THE DIXIE CHICKS
As I'm sure many of you are aware, the Dixie Chicks have had a bit of a rough time since they made their feelings about George Bush known over three years ago. They were shunned by much of the music industry, called traitor or worse by people who purport to believe in freedom of speech and suffered numerous death threats because they had the nerve to say that they were ashamed that Bush is from Texas, as they are.
I mention all of this because the Chicks have a feature-length documentary coming out which chronicles this time in their lives. The movie is set to be released soon and, as with many movies, it must advertise in order to get the word out so that people might come and see it.
Except NBC refuses to air the commercials. From Variety:
"It's a sad commentary about the level of fear in our society that a movie about a group of courageous entertainers who were blacklisted for exercising their right of free speech is now itself being blacklisted by corporate America," Harvey Weinstein [the film's distributor] said in a statement. "The idea that anyone should be penalized for criticizing the president is profoundly un-American."
According to the Weinstein Co., NBC's commercial clearance department said in writing that it "cannot accept these spots as they are disparaging to President Bush."
Um, what the f***!?! NBC won't air a commercial because it's disparaging to Bush? What the hell country are we living in? Last time I checked, I thought it was the United States, but apparently our country has become some sort of stalinist state that brooks no unkind words of Dear Leader on a publicly held company. Honestly, this just isn't computing with me. It's just so wrong on so many levels that a commericial isn't being aired because it disparages Bush. It's like the U.S. has become some sort real-life version of Orwell's Animal Farm where the rules seem to keep changing in order to fit the whims of the leaders. It's been a while since I read the Bill of Rights, but I don't recall it saying anything about a freedom of speech just as long as you don't say anything bad about the worst president in the history of the nation. I must have one of the old copies.