In an interview with Pod Save America co-host Tommy Vietor, Jason Isbell spoke candidly about why the Dixie Chicks were blacklisted in the country music industry after criticizing President George W. Bush.
“It’s because they were women,” he offered. “If Tim McGraw had done it, nobody would have cared. It’s because they were women; they were talking out of turn.”
Referencing Eric Church‘s recent Rolling Stone cover story interview, in which Church criticized the NRA, Isbell said “Watch Eric Church’s record sales. They’re not going to drop… Nothing is going to happen to Eric Church. Guys like me can say whatever we want to say. But that thing happened because Natalie [Maines] was a woman…It gave them the opportunity to push another woman out of the entertainment business.”
Back in 2003, Maines told a London concert crowd, “We do not want this war, this violence, and we’re ashamed that the president of the United States is from Texas,” ten days before the beginning of the Iraq War. Subsequently, the Dixie Chicks saw their music pulled from the airwaves of many country stations, and had concerts canceled.
Continuing to speak with Vietor, a former spokesperson for President Barack Obama, Isbell said, “I love my country very much. I love my daughter very much. But it’s my job to try to help her be better. That’s a type of patriotism that rings more true to me. It’s your job to stay reasonably educated… about what goes on in your country and try to do what’s right and encourage people in leadership positions to do what’s right. In order to love an institution you most certainly do not have to agree with every decision they make.”
Listen to the full discussion below.