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Dixie Chicks and NBC – NBC now stands for Negative Bush material Censored

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As a lover of irony, the row between the Dixie Chicks and the Weinstein Company (the company promoting their new movie "Shut up and Sing") on one side and NBC and the CW network on the other, is the stuff that makes life worthwhile. If you have not heard the story, NBC and the CW network refuse to air ads for the new movie that is due to be released on November 10.

The movie is a documentary about the firestorm and blacklisting the Dixie Chicks endured after their lead singer Natalie Maines made a statement in 2003 that she was "ashamed the president of the United States is from Texas." Irony #1 - The ad for a Dixie Chicks movie about blacklisting is itself being blacklisted. NBC and the CW network have stated that they were not airing the ads because statements in the ads were made that were "disparaging to President Bush."

Irony #2 - NBC which has aired plenty of campaign ads for members of both parties which undoubtedly contained items disparaging to various people including opposing candidates, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi AND President Bush has decided that the movie ad is too disparaging. I have seen the ad and the NBC and CW network objections are nonsense. Compared to campaign ads the criticisms of Bush in this trailer are milquetoast. You can see the trailer here

Apparently, the Dixie Chicks are the most dangerous people in the world, or at least NBC and the CW Network seem to think so. I know this because, Irony #3, NBC and its affiliate MSNBC have seen fit to air several of the bin Laden audio and videotapes that call for all sorts of terrible things to befall the United States and its allies. But air the ad for the Dixie Chicks' movie? Gosh no, oh the horrors, oh the humanity, we cannot air the Dixie Chicks ad!

The reality is that the Dixie Chicks ARE dangerous to one group in particular, the Republican Party. Through their music, the Chicks appeal directly to the Republican base in the reddest of Republican states. If the dynamic changed in these states to one where Republicans had to fight to win those states' electoral votes in a Presidential election, it would completely change the dynamic of Presidential races. Right now, the GOP does not need to spend campaign money in these states and can funnel precious funds to battleground states where they have been beating Democrats for the last two Presidential elections.

The ironies of this situation point to one and only one conclusion. NBC and the CW Network are censoring the Dixie Chicks to protect the GOP's stranglehold on the south. This is exactly the kind of censorship the founding fathers sought to prevent with the Bill of Rights. Of course, the founding fathers did not anticipate the development of radio and television and the corporate broadcasting firms that control what content is allowed to be expressed via those media. They thought that specifying the rights to a free press would be sufficient. If the fathers were around today, they would be furious at what is happening with the censoring of this ad. Thomas Jefferson said it best when in 1787 he said:

The basis of our government being the opinion of the people, the very first object should be to keep that right; and were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers, or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter.
There is little doubt what he would have thought of the censorship of the Dixie Chicks ad. He would have fought against it with every fiber of his being. So should the rest of us.
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A political blogger for the International Business Times, Steve Leser is a hot national political pundit. He has appeared on MSNBC's Coundown with Keith Olbermann, Comedy Central's Daily Show with Jon Stewart and Russia Today's (RT) Crosstalk with (more...)
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