This is far from incomplete, but I just found this really disturbing when I put these events together:
- March, 2003: the Dixie Chicks were pulled off Clear Channel playlists because of anti-Bush comments made by singer Natalie Maines. Organizers related to Clear Channel then proceed to sponsor CD-burnings and bus folks in for the bonfires.
- March, 2003: A man is arrested in an Albany, New York shopping mall for refusing to remove his mall-purchased T-shirt that read “Peace on Earth.” This happened here, in America, land of the free.
- April, 2003: Baseball Hall of Fame president Dale Petroskey cancelled a 15th-anniversary celebration of the movie Bull Durham that was to take place at the Hall at the end of April because of anti-Bush comments made by Bull Durham star Tim Robbins.
- April 2003: The United Way cancells an event featuring Susan Sarandon because of her anti-Bush stance.
- October, 2003: A TV movie about Ronald Reagan gets blocked from CBS and is bumped to subscription cable, because right-wing zealots find it less than deifying.
- May, 2004: Embattled Michael Eisner blocks Disney distribution of Michael Moore’s documentary Fahrenheit 9/11. Despite a highly coordinated right-wing attempts to censor F9/11, the film wins the Palme D’Or at the Cannes Film Festival and becomes one of the most successful films of 2004.
- July, 2004: Whoopi Goldberg is fired from being the spokesperson for SlimFast because of anti-Bush remarks at a Democratic Fundraiser, after highly coordinated right-wing campaign to send in letters complaining that she (gasp!) made a dirty joke.
- July, 2004: Clear Channel blocks a Times Square billboard opposing the Iraq war.
- July, 2004: Comedian Margaret Cho is “uninvited” (can you hear the Alanis Morissette song in the background?) from performing at the self-censored Unity 2004 event that is associated with the Democratic National Convention, for fear that she might tell an anti-Bush joke and create controversy like the earlier incident with Whoopi Goldberg. (You people are shooting yourselves in the foot. Cho is your biggest ally.)
- July, 2004: Linda Ronstadt is ejected from the Aladdin Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas by the owner for dedicating the final song of her performance to Michael Moore, calling him a patriot, and suggesting that everyone get a chance to see it.
- July, 2004: Doonesbury is unfairly dropped from syndication by Continental Features, resulting in it’s removal from 38 newspapers, after comic strips turned highly critical of George W. Bush.
Did I miss anything? Does anyone else find these attacks on freedom of speech an alarming trend?