First Amendment Under Attack
March 25, 2003
The Truth About The Dixie Chicks Ban

Oligarchy:

1. Government by a few, especially by a small faction of persons or families.
2. Those making up such a government.
2. A state governed by a few persons.

Channels of Influence
By Paul Krugman for the NY Times.

Or perhaps the quid pro quo is more narrowly focused. Experienced Bushologists let out a collective "Aha!" when Clear Channel was revealed to be behind the pro-war rallies, because the company's top management has a history with George W. Bush. The vice chairman of Clear Channel is Tom Hicks, whose name may be familiar to readers of this column. When Mr. Bush was governor of Texas, Mr. Hicks was chairman of the University of Texas Investment Management Company, called Utimco, and Clear Channel's chairman, Lowry Mays, was on its board. Under Mr. Hicks, Utimco placed much of the university's endowment under the management of companies with strong Republican Party or Bush family ties. In 1998 Mr. Hicks purchased the Texas Rangers in a deal that made Mr. Bush a multimillionaire.

There's something happening here. What it is ain't exactly clear, but a good guess is that we're now seeing the next stage in the evolution of a new American oligarchy. As Jonathan Chait has written in The New Republic, in the Bush administration "government and business have melded into one big `us.' " On almost every aspect of domestic policy, business interests rule: "Scores of midlevel appointees . . . now oversee industries for which they once worked." We should have realized that this is a two-way street: if politicians are busy doing favors for businesses that support them, why shouldn't we expect businesses to reciprocate by doing favors for those politicians by, for example, organizing "grass roots" rallies on their behalf?

Here is the entire text of the article in case the link goes bad:

http://www.nytimes.com/2003/03/25/opinion/25KRUG.html

The New York Times The New York Times Opinion March 25, 2003
OP-ED COLUMNIST
Channels of Influence
By PAUL KRUGMAN

By and large, recent pro-war rallies haven't drawn nearly as many people as antiwar rallies, but they have certainly been vehement. One of the most striking took place after Natalie Maines, lead singer for the Dixie Chicks, criticized President Bush: a crowd gathered in Louisiana to watch a 33,000-pound tractor smash a collection of Dixie Chicks CD's, tapes and other paraphernalia. To those familiar with 20th-century European history it seemed eerily reminiscent of. . . . But as Sinclair Lewis said, it can't happen here.

Who has been organizing those pro-war rallies? The answer, it turns out, is that they are being promoted by key players in the radio industry with close links to the Bush administration.

The CD-smashing rally was organized by KRMD, part of Cumulus Media, a radio chain that has banned the Dixie Chicks from its playlists. Most of the pro-war demonstrations around the country have, however, been organized by stations owned by Clear Channel Communications, a behemoth based in San Antonio that controls more than 1,200 stations and increasingly dominates the airwaves.

The company claims that the demonstrations, which go under the name Rally for America, reflect the initiative of individual stations. But this is unlikely: according to Eric Boehlert, who has written revelatory articles about Clear Channel in Salon, the company is notorious and widely hated for its iron-fisted centralized control.

Until now, complaints about Clear Channel have focused on its business practices. Critics say it uses its power to squeeze recording companies and artists and contributes to the growing blandness of broadcast music. But now the company appears to be using its clout to help one side in a political dispute that deeply divides the nation.

Why would a media company insert itself into politics this way? It could, of course, simply be a matter of personal conviction on the part of management. But there are also good reasons for Clear Channel which became a giant only in the last few years, after the Telecommunications Act of 1996 removed many restrictions on media ownership to curry favor with the ruling party. On one side, Clear Channel is feeling some heat: it is being sued over allegations that it threatens to curtail the airplay of artists who don't tour with its concert division, and there are even some politicians who want to roll back the deregulation that made the company's growth possible. On the other side, the Federal Communications Commission is considering further deregulation that would allow Clear Channel to expand even further, particularly into television.

