Let's play naive for a second and say that The Dixie Chicks making the cover of TIME this past week is because their criticism of President Bush in 2003 made them rebels in a genre that is known to be decidedly conservative and Republican. Yet, when 50 Cent, arguably the most prominent rapper today in a genre (Hip-Hop) that is known to be decidedly liberal, makes a controversial comment supporting George W. Bush and his handling of Hurricane Katrina, it gets hardly any attention much less serves as a cover story for one of the country's major newsmagazines.
Granted, one could argue that 50 is far from a political scholar. But from what I've read and seen neither are The Dixie Chicks. Could there be some sort of double-standard here? Could the editors at TIME just be racist? Could the editors at TIME just be composed of mostly liberals? And could TIME even be aware that their cover choice unintentionally plays right into the hands of the current anti-Dixie Chicks backlash being stirred by country music radio?
All of the above? Perhaps.
Then again, criticizing the President is one thing. Exploiting those comments (instead of just relying on your talent) for record sales is kind of sad.