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Celebrity punching bags and the "liberal" media

October 27, 2006

Apparently the CW and NBC have both refused to show trailers for the documentary film “Shut Up And Sing,” about the uproar over the Dixie Chicks’ statement about President Bush, despite the apparent fact that a majority of Americans now agree with the Chicks’ original stance on the Iraq war and Bush’s handling of it. Let’s see, TV networks refuse to show an ad for the documentary about them, radio stations refuse to play their music despite the album going to #1, and the media are liberal. Riiiight.

The question now isn’t “were the Chicks right or wrong?” Rather, it’s “Were the media right in their attempts to quash the Chicks’ music and image?”

I have a big problem with the way the mass media make punching bags out of celebrities.

Remember years ago when Kathie Lee Gifford found out that her name was on clothing manufactured in sweatshops? When she found out about it, she went to the sweatshop and gave the workers some money. She was ridiculed endlessly. I was never a big fan of Kathie Lee, but the ridicule went way too far. Especially when she tried to do something about it. I always wanted to know why other celebrities (Michael Jordan, etc.) weren’t held to the same “you shouldn’t endorse products manufactured in sweatshops” standard? Simply because they’re cooler? No, I think it’s because they aren’t easy targets.

Easy target Ashlee Simpson lip-synchs on Saturday Night Live and catches tons of flack. Super cool guy Eminem obviously lip synchs on SNL immediately afterward and while it gets pointed out, there are no late-night comedians making fun of him for some odd reason. I can remember years ago noticing that living-legend Paul Simon’s background music for “Call Me Al” on SNL seemed to be clearly pre-recorded while the band mimed the instruments and nary a word was ever said.

Notice that most easy targets are female while men seem to get away with it? Media, if truly liberal, would not choose almost exclusively female punching bags. Feminism is kind of a liberal deal, you know.

I’ll probably see the movie. It frightens me that people would issue death threats to a singer for having a different opinion. I thought the post-911 songs by Toby Keith and Daryl Worley were corny but the thought never crossed my mind to bust a cap in them.

Plus, the Chicks’ latest album is really good, as are their previous releases. I love their music whether I think their opinions are right, wrong, inelegantly articulated, or misguided, or spot-on. They really can sing, play, write and choose good material.

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