Or perhaps the quid pro quo is more narrowly focused. Experienced Bushologists let out a collective "Aha!" when Clear Channel was revealed to be behind the pro-war rallies, because the company's top management has a history with George W. Bush. The vice chairman of Clear Channel is Tom Hicks, whose name may be familiar to readers of this column. When Mr. Bush was governor of Texas, Mr. Hicks was chairman of the University of Texas Investment Management Company, called Utimco, and Clear Channel's chairman, Lowry Mays, was on its board. Under Mr. Hicks, Utimco placed much of the university's endowment under the management of companies with strong Republican Party or Bush family ties. In 1998 Mr. Hicks purchased the Texas Rangers in a deal that made Mr. Bush a multimillionaire.

There's something happening here. What it is ain't exactly clear, but a good guess is that we're now seeing the next stage in the evolution of a new American oligarchy. As Jonathan Chait has written in The New Republic, in the Bush administration "government and business have melded into one big `us.' " On almost every aspect of domestic policy, business interests rule: "Scores of midlevel appointees . . . now oversee industries for which they once worked." We should have realized that this is a two-way street: if politicians are busy doing favors for businesses that support them, why shouldn't we expect businesses to reciprocate by doing favors for those politicians by, for example, organizing "grass roots" rallies on their behalf?

What makes it all possible, of course, is the absence of effective watchdogs. In the Clinton years the merest hint of impropriety quickly blew up into a huge scandal; these days, the scandalmongers are more likely to go after journalists who raise questions. Anyway, don't you know there's a war on?

Posted by Lisa at March 25, 2003 08:51 AM | TrackBack
Me A to Z (A Work In Progress)
Comments

I do believe the Dixie Chicks have a right to say anything they want.This is America ,after all.I think it is a choice,however,that when one person makes a stand to say that they are practicing the freedom of speach that those who do not agree with that person(s) have the same right to express thier opinion as well.Even if someone does not agree with them either.
The protester's have made demand's on our government not to "do this" or "do that".But I am one who believes in percentagesof decent.Not poll's or the commonly used "push poll" method that allows the one giving the poll to achieve the result's that they are seeking!So, does the government have the right to ask the chicks to do a free concert to say they are sorry?That is like asking if the government has the right to use tax payer money to help support group's like planned parenthood,abortion clinic's,the effect's of cow fart's on the ozone......I don't recall anyone asking me if they can use my tax dollar's on such nonsense of which I do not support.It all comes down to agree to disagree.If you want to support the "Chick's" then support them.If you don't wish to support them thn don't.Oh by the way. I also believe that the liberal media control's much of T.V. Conservitive corperation's should not complain about that. They should buy up more T.V. station's. As for the liberal corps, they should invest in more radio station's.Now, if they put the money where it is most effective who's fault is it that rating's,poll's and opinion's fall where they do?"THE PEOPLE'S CHOICE AWARD GOES TO...."
Hey! You're right. There is a war goin on...

P.S. Thank you for expressing your opinion .Freedom is such a cool thing(with lot's of responsability with it.)
God Bless America!!!!!!!!

Posted by: Joe Eiffert on April 9, 2003 08:37 PM

Good Lord, what leftist, conspiracy minded tripe.

Build a bridge and get over it.

Posted by: O Brother on April 25, 2003 12:48 AM

We are with the Dixie Chicks.

The Bush Oligarchy is out of control.

Many people are joining givemeliberty.org and will support the petition of Redress of Grievance. Over thirty-thousand people have responded and many more are joining in.

We will withold taxes until the Bush Oligarchy follows the Constitution.

Jeff

Posted by: Jeff Grage on April 26, 2003 06:43 PM

Before you jump on the "Save the chicks" bandwagon, spend a little time on google.
Viacom, the media sponsor of the D.C. has a lawsuit againt a company that awarded Clear Channel a very nice advertising contract that Viacom wanted. Hence the right-wing conspricy alluded to by Krugman, possibly via Viacom?

The DJ's suspended for not palying the D.C., worked for Viacoms Infiinety broadcasting. KKCS. KILT also owned by Viacoms Infinity broadcasting "banned the D.C." Viacoms Infinity broadcasting owns 180 radio stations. Can we say publicity stunt?

When faced with the loss of their core fan base after the first London statement, their PR came up with a way to save the investment in the tour.

