Make Music Not War
The British crowd cheered in support of her off-the-cuff quip. But, in America, celebrity-crazed media churned it and conservative politicos spun it, and–-although Maines apologized for her impromptu remarks, proclaiming her patriotism and emphasizing that she supports US troops–-the group’s record sales crashed, radio stations shunned their music and former fans actually steamrollered over previously treasured Dixie Chick CDs. Maines even received a terrifying death threat.
The Dixie Chicks were called anti-American, traitors, Dixie Sluts--to which they responded with a stylish Entertainment Weekly cover showing their semi-nude torsos adorned with black letters spelling out the slurs with which they'd been branded.
Meeting the Maine Stream
Their victory is attributable to musical talent and personal charm, no doubt. And to the three–Maines, Martie McGuire and Emily Robison–-sticking together in sisterhood, stalwartly determined to stand their ground, while fully backed by their own troops--their respective families and the Dixie Chicks machine, including manager Simon Renshaw and spinmeister Cindy Berger. Of course, that Maines’ much criticized remarks now meet mainstream opinion is an important factor, too.
Filmmakers Barbara Kopple and Cecelia Peck’s cameras capture the Dixie Chicks and posse as they consistently counter anti-spin with pro-spin–-perhaps including this film, Shut Up and Sing, which was, according to Kopple, funded from the Chicks' own nest egg.
However, as of 2006, the Dixie Chicks are making better music, have a broader fan base and a pro-Chick documentary which is well worth watching--for the drama and the music.