imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
Features
latest news
best of news
syndication
commentary


KILLRADIO

VozMob

ABCF LA

A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List

LAAMN List




IMC Network:

Original Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

ABC News Primetime interview: Country music group holds its own against right-wing attack

by Kate Randall Wednesday, Apr. 30, 2003 at 8:07 AM

All in all, the Dixie Chicks held up well against the crude attempts by interviewer Diane Sawyer to browbeat them and convince them, as well as the viewing audience, that the vast majority of Americans consider any opposition to President Bush and the Iraq war tantamount to treason.

ABC News Primetime interview: Country music group holds its own against right-wing attack

By Kate Randall

29 April 2003

Back to screen version | Send this link by email | Email the author

ABC News’s Primetime interview with the country music group the Dixie Chicks on April 24 was one of the more grotesque examples of the US media’s attempt to intimidate political dissent and distort public opinion. Entitled “Landslide: the Dixie Chicks,” the program set out to vastly exaggerate the right-wing backlash against a comment made by a member of the group, Natalie Maines, at a March 10 concert in London, nine days before the US-led attack on Iraq. Maines said, “Just so you know, we’re ashamed the president of the United States is from Texas.”

All in all, the Dixie Chicks held up well against the crude attempts by interviewer Diane Sawyer to browbeat them and convince them, as well as the viewing audience, that the vast majority of Americans consider any opposition to President Bush and the Iraq war tantamount to treason.

The band’s three members demonstrated a considerable degree of integrity and resilience, defending their right to question and criticize the government and express their opinions. Sawyer failed to get the definitive “mea culpa” she was desperately seeking from Maines. This was not for lack of trying on the partof Primetime’s producers.

The program opened with scenes of the war with a voice-over from an enraged country music fan on a talk-radio program saying: “I think they should send Natalie to Iraq, strap her to a bomb and just drop her over Baghdad.” This clip was repeated later, along with images of country music fans and their young children stomping on Dixie Chicks CDs and riding over them with trackers.

Sawyer described Maines’ comments as “a 15-word sentence” that “would become political nitroglycerine and blow apart [the Dixie Chicks’] lives.” She began the interview by asking Maines: “Do you feel awful about saying that about the president of the United States?”

Sawyer said she found Maines’ statements even more incomprehensible because they were made at a time when “70 percent of Americans were clear that it was time to go to war.” Sawyer did not reveal the source of her claim of overwhelming popular support for the war, but she was presumably referring to opinion polls conducted by the media at the time. These polls were carefully rigged to produce the desired results, but even on their own terms, they revealed a popular mood far different from the unambiguous war fever suggested by Sawyer—a fact of which she is well aware.

Aside from her gross distortion of social and political reality in America, Sawyer’s posture was remarkable for its combination of slavish conformism and ignorance. Like the vast majority of her peers among the lavishly paid media performers, Sawyer lacks any democratic sensibility. The notion that one could or should oppose the “commander-in-chief” was utterly foreign to her limited thought processes.

Maines answered Sawyer by explaining that she made her comments “out of frustration.” She continued: “At the moment, on the eve of war, I had a lot of questions that I felt were unanswered.” She added, “I personally felt like, why tomorrow? Why can’t we find the chemical weapons first? Why tomorrow?” While saying she had spoken off the cuff and regretted the tone of her remark, Maines defended her right to express her opinion and question government policy: “I ask questions. That’s smart, to find out the facts.”

Sawyer, however, was aghast. “There are people,” she said, “who were shocked that someone would stand on a stage and attack the commander in chief.” Maines replied that she had been upset over Bush’s attitude towards the protesters who were demonstrating en masse against the war at that point. She objected to Bush’s dismissal of millions of protesters as a “focus group,” commenting that she would have liked to have heard him say: “I appreciate that these are compassionate citizens of the United States.”

Group member Martie Maguire added: “I really felt like there was a lack of compassion every time I heard Bush speak about this.” She also said she disagreed with Bush’s repeated statements to the effect that “you are either with us or against us.”

In other words, like tens of millions of other Americans, these talented musicians were appalled by the combination of arrogance, inhumanity and stupidity that are the trademarks of the man who occupies the White House, by dint of a stolen election.

