Radio airplay for the Dixie Chicks declined 20% just after one of the Chicks made anti-Bush remarks, but apparently the backlash is abating, although the Chicks have been dropped from the playlists of a number of stations owned by Clear Channel, which has sponsored many flag-waving rallies across the country.
And meanwhile, for the people at the gossip column of Rupert Murdoch's New York Post, the Dixie Chicks are just the tip of the boycott iceberg; the Posties, of course, are acting in the proud tradition of the gossip columnists who helped drive Charlie Chaplin out of America.
I'm sorry if I seem fixated on the Dixie Chicks. I'm not a fan of their music. The point is that Natalie Maines wasn't disclosing military secrets to Saddam's forces -- she doesn't like Bush, and that's not treason.
There are now a good number of entertainers who support Bush and the war. I don't want those people boycotted. I'm not a fan of Charlie Daniels, who regularly uses his Web site to denounce people like me and just about everything we stand for, but if I had tickets to see Bob Dylan and I learned that Charlie Daniels would show up to play fiddle, as he did for Bob thirty years ago, I would still go, gladly. I used to find Dennis Miller funny, and I may find him funny again, even though I'm tired of his current neocon schtick. Boycotting him seems pointless. I believe in boycotting people whose message runs consistently to hate -- people who wish all gay people dead or who regularly describe this or that ethnic group as less than human. But this is different.