Is the GOP Propaganda Network Clear Channel Out to Kill Springsteen's "Magic"?
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This post, written by Howie Klein, originally appeared on Down With Tyranny!
At 58, Springsteen certainly can't call himself young any more-- at least not chronologically. Despite the hurricane force he and the E Street Band frequently mustered during their two-hour show, plenty of fans cheering them on no doubt recall the nights of yore when this fabled group was just starting to break a sweat at the two-hour mark.
Still, what this outfit does on stage each night remains fairly daring, and the older they get, the greater the risk of the without-a-net abandon with which they administer the sacrament of rock 'n' roll.
The invigorating thing about the New Jersey bard is the way he and his merry band embrace their coming of age. For all the kudos Springsteen's new Magic album is earning for the joyful rocking it delivers, it's rife with self-doubt, disillusionment, anger and acceptance of the disappointments and compromises life inevitably presents the thinking person.
A couple weeks ago the new album was #1 on the Billboard album chart. Kid Rock's new album knocked it down a peg and this week, Springsteen disposed on Kid Rock and is back at #1. The album is already gold and headed right towards platinum and he's got a great shot to win a Grammy for Best Album of the Year. Magic's reviews virtually everywhere are over the top and the intro to his latest interview in Rolling Stone refers to the album's subject matter as "weighty stuff like the direction of our democracy and party stuff that recalls the days when sparks first flew on E Street more than three decades ago."
Republican radio network Clear Channel, a monopoly in many cities and a dominant player in most of the rest, isn't interested. Is it because Springsteen has been an outspoken campaigner for Democrats and progressives? Clear Channel has taken a political stand with its programming in the past. Just think back to their boycott of the Dixie Chicks. Oh, no... not way back, just back to when they released their most recent album. Despite being one of the top 10 best-selling American albums of the year-- across all genres and demographics-- radio studiously ignored it. There were maybe half a dozen country stations that even played it at all. What Clear Channel did to the Dixie Chicks is a watertight case for the need to break the media companies up into a thousand pieces. (John Sununu disagrees; he's pro-censorship.) I spoke with an old friend who heads a record company and preferred to speak off the record.