I've never heard a Dixie Chicks song in my life, and I'm a pro-war hawk -- but I'm about to become a fan of the group, if only because I can't stand the flag-waving groupthinkers arrayed against them. I like Michael Moore, too. Always have.
As you no doubt know by now, the Chicks' got into hot water with their generally Republican-voting legions of fans when singer Natalie Maines told a London audience, "Just so you know, we're ashamed the president of the United States is from Texas."
Naturally, record-burnings and boycotts were the result, as was the national discussion over who has the right to free speech in wartime. As is usually the case, the editorialists -- such as this one in the Montgomery Advertiser -- get the story all wrong.
...radio station owners and music buyers have every bit as much right to free speech as Maines. That includes not listening to or buying her music -- and urging others not to, either -- if they don't like what she said.
But that's not the story. The story is that their latest record is flying off the shelves -- look at the latest Billboard charts and then tell me who's really exercising the right of free speech.