Back on March 13, 2003, this blog was born out of my desire to correct the record on the Dixie Chicks self-induced saga. Tired of calling in to all the talk radio shows about this topic, I finally ventured into the blogosphere with my very first post.
I find it amusing when the entertainers spout off whatever mantra is cool for the day and then complain when consumers start talking about boycotting their services (ACTING!) or products (items they endorse as celebrities). You see, somewhere down the line the concept of “free speech” has been confused with the economic concept of supply and demand. If you’re livelihood depends on something and you take actions (whether protected or not) that alienate a portion of that collective ’something’, you’ve got to expect a reduction in demand for your product. Look at it this way… do you see top executives of companies making public statements about politics? NO! Taking it a step further, do you hear business owners making personal attacks or snide comments about politicians or religious figures in public? NO! Why, you ask? Because they know that there are differing viewpoints in the world… a world which comprises their entire customer base… a world which does not care to hear their latest rant about foreign policy or their stance on global warming. They understand that while they too enjoy freedom of speech, the wise move is to shut up when it comes to hot topics. Sure, you say, they are afraid to voice their opinions…. I counter that it is intelligence, not fear that guides them. The entertainment industry for the most part has elevated many of these ‘activists’ to a financial position that boycotts of their goods and services may not completely destroy their way of life, and for that reason they have nothing to lose. But for those who are on their way up, or require continual support from the audience, it might be wise to shut the hell up…. unless of course the cost of their free speech is worth a reduction in lifestyle and livelihood.
The “right to free speech” is not being attacked. Stop the spinning. They have the right to say whatever they want (obviously) and we as the consumers, the people who can put money in their pockets or not, have the choice to stop purchasing their products and services. The beauty of capitalism.
This is not about freedom of speech, it’s about business. Supply and demand.
The only difference is this time next year, she might not have a world stage on which to spew her idiocy, she’ll be relegated back to a local bar or street corner… but her free speech rights will remain fully intact.
And here we are three years later and my point has been proven.
It appears the war U.S. country radio stations mounted against the politically outspoken Dixie Chicks has not abated in the least.
The band is promoting “Taking the Long Way,” its first album since Natalie Maines told a London audience in 2003 she was ashamed to be from the same state as U.S. President George Bush. The comment sparked a radio boycott of the group’s music.
Although the album hits stores Tuesday, the first two singles from the album are not getting widespread airplay, Billboard.com reported Monday.
The first single, “Not Ready to Make Nice,” only peaked at No. 36 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart and the second single, “Everybody Knows,” is moving downward after its peak at No. 48.
WKIS FM in Miami reported it pulled “Not Ready to Make Nice” due to listener complaints after only one week.
The program director at KUBL/KKAT in Salt Lake City told Billboard he was angered by its “self-indulgent and selfish lyrics.”
Neither the Chicks or their label, Columbia Records, would speak to Billboard for its article.
Looks like they waited a little too long to finally stop speaking. Welcome to the world of capitalism.