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However, the apology didn't seem to register with those angered by her
remarks. In fact, the tone of the statement seemed to fan the flames of critics'
anger towards the group. Even though news of the comment coincided with the
emotional outbreak of the U.S. invasion of Iraq, the reactions focused on the band
were quick and angry. With little concern for verifying the truth or accuracy of the
statement, war supporters were swift to call for harsh sanctions against the group.
Within a day of the incident's mention on the freerepublic.com Web site, dozens
of radio stations (and several radio networks) pulled all Dixie Chicks songs from
their playlists. Once the idea of a radio ban spread, freerepublic.com posted lists
of radio stations, accompanied by DJ phone numbers and email addresses, to
further grassroots efforts. In Houston, two country radio stations KILT-FM and
93Q held online polls to determine the fate of the Dixie Chicks in their playlists.
In both polls the vast majority 73% of respondents voted to remove the Dixie
Chicks from the station's airwaves because of their comment.
"As of right now, we are not playing the Dixie Chicks and I'm evaluating things
as we go," said KILT program manager Jeff Garrison. "The listeners have been
very adamant about their beliefs. And right now, that's where we stand." Added
KILT morning DJ Fred Hudson, "The phones lit up at 5am and they haven't
stopped."
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One radio station in Dallas logged hundreds of calls on the day the story broke,
calling the group "anti-Bush," "anti-American," and "anti-troop."
In Kansas City, all of the country music stations dumped the Dixie Chicks
immediately after the controversy broke. According to staff at KBEQ-FM, calls
against the Dixie Chicks were coming in at the rate of 700 per day. KMBC took the
boycott a step further by inviting listeners to come by the studios for a "Chicken
Toss " adding their Dixie Chicks CDs to a garbage can placed outside the station
exclusively for that purpose. However, not all of the city's country fans agreed
with the ban. "There are some artists that I like that have said things I don't agree
with," said country listener Shawn Peterson. "But it doesn't stop me from listen-
ing to them."
The largest radio censure against the group came from Cumulus Media, which
pulled all the Dixie Chicks material from all of its 42 country music stations across
the United States. According to the Los Angeles Times , the company sent a memo
to the Dixie Chicks' record company, Sony's Monument Records, stating that a
personal, public apology by Maines (as opposed to the previous press statements)
would be required before the company would reinstate the group to its airwaves.
That ban remains in place today.