Tuesday, April 01, 2003

Here is an interesting little blurb in the news today:

The Dixie Chicks controversy continues with the trio getting some support from former Vice President Al Gore. Gore spoke to a college audience last week on the subject of fewer companies owning more media outlets, and what he sees as the increasing lack of tolerance for opposing views.

According to the Tennessean, Gore used recent attacks on the Dixie Chicks that followed anti-war comments by Natalie Maines as an example. Gore told the audience, "They were made to feel un-American and risked economic retaliation because of what was said. Our democracy has taken a hit," Gore said. "Our best protection is free and open debate."

Record sales have fallen for the Chicks and radio stations across the country banned the trio's music after Maines told a London concert crowd that she was "ashamed the President of the United States is from Texas." Maines later released an apology.

Seems to me that the backlash came mostly from the Dixie Chick's fans and that the radio stations were responding to the public mood, not creating it. I don't know how the brilliant man who created the internet missed that, but it would seem he did. Apparently free and open debate doesn't include room for people to express disagreement with his views.

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