Bonus Assignment 2

The main issue that I will be covering is if large companies can violate your freedom of speech rights. The example used in class was when Clear Channel Communications stopped the distribution of the Dixie Chicks because of their open criticism toward President George Bush overseas at the time. In general, I believe that a company no matter the size can dictate what your freedom rights as people are. However, you have to put yourself in the shoes of the CEO’s and upper people in a large business in order to fully grasp the concept. The main idea behind a corporation becoming big is its appeal to the public. Does this company present a clean image to the public or not? These CEO’s are under the gun daily making these decisions, because one bad decision and their company could be gone forever. In this case going back to the Clear Channel example, I agree with their decision of stopping the production of Dixie Chicks on their radio to some extent. If they kept on with the Dixie Chicks, then they are risking their outward reputation to the public. But if they stand up and stop the distribution of them on their radio broadcasts, maybe the public would gain a sense of admiration to a company that will stand up for people who bash their own presidents even overseas. Moreover, you can go both ways in this argument. For instance, Clear Channel has nothing to do with politics, they are simply a large corporation with radio broadcasting. Since the Dixie Chicks were a hit at the time, people should be able to hear their hits on the radio regardless of their comments over a president. Personally, I tend to lean on what Clear Channel did with the issue. I may have not cut them off instantly, but I would slowly begin to not play them as much on air and I would pay close attention to what the public and media would respond to the Dixie Chicks’ outward disapproval toward President Bush. It is a tough subject to cover and our Bill of Rights are something that we need to be able to keep forever in America’s future. The Dixie Chicks should have been smarter about that, because when they go overseas they should be almost on their “best behavior” in their representation of America. Maybe they could have said and worded it less serious to their differences in George Bush. The Dixie Chicks needed to realize that with their status as icons and celebrities, whatever they say can be used to either hurt or help them.


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