Last night, instead of doing the dishes as I should have, I decided that it would only be fair to give the Dixie Chicks their fair shake at convincing me of what I wrote yesterday (see post below). So, with my Mr. Objectivity-I’m-ready-to-say-I-was-wrong-for-saying-what-you-said-was-stupid-and-your-magazine-cover-flip-of-the-finger-to-those-who-said-so-is-insincere-hat, I hunkered down on the couch in the dark to hear what they had to say.

I made it through the first half-hour. After that, I was convinced there is nothing they can say now to change yesterday’s take on them.

I wrote what I did yesterday BEFORE any pundit or television commentator filled my ear with opine. Howard Owens shares and echoed much of what I wrote (say something, Maines!; Take a stand, don’t be mamby pamby; entertainers who use their celebrity status to make political statements should make sense, i.e., Bono; and they should be informed and willing to stand by their statements in light of criticism, i.e., Garafolo at least is informed and sticks by her opinion) . You should read his take here at HowardOwens.com (Howard Owens) because he also expounded on some of the topics I touched on briefly. Mainly, boycotts and responsibility and ethics of entertainers and consumers.

After watching Maines and the other Dixie Chick duo last night, I came away with the following conclusions:

1) These women are sincere, honest, respectable and well-intentioned artists just trying to deal with the pressures their job demands of them and maintain some semblance of a personal and family life as well. (At least two of them, including Maines, are mothers). But they are ill-prepared to do so.

2) Maines, at least, has adopted a victim mentality about the backlash to her comments. She focused last night on her “right to ask questions” and backpeddled on what she actually said. It was out of “frustration” she said, with what was going on. Okay, no problem. Say it and get on with it….don’t paste your half-naked asses on the cover of a magazine and then claim this is a free-speech issue. It isn’t– she just said something stupid and should get on with it in that vein — hey we all have! No one has said Maines doesn’t have the right to say what she did. But when she decided the trappings of celebrity were for her, she “thrust herself into the puclic limelight” — as the libel and slander laws define public figure — and needs to learn to endure the consequenses of her actions in that realm.

2.5) The problem with #2, as I said yesterday and Maines talked about in the interview (the only point I thought she was salient on), is that when she DID write an apology in a press release those who defended what she said accused her of backpeddling and those who disagreed with her said she must have been forced to write it or that someone else did. Okay, empathy points there for her, but take away intelligence points for not realizing you can’t put the bullet back in the gun once it’s fired and that this is how the celebrity circus operates. If you are screwed either way, maybe it’s best not to go there at all.

3) Maines did not go far enough, as Howard points out, in her contrite explanation last night — which is why I assume the woman agreed to be interviewed by Dianne Sawyer in the first place. In fact, at one point Sawyer had to bite back her journalistic intinct to ask a hardball question about Maines’ sincerity of her explanation and instead gave her a softball opportunity to answer critics who said her statements about exactly what she said have not made sense and do not seem sincere. Maines’ appeared to begin to either break down crying (as she almost did several times) or fly off the handle at Sawyer…but the tape was cut and edited and what we saw instead was a less teary explanation that she had questions etc…..

4) The other two Dixie Chicks said nothing of any substance either. It was obvious they were there to bolster and support Maines. One talked about how she worried that people at a funeral of a soldier from her hometown would turn on her husband from that town when he attended the funeral because he was married to a Dixie Chick. Talk about playing the victim role! And ENOUGH about relatives feling the heat — it is self-induced.

Finally, the half-hour I saw was a lot of blathering………and a lot of it was empathy blathering by Sawyer. My final determination is that these are good, honest, hard-working women who just aren’t prepared to handle something like this. They are a tight threesome and one of them said something stupid that got them all in hot water. And I can’t blame Sawyer for not playing hardball with the issues on a true journalistic level because there is just no point in tearing these woman down in this situation.

I hate to see them suffer and I intend to move on, having spouted my opinion on this matter enough. I hope the country music and rest of the world does, too. I won’t personally boycott their music and I think Howard made some solid points regarding a boycott.

Actually, I doubt I would ever buy a Dixie Chicks album to begin with. They lost me as a potential consumer all together when they decided to cover the Fleetwood Mac song “Landslide.”

Not that they should care what I think anyway.

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