Last night's segment on the Dixie Chicks was the most fact-challenged journalistic hack job I've ever seen on an entertainment entity. Steve Kroft needed to believe that Natalie Maines' W. smackdown somehow hurt their career, and didn't bother to check the record to see if it jibed with red meat wet dreams. Specifically, from E! Online, August 2003:
Looks like the controversy over the Dixie Chicks' "disrespectful" President Bush barb is "Long Time Gone."
Five months after the country trio saw their songs banned from radio play lists and their CDs smashed by angry fans, the Grammy-winning Texas trio is flush with nearly $60 million in concert grosses, making them the nation's top touring country act.
The only acts who did better that season were Elton John & Billy Joel (touring as co-headliners) and the Rolling Stones. Far, far, far from the total destruction Kroft referred to. Even when he got it right, he got it wrong. Sure a few country stations have refused to play "Not Ready to Make Nice," their latest single, and the radio charts reflect that. But the song is a top seller on iTunes, and it didn't exactly crash and burn on country radio:
According to Billboard’s Radio Monitor, the single jumped from 54 to 36 in one week, with 3,703 “spins” on country radio alone. The single is also listed as a 94 percent probable success on the Hit Predictor chart.
He also spoke of their 4-year hiatus like it was an enormous professional break, conveniently forgetting that the gap between "Fly," their second album, and the follow-up "Home," was 3 years, and they released a well-received live album and DVD during that time. Of course, that clashes with the agreed-upon narrative that the Chicks sinned and paid dearly.
The high point of Kroft's piece came when the smug puke, begging for contrition like a sugar-stoned kid begs for a trinket at the grocery store, asked Natalie Maines "didn't anyone ever tell you it's not a good idea to antagonize your customer?" She replied, "that's what good music's supposed to do," and I loved her even more.