Keith was not to be lauded for producing this song, or hailed as a man of character. Instead liberal opposition "played right into Keith's exaggerated sense of grievance." Time added that in the controversy over his song, Keith was reduced to "a caricature," an extreme. In 2002, Tyrangiel also sneered about how Toby Keith's song came from "the Rush Limbaugh guide to foreign policy" and was "the catchiest song about vengeance since 'The Caissons Go Rolling Along.'"
This, from the magazine that hypes the Dixie Chick death threats?
The new clarion call from the anti-Bush media is the demand that the Dixie Chicks be forgiven for trashing Bush, and country music's audience in general, and proceed directly to the top of the charts because Bush's poll numbers are low. As growing numbers of Americans sour on Bush, asks Tyrangiel, "shouldn't there be a proportional feeling of forgiveness toward the Dixie Chicks?"
The New York Times finds a sanguine liberal trend at the top of the music charts. Citing the lowest poll number that could be found, the latest Harris poll pegging Bush's approval at 29 percent, music writer Jon Pareles touted that the Dixie Chicks were on Amazon's Top 10 sales likes with "albums with antiwar songs" by Bruce Springsteen, Neil Young, Paul Simon, and Pearl Jam.
On CBS's "60 Minutes," reporter Steve Kroft insisted some critics think the new CD is the best Dixie Chicks work ever -- smooch, smooch. Since the Bush-bashing incident in London, he insisted, "the only thing that's changed is that nearly 70 percent of the American public now agrees with her, at least to some extent." He explained their newest single is "about the hatred and narrow-minded intolerance that they encountered for expressing an opinion."
In the midst of all this, and the inevitable focus on how pro-Bush rednecks wanted them dead, Maines explained, they weren't about to wear "I Love Bush" T-shirts to pander to country-music audiences: "We're not politicians. We're musicians."
You could have fooled me. All the laudatory publicity they're receiving is a direct results of a marketing strategy that is all about politics, not about the music. They are pitching themselves to the liberal media as musical McCains -- love us as we courageously attack our conservative base.
The New York Times declared that for the Dixie Chicks, "free speech was costly." But the publicity their friends in the media are now showering on them is priceless.