NBC Won't Air Dixie Chicks Add
When I saw Robin Williams' movie yesterday (see my previous blog post), one of the coming attractions was for "Shut Up and Sing," a movie about the Dixie Chicks and their battle to avoid being completely suppressed after one of them made a public remark opposing the GWB administration. It was a great trailer; Dina and I put that movie on our go-to-see-it list.
Lo and behold, today I stumbled on a story (via Alternet) that NBC has refused to air a promo for the movie because it "disparaged President Bush." You can find stories here with every point of view from conservative Matt Drudge to various left-wing bloggers.
You can also see the spot--a much-condensed version of the trailer I saw--by clicking here.
Hmmmm. Sounds suspiciously like the old Divine Right of Kings theory and its dictatorial corollary that you weren't allowed to criticize the royal government without severe consequences, if you ask me.
Earth to NBC: It is NOT the job of the media to sanitize controversy. It is, in fact, the job of the media to investigate the news and report it, even if that means exposing a government buried in corruption, lies, and power grabs. With far too few exceptions (one of whom is NBC's own Keith Olbermann), the large corporate media have not been holding their end of the bargain. But still, whether or not they act like it, the mainstream media should be (as the Quakers say) "speaking truth to power"--not helping to protect that power from ever hearing criticism.
As it is, it is utterly shameful that the American people have allowed their protests to be marginalized and their picketers herded into enclosures far form the targets. I call that un-American and unpatriotic, and I salute those brave Americans who continue to defend the right of protest. Including the Dixie Chicks.