The following is posted at the Drudge Report as an exclusive:
In an Ironic Twist of Events, NBC and The CW Television Network Refuse to Air Ads for Documentary Focusing on Freedom of Speech
NBC Claims that the Network “Cannot Accept These Spots as They are Disparaging to President Bush”
The CW Television Network that the Network Does “Not have Appropriate Programming in which to Schedule this Spot”
NBC and The CW Television Network have taken a stand against the Dixie’s Chicks new documentary “Shut Up & Sing” a behind-the-scenes look at the incredible political and media fallout that occurred in 2003 after the Dixie Chicks lead singer Natalie Maines said that she was “ashamed the president of the United States is from Texas.” “Shut Up & Sing” opens in theaters in NY and Los Angeles on Friday and in theaters nationwide on November 10th.
NBC responded to a clearance report submitted by the Weinstein Company’s media agency saying that the network “cannot accept these spots as they are disparaging to President Bush.”
The CW Television Network responded that it does “not have appropriate programming in which to schedule this spot.”
Famed litigator David Boies stated, “It is disappointing and troubling that NBC and The CW would refuse to accept an otherwise appropriate ad merely because it is critical of President Bush.”
Harvey Weinstein, co-chairman of The Weinstein Company stated, “It’s a sad commentary about the level of fear in our society that a movie about a group of courageous entertainers who were blacklisted for exercising their right of free speech is now itself being blacklisted by corporate America. The idea that anyone should be penalized for criticizing the president is sad and profoundly un-American.”
The Weinstein Company is exploring taking legal action.Obviously the Dixie Chicks have been silenced and censored, I mean, has anyone reading this heard anything about the comment Natalie Maines made in London? Does anyone reading this know that the Dixie Chicks don’t like President Bush or the war? Since they have been so effectively silenced for three years now there is no way anyone could possibly know any of this and since these mean networks are censoring their ads the world will never know.
I would love to be silenced and censored as the Dixie Chicks have. How many magazine covers and primetime interviews did they get when their latest CD was released? Certainly more than they got when their previous CDs were released, back when they were a “hick country group”. NBC and the CW are making decisions based on what they think their viewers want to see and whether or not they have programming where they can place the ads. Whether or not that decision is a correct one, it is ridiculous to say the Dixie Chicks have been penalized. My guess is that the ads will be edited to make it easier to place them in programming. I am not crazy about the decision, considering how I might feel if it were an ad for a documentary critical of Bill Clinton (or some other liberal politician), but understand the marketplace. As much free publicity as the Chicks have gotten over the past three years, strictly due to their opposition to President Bush, it just seems ridiculous to me that they are now complaining about being punished or penalized for that opposition. I should be so punished.
Update: One reader writes that he thinks the whole thing is a publicity stunt: “That’s my opinion at least. Note that the only people that have this story
is Variety and Drudge. Do you think any PR person worth his salt would have
sent the press release to the AP and Reuters? Plus, the CW is already denying the charge.” I have not seen the denial, but will look for a link. It would be pretty amazing if the Chicks were reduced to planting stories and lying about the supposed “punishment” they experienced at the hands of networks that refused to run ads ? Have they overplayed the victim card to the point that they have to make up the charges of persecution because no one even cares enough to try to “silence” them? I don’t know. It seems to me such a stunt would backfire bigtime, but who knows? It is show business. Maybe that Oprah appearance didn’t sell enough CDs.
Update II: Greg Tinti has some reaction from the left. Please read his excellent post, but I will give you a hint about one reaction — it involves moving to a foreign country. I am surprised those on the left haven’t come up with a more original threat that they don’t intend on carrying out than that old tired one.