Issue an email to radio stations alluding to a vicious right wing plot to destroy the D.C. this was done by their mgr. Then insinuate the radio stations that had stopped playing the D.C. were corporate bullies trying to press this administrations agenda.
What did they accomplish? They brought in new money.
The anti-war movement is now the new pocket book for a band that said in their New Zealand interview that it was just a joke, said to get cheers and it got lots of cheers. No political views here.
Search Holmes TV New Zealand
The following is a transcript of a portion of an interview with The
Dixie Chicks on TV One in New Zealand. The interview aired on
March 31, 2003.

Transcript: The Dixie Chicks Interview with TV One's Holmes
New Zealand

Holmes: What did you actually say, and what did you mean?

Natalie: Uh...I said...what did I say? I said...um...we're
embarrassed...just so you know, we're embarrassed...

Martie: Ashamed...

Natalie: Oh, we're ashamed that the President is from Texas...is
that what I said?

Emily: Yeah.

Natalie: And it was a joke and it wasn't planned. And it was
really funny at the time. It got lots of cheers and that's what it was meant for.

The D.C. promoters think like P.T. Barnum; there's a fool born every minute.

Posted by: debunker on May 15, 2003 04:51 AM

Before you jump on the "Save the chicks" bandwagon, spend a little time on google.
Viacom, the media sponsor of the D.C. has a lawsuit againt a company that awarded Clear Channel a very nice advertising contract that Viacom wanted. Hence the right-wing conspricy alluded to by Krugman, possibly via Viacom?

The DJ's suspended for not playing the D.C., worked for Viacoms Infiinety broadcasting. KKCS. KILT also owned by Viacoms Infinity broadcasting "banned the D.C." Viacoms Infinity broadcasting owns 180 radio stations. Can we say publicity stunt?

When faced with the loss of their core fan base after the first London statement, their PR came up with a way to save the investment in the tour.

Issue an email to radio stations alluding to a vicious right wing plot to destroy the D.C. this was done by their mgr. Then insinuate the radio stations that had stopped playing the D.C. were corporate bullies trying to press this administrations agenda.
What did they accomplish? They brought in new money.
The anti-war movement is now the new pocket book for a band that said in their New Zealand interview that it was just a joke, said to get cheers and it got lots of cheers. No political views here.
Search Holmes TV New Zealand
The following is a transcript of a portion of an interview with The
Dixie Chicks on TV One in New Zealand. The interview aired on
March 31, 2003.

Transcript: The Dixie Chicks Interview with TV One's Holmes
New Zealand

Holmes: What did you actually say, and what did you mean?

Natalie: Uh...I said...what did I say? I said...um...we're
embarrassed...just so you know, we're embarrassed...

Martie: Ashamed...

Natalie: Oh, we're ashamed that the President is from Texas...is
that what I said?

Emily: Yeah.

Natalie: And it was a joke and it wasn't planned. And it was
really funny at the time. It got lots of cheers and that's what it was meant for.

The D.C. promoters think like P.T. Barnum; there's a fool born every minute.

Posted by: debunker on May 15, 2003 04:52 AM

The US stinks.

Never before has it become so apparent that it is possible to abuse the courts, the media and all political aspects of a country, unless we count 1930's Germany.

Seems like the statue of Liberty is lying vulva-up to be fucked by anyone with a big wallet. Americans, wake up.

Posted by: Dave on June 1, 2003 10:51 PM

Dave,"Never before has it become so apparent that it is possible to abuse the courts"? Have you been in a coma for the past 20 years? This isn't new and I hate to tell you but it's going to get worse! "The US stinks"! You are right! And as long as you post articulate comments like your last, you can shoulder your share of the blame!

Posted by: US Stinker! on June 24, 2003 10:39 AM

Why didn't the Congress care when radio stations refused to play Elvis, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Black Sabbath, Marilyn Manson...and on and on? Politicians don't care about the Chicks. They care about eliminating their radio critics.

Posted by: Caesar Romero on July 16, 2003 02:16 PM

Why didn't the Congress care when radio stations refused to play Elvis, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Black Sabbath, Marilyn Manson...and on and on? Politicians don't care about the Chicks. They care about eliminating their radio critics.

Posted by: Caesar Romero on July 16, 2003 02:17 PM
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