music politics

Another voice: Revenge of the Chicks | – Houston Chronicle

This from The Boston Globe

In 2003, Dixie Chicks singer Natalie Maines told fans in London that she and her bandmates were ashamed that President Bush was from their home state. In response, Clear Channel Communications struck the group from play lists at its country radio stations.

The music-business insiders who gave the Dixie Chicks five Grammy Awards Sunday night — including three for their song Not Ready to Make Nice — aren’t the same people who shunned the Texas trio four years back. But the Chicks’ resurgence, coupled with other rumblings of discontent within the world of country music, shows how much the nation’s mood has shifted since March 2003.

You know, I said then and I still say I agree Natalie. I told everyone I knew around the country in 1999 and 2000 that George W was a mistake. I guess the lesson I learned from this whole episode is that putting too many stations into the hands of too few lends itself to a shutting down of unpopular voices, especially voices unpopular with the people who control the mikes. This whole experiment in media consolidation has and is a major mistake that we may not recover from.

I watched the Grammy Awards on Sunday and even with the “Chicks” sweep, I was unimpressed with the show. For some reason I would think the “Music Industry” would at least get the sound right. For some reason about half of the performances seemed to be coming out of a well. I am not sure what they should do differently, but at least they should hire someone who can broadcast decent sounding and mixed music. After all, isn’t that what it’s all about?

Source: Another voice: Revenge of the Chicks | – Houston Chronicle

2 replies on “Another voice: Revenge of the Chicks | – Houston Chronicle”

Gary, IMO, the Dixie Chicks situation doesn’t have anything to do with “media consolidation.” They offended conservative country music fans plain and simple. I’m not judging their politics or music, but there was no broad conspiracy to end their careers. Anyway, they seemed to weather the backlash quite well and congrats to their strong showing at the Grammys.

I work with the NAB on the media ownership issue and between that and calls for restoring the fairness doctrine there are a ton of misconceptions out there. I would recommend Nat Hentoff’s editorial that does a great job of explaining how the fairness doctrine would actually hurt both liberals and conservatives, hindering diversification of opinion in the media.

Similarly, the media ownership rules need to be updated to reflect the reality that we have more choices than ever to get our news and information. If these rules aren’t updated the ability of broadcasters to provide free programming to our communities could be jeopardized.

The FCC is mandated to review these rules every four years and I think we all can agree that the media landscape has undergone dramatic changes in the last four years. With the continued emergence of online, satellite and cable news and information outlets, broadcasters are faced with tremendous competition for the advertising dollars they rely on to survive. Nobody wants to hand over control of the media to a few giants bent on global domination, all we want is for the FCC to enact ownership rules that recognize the realities and challenges faced by broadcasters.

Sorry Chris, But I never claimed it was a conspiracy. My point was that with consolidation of ownership you only have to “piss off” the gatekeepers of fewer gates to be cut off from the public airways. And to my way of thinking, that’s the crux of the issue. The airways are public. Broadcasters do not own the airways, they lease them from the people.

The argument that keeps being made about more choices all put the broadcast media in with the cable/satellite broadcasters. Nobody is stopping the holders of broadcasting licenses from building or being included in cable/satellite systems, but as a holder of a “public” license they have a obligation to the public to fulfill the terms of that license. The debate is why should they be given a pass just because they decide that it no longer is in their interest? If the rules were so onerous why have the license holders not given up their licenses? Because they still make money, lots of it.
So, sorry, but no I don’t agree with your argument that the media ownership rules need to be updated to guarantee the continuation of profits for a few large media companies…Thanks for the viewpoint though.

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