When Clear Channel Silenced The (Dixie) Chicks

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Any self-respecting Texan would have thrown a tighter spiral.

If it ended there, it would not have raised many eyebrows or caught the eye of america Senate. Nevertheless, the pushback went even additional, hanging on the very bread and butter of singers: radio airplay. After Maines’ assertion, the band was positioned on a de facto blacklist, successfully shutting them out of being heard on a big chunk of American radio markets «out of deference to listeners.» Clear Channel put the onus on native program administrators to determine on a Dixie Chicks ban, placating the mob. Cumulus Media went for a whole 30-day prohibition. All this censorship due to a single, banal, off-hand comment from a honky-tonk singer. 

The Telecommunications Act of 1996 allowed firms like Clear Channel, Cox Radio, and Cumulus Media to determine monopolies, gobbling up native stations throughout america in a feeding frenzy. Resistance was futile. The few courageous nation DJs who broke with the mob and performed Dixie Chicks songs had been fired, hearkening again to the times of McCarthyism within the ’50s the place administrators and actors had been pressured to work beneath aliases or depart LA to make films. It is much less romantic than it sounds.

A number of Republicans, like John McCain, had the heart to interrupt get together traces and name out the ostracism for what it was: company complicity in political propaganda. His voice was drowned out by the roar of tractors operating over Dixie Chicks jewel circumstances. Nice PR in the event you’re an getting old eye-shadow-wearing punk rocker, however not a lot in the event you’re a country-pop act attempting to attraction to center America.

Within the period of time it takes to soften a compact disc on a bonfire, the Dixie Chicks’ profession imploded, their songs now not charted regardless of profitable awards. The burned-out band was out of fee for 14 years, with Strayer, Maines, and Maguire solely quietly doing a few excursions however dropping no new albums. Ultimately, discourse grew to become much more tousled now than it was within the 2000s, with Maines’ feedback trying studied and refined by comparability. Add a contentious divorce and bought Maines again into songwriting. (Regardless of the title, the track is about her ex, who solely pretends to be President on dangerous TV exhibits.)

Although Maines does not remorse the sentiment she expressed, she acknowledged the political rant derailed her band’s future alternatives and that she ought to have rephrased her ideas. That’s the level of censorship; it strikes concern into everybody in order that the subsequent individual will not open their mouth after they have an opinion {that a} CEO does not take care of. And that ought to terrify you even in the event you aren’t an edgy movie star.

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