In response to Sawyer’s incessant push for an apology, Maines replied that she might have phrased her comments differently if she had given them more thought. She said: “Am I sorry that I said that? Yes. Am I sorry that I spoke out? No. Am I sorry that I ask questions and don’t just follow? No.”

Maguire read a quote from Republican President Theodore Roosevelt, which supports the right of critics of the government to speak out: “To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonableto the American public.” Sawyer had no comment.

Natalie Maines took issue with those who said she should not criticize government policy because US soldiers had sacrificed their lives to defend the right to free speech. She said, “People say people have died to give me this right. I think, yeah, they didn’t die for me not to use it.”

ABC then interviewed soldiers in Iraq on their attitude toward the Dixie Chicks’ statement. Even here they failed to illicit hostility to the musicians. While one or two soldiers expressed disagreement with Maine’s statements, most said the group had a right to its opinions and added that they would not stay away if the band was asked to the perform for the troops. Sawyer reported, not surprisingly, that the US military had no plans to invite the Dixie Chicks to entertain the troops.

Group member Emily Robison expressed her shock and anxiety over threats by right-wing opponents against the band members and their families. These have included death threats and warnings of violence against their property. The group has been forced to beef up security for its concerts, using metal detectors andtaking other precautions.

Robison also said it was despicable for these elements to use young children to protest against her fellow band-member’s remarks. “I can’t believe people would bring their children to a bulldozing—to bulldoze art,” she said.

Despite ABC’s attempt to portray the backlash against the Dixie Chicks as representative of an American population enthusiastic about the Bush administration and its war policy, the boycott campaign is anything but a “grassroots” response. It is rather a carefully orchestrated campaign spearheaded by the extreme-right FreeRepublic.com web site and Cox Radio and Cumulus Broadcasting, two large country music radio broadcasters that control as much as a third of US country stations.

Clear Channel, the radio conglomerate that owns more than 1,200 local radio stations nationwide, dominating 60 percent of the rock radio market, has also played a central role in the McCarthyite witch-hunt against the Dixie Chicks, aimed at destroying their careers and placing their lives in danger from threats of violence. Following the group’s anti-Bush statement, Clear Channel removed their songs from its play list. Clear Channel has close ties to the Bush administration. L. Lowry Mays, the company’s chairman, is a Texan with long-standing financial and political ties to the Bush family and Republican Party. [See “The ties that bind: Media giant headed by Bush cronies promotes Iraq war” http://www.wsws.org/articles/2003/apr2003/medi-a17.shtml]

Incidents such as the tractor-bulldozing of the group’s CDs were given sensationalist coverage by the media in an attempt to portray the backlash as a widespread phenomenon. The vast majority of Dixie Chicks fans, however, are unmoved by the right-wing campaign. As the Primetime segment noted, the group begins a 59-show tour this Thursday, May 1, with virtually all of the arena venues sold out. Their album “Home” has sold 6 million copies and is a strong number three on the country music charts.

The attitudes of the band’s members—and the sentiment expressed in Maines’ statement—are representative of a broad section of the American population, which is largely politically uneducated, through no fault of its own, but generally holds left-liberal, progressive and humane views. Millions are repulsed by Bush and identify with the Dixie Chicks’ mistrust of government policy. This appears to be true even among country music listeners, a relatively larger percentage of whom live in more rural regions where support for Bush is proportionately higher than in the country as a whole.

Sawyer and the Primetime producers attempted, on the one hand, to portray the Dixie Chicks as spiraling toward disaster as a result of Maines’ statement, while, on the other, noting facts that pointed to their continued popularity with the general public. They made no attempt to explain this obvious contradiction.

At the program’s conclusion, Sawyer made one last effort to elicit a groveling apology, asking if Maines wished to be “forgiven” for her anti-Bush statement. Maines responded: “Forgive us? What am I trying to say here ... accept us. Don’t forgive us for who we are.”

Asked if she would have anything to say to the president if he were listening, she replied, “Your show’s not long enough.”

