Chicks were ashamed to be from the same state as then-President George W. Bush. In a flash, country radio turned on them. They were effectively blacklisted. Angry fans smashed their CDs.

Later, they had to cancel concert dates when tickets didn't sell. Natalie Maines decided to take time off from recording to be with her husband and two young sons.

Maines soon apologized for the insult,  and  President Bush took no offense and said it was a free country (unlike Saddam's Iraq).

As Graham writes at Newsbusters, "The media wanted to paint the controversy only about hating war – because that doesn’t sound as oafish as saying you’re ashamed to be from Texas like that guy Bush." But isn't there a paradox here? Particularly given this self-serving line currently in the lede of Maines' Wikipedia bio:

Maines considers herself a rebel who "loved not thinking in the way I knew the majority of people thought."

Uh-huh. But if leftists really do believe that "the personal is political," as they claim, then why feign anger at those who don't share their politics, when they take the left's political insults personally? Why all the moral indignation? (Of course, as Marshall McLuhan once said, “Moral indignation is a technique used to endow the idiot with dignity.”)

On the other hand, as I wrote in a post on the 2006 Grammys:

Regarding the Dixie Chicks' Grammy wins last night, Lorie Byrd highlights this unintentionally hilarious quote by former Grateful Dead drummer Mickey Hart:

I think people are paranoid," former Grateful Dead member Mickey Hart told Reuters. "I think that if they speak out, they think they're gonna get whacked by the government. It's pretty oppressive now. Look at the Dixie Chicks. They got whacked."

They did? Let's see: magazine covers, Grammy Awards, a documentary movie. As Mary Katharine Ham wrote about the Dixie Chicks last fall, "Man, it's rough being silenced".

* * * * *

The current career path of the Dixie Chicks equals that of anti-American and/or anti-Bush actors such as Sean Penn, Danny Glover, Danny DeVito, Alec Baldwin, et al. Those actors have given up the brass ring of superstardom on the level of Bruce Willis, Arnold Schwarzenegger during his pre-governator days, and Mel Gibson and Tom Cruise prior to their recent meltdowns. But they’ll never be without work. In a town as reactionary as Hollywood, it literally pays to toe the company line.

Incidentally, if the Dixie Chicks were ashamed of GWB for Iraq, imagine how much they must loathe the current president.

(As with NPR's story, headline also recycled from the GWB-era.)