Attacking the Rights of Those Anti-Dixie Chick

RECEIVED Mon., Nov. 6, 2006

Dear Editor,
    So Louis Black uncovers a right-wing plot to blacklist the Dixie Chicks [“Page Two,” Nov. 3], in which many of their former fans are gullible or willing collaborators, and decides that protection of Natalie's First Amendment rights requires these fans who have lost their taste for the trio to nevertheless continue subsidizing their commercial ventures.
    I am not convinced that Natalie's First Amendment rights trump those of her former fans. I will continue to apply my own artistic and nonartistic criteria in determining the music I prefer and the artists I patronize. I support Louis Black's right to do the same. If he or I should count as either a plus or a minus the trashing of (speaking one's mind about) the president of the United States before a foreign (international) audience, well, that's our right.
Harvey Caughey
   [Louis Black responds: Obviously any listener's or fan's reaction to any music is their own choice. As I didn't state clearly, I'm sure many fans reacted negatively to the Chicks' comment and nowhere do I suggest anyone be forced to buy music that they don't want to for any reason. In this case the duration and depth of the response were far beyond some Democratic broad-based genuine reaction. If you disagree, believing the response was reasonable and organic, than there are no concerns. My take is that this was a way-too-easy good guy/bad guy topic that was pumped up on talk radio and by right wing pundits and politicians for weeks, far in excess to the most disparaging view. Whether this was an intentional or simply a convenient assault on free speech is beside the point, as is whether it was a conscious or even conspiratorial attempt to silence the war's critics because those were certainly its consequences.]
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