The Dixie Chicks and their marketing gurus clearly know publicity. They asked themselves: How can we get ourselves featured on the cover of Time and hailed on CBS's "60 Minutes" just before the new CD comes out? Easy. Trash George W. Bush again.
Time's cover had the three women framed in black with the celebratory title "Radical Chicks." They were famous not because of their music but because "They criticized the war and were labeled unpatriotic." That's a bit off. They criticized George W. Bush, with lead singer Natalie Maines telling a London audience the band so despised him they were ashamed to be from the same home state. That isn't exactly a brilliant anti-war policy statement that Madeleine Albright would crib. It was an insult.
But the New York Times, in its own Chicks cheerleading story, explained that once again, Time magazine has been caught awarding covers like back scratches to its friends and benefactors: The Chicks had performed at the party for this year's "Time 100" issue. (That issue also featured a Chicks profile touting their "tart and tasty" new CD and their courage in the face of death threats from former fans.) This tactic is nothing new. Time awarded Bill and Melinda Gates its "Person of the Year" honors for 2005 after the Gates Foundation paid for the magazine's summit on their global health summit a few weeks before. If you have a liberal viewpoint and something of value to offer Time magazine, you, too can rent that famous cover. The Dixie Chicks got it for a song, or two.
Time music writer Josh Tyrangiel spun like a top about how these country singers read the paper daily with a "solid understanding" of current events. How typically liberal. They hate Bush, therefore they are educated voters who know the issues that matter. Tyrangiel cooed over their failure to apologize for their Bush hatred: "apologies are for lapses of character, not revelations of it." Opposing the last president with consistency was a sign of a psychological disorder -- "Clintonphobia," Time called it -- but staunchly opposing this one is a sign of moral character.
Tyrangiel is probably still aglow from his article in 2004, attacking country star Toby Keith for his anti-terrorist anthem "Courtesy of the Red, White, and Blue," which promised a boot up the terrorists' collective behind. In that article, Tyrangiel quoted -- here she is again -- wailing Natalie Maines: "I hate it. It's ignorant, and it makes country music sound ignorant."