Site Search Today's News Archives I found this artile today, it reflects my views well. It also exposes the real issue of misuse of corporate power to inflict financial harm upon those with unpopular or politically incorrect views. And how this is a growing concern for as we all know the trend toward ever greater consolidation of power and money in the hands of the few. Fredom of speech is at issue, not in that she was imprisoned or shot, but she was publicly attacked with intent to harm and slander. This boycott campaign was NOT the result of healthy orinary public reaction but rather the manipulation of the media (in this case the radio) for a political adgenda. From Michael Moore to the Dixie Chicks March 26, 2003 By PETE GOLIS THE PRESS DEMOCRAT You could imagine the cheers from the terminally alienated Sunday night when Michael Moore delivered his anti-war harangue -- "Shame on you, Mr. Bush" -- during Sunday night's Academy Awards. But the audience in Hollywood booed. Even people who oppose the war in Iraq knew two things about this moment: (1) this was the wrong time and the wrong place for Moore to inflict his views on the rest of the world, and (2) Moore, accepting the Oscar for "Bowling for Columbine," was only proving one more time that he is a shameless self-promoter, a fellow who makes a ton of money pretending to be a victim of the corporate conspiracy to silence him. We should all be so victimized. Here is Slate.com and NPR (and former Village Voice) movie critic David Edelstein: "It would have been different, I think, if a non-blowhard had gotten up there and bellowed, 'Shame on you!' -- had put his or her career on the line to say that Bush was a liar. But that kind of boorish grandstanding comes too naturally to Moore, a man who didn't have the intellectual honesty to add that Saddam Hussein is a 'fictitious president,' too -- and one who has killed a lot more people than George W. Bush and his father combined. Nothing has ever shaken my faith in my own politics like having Michael Moore in the same camp. When he invoked the Dixie Chicks, I'll bet they wanted to stick their heads in an oven." Speaking of the Dixie Chicks and proving that bigotry is not confined to one ideology or another, we are witnessing this week jingoist attempts to destroy the popular country-rock trio because lead singer Natalie Maines was heard to deliver an off-the-cuff criticism of President Bush. It is not necessary to share Ms. Maines' analysis of American foreign policy to grasp the McCarthyesque aspects of this campaign. This is nothing more or less than an attempt to create 2003's version of the blacklist. But it gets worse. As New York Times columnist Paul Krugman noted this week, the campaign to boycott the Grammy-winning trio -- including CD-smashing parties -- is being orchestrated by radio stations owned by Clear Channel Communications. That's the Texas-based corporation that controls more than 1,200 radio stations nationwide and which also has organized pro-Bush rallies across the country. In published reports in recent months -- including a series of articles by Eric Boelhert of Salon.com -- Clear Channel has been accused of a variety of offenses, ranging from programming banality to payola to bullying artists and recording companies. The business practices of Clear Channel, of course, flourish only with the blessing of the Bush administration and its Federal Communications Commission. And Clear Channel, as the Wall Street Journal explained in January, "is rapidly becoming the lightning rod for concerns about media consolidation as the FCC moves forward with a sweeping revamp of its media-ownership rules." For Clear Channel, what better way to ingratiate itself with the White House than to drop the big hammer -- access to more than 1,200 radio stations -- on any artist who dares to dissent? This becomes the landscape upon which Americans this week are trying to debate legitimate differences about the war. We hear every day from dozens of people of abiding conviction who cannot imagine that anyone could come to any other conclusion about this war -- any other conclusion, that is, than their conclusion. They filter every headline, every story placement, every crowd estimate, every editorial, every letter to the editor through the prism of their own beliefs. They beg us to print this commentary or that story, certain that its publication will resolve the issue once and for all. For all Americans, this is a difficult time, punctuated by uncertainty and fear, anger and heartbreak. I watched the anger on the streets of Santa Rosa last week and worried that in the hostility and confusion, someone could be killed. In one example, a young woman convinced that the war is immoral placed herself in front an automobile, and a man just as convinced that opposition to the war is immoral urged the driver to run her down. As the war in Iraq ebbs and flows, here, in microcosm, is the bitter conflict that Americans must manage during the coming days and weeks. This much is certain: It will be difficult enough to sustain an honest disagreement about a complicated war without the noisy clatter of bigots and profiteers.