------------------------------------------------------------------------

Copyright 1998-2003

World Socialist Web Site

All rights reserved

Report this post as:

LATEST COMMENTS ABOUT THIS ARTICLE
Listed below are the 10 latest comments of 2 posted about this article.
These comments are anonymously submitted by the website visitors.
TITLE AUTHOR DATE
While I don't agree... Diogenes Wednesday, Apr. 30, 2003 at 8:11 AM
Diane Sawyer Marconi Wednesday, Apr. 30, 2003 at 11:00 AM

Local News

GUIDE TO REBEL CITY LOS ANGELES AVAILABLE A12 5:39PM

lausd whistle blower A10 11:58PM

Website Upgrade A10 3:02AM

Help KCET and UCLA identify 60s-70s Chicano images A04 1:02PM

UCLA Luskin: Casting Youth Justice in a Different Light A02 11:58AM

Change Links April 2018 A01 11:27AM

Nuclear Shutdown News March 2018 M31 6:57PM

Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018! M29 7:00PM

Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018! M29 6:38PM

Spring 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! M19 2:02PM

Anti-Eviction Mapping Project Shows Shocking Eviction Trends in L.A. M16 5:40PM

Steve Mnuchin video at UCLA released M15 12:34AM

Actress and Philanthropist Tanna Frederick Hosts Project Save Our Surf Beach Clean Ups M06 12:10PM

After Being Told He's 'Full of Sh*t' at School Event, Mnuchin Demands UCLA Suppress Video M02 11:44AM

Resolution of the Rent Strike in Boyle Heights M01 6:28PM

What Big Brother Knows About You and What You Can Do About It M01 3:30PM

Step Up As LAPD Chief Charlie Beck Steps Down F14 2:44PM

Our House Grief Support Center Hosts 9th Annual Run For Hope, April 29 F13 12:51PM

Don’t let this LA County Probation Department overhaul proposal sit on the shelf F13 11:04AM

Echo Park Residents Sue LA Over Controversial Development F12 8:51AM

Former Signal Hill police officer pleads guilty in road-rage incident in Irvine F09 10:25PM

Calif. Police Accused of 'Collusion' With Neo-Nazis After Release of Court Documents F09 7:14PM

Center for the Study of Political Graphics exhibit on Police Abuse posters F07 9:50AM

City Agrees to Settle Lawsuit Claiming Pasadena Police Officer Had His Sister Falsely Arre F04 3:17PM

Professor's Study Highlights Health Risks of Urban Oil Drilling F04 12:42PM

Claims paid involving Pasadena Police Department 2014 to present F04 10:52AM

Pasadenans - get your license plate reader records from police F03 11:11PM

LA Times Homicide Report F03 1:57PM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

Doxa du lobby A25 2:03AM

Tech workers organize A24 6:24PM

Architect Stephen Francis Jones A24 3:01PM

UN Forum Wrestles with Economic Policies 10 Years After Financial Crisis Islands Call for A24 12:34PM

Xyloglossie attitudinale A23 8:07AM

Shadowgun Legends Hack and Cheats A23 7:24AM

What does the Quran Say About Islamic Dress?? A21 4:15PM

Biodiversité ou la nature privatisée A20 11:22AM

The Market is a Universal Totalitarian Religion A20 7:14AM

Book Available about Hispanics and US Civil War by National Park Service A19 5:52PM

The Shortwave Report 04/20/18 Listen Globally! A19 4:01PM

The Republican 'Prolife' Party Is the Party of War, Execution, and Bear Cub Murder A19 11:48AM

Neurogenèse involutive A18 9:21AM

Paraphysique de la dictature étatique A16 10:13AM

Book Review: "The New Bonapartists" A16 3:45AM

The West Must Take the First Steps to Russia A14 12:25PM

Théorie générale de la révolution ou hommage à feu Mikhaïl Bakounine A14 3:30AM

The Shortwave Report 04/13/18 Listen Globally! A12 3:50PM

“Lost in a Dream” Singing Competition Winner to Be Chosen on April 15 for ,000 Prize! A12 3:48PM

The World Dependent on Central Banks A12 4:43AM

Ohio Governor Race: Dennis Kucinich & Richard Cordray Run Against Mike DeWine A11 9:40PM

March 2018 Honduras Coup Again Update A10 10:52PM

Apologie du zadisme insurrectionnel A10 3:33PM

ICE contract with license plate reader company A10 1:14PM

Palimpseste sisyphéen A09 11:23PM

Black Portraiture(S) IV: The Color of Silence...Cuba No...Cambridge Yes A09 5:32AM

Prohibiting Micro-Second Betting on the Exchanges A09 4:18AM

Prosecutors treat Muslims harsher than non-Muslims for the same crimes A08 10:33PM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy