Why We Care About American Idol

Duke Lacrosse. That's what it said on the shirt of a high school lacrosse player I saw walking home yesterday. Stick hung over his shoulder. It was a statement of solidarity no doubt.

So, what's going on in Durham? The defense is leaking information faster than the CIA, some might say. None of it good for the accuser. Today, word from the defense side that she first told the cops that no rape occurred. That was reportedly before she said that 20 men raped her — then three.

Then she reportedly said the DNA they found in her body could have come from her boyfriend or two of her "drivers." Now in America it doesn't matter how many people she'd had sex with recently — what matters is if anyone sexually assaulted her. It looks more and more like no one did. There is so much silence from the prosecution that it hardly seems a fair fight. But that's what court is for.

Meanwhile, three young men — who's names and faces we all know well — stand accused. Trying to live life while they wait for a trial or the charges to be dropped. It is a nightmare that stretches across both sides. The accusers, her family, the men, their families — some say only the lawyers are winners in this one… so far.

It's tough to be a band called the Dixie Chicks and not be associated with country music. But it is clear that the "Chicks" are doing all they can to move away from that category. Their picture on the cover of Time magazine this week screams everything but cowboy boots. They are dressed in black and taking themselves super seriously.

We've received tons of e-mail from you on this one. Here are a couple.

E-mail No. 1

I am originally from Texas (transplanted to Minnesota) and I am proud to call George Bush our President. Although I like their music, I will never support the Dixie Chicks in any way. What possible good comes from their immature lashings of the President of our beloved country?
Disappointed in the Dixie Chicks-
Mary S.
St. Paul, MN

E-mail No. 2

If it were me I'd keep my mouth shut and keep my day job. But, that's up to them. As for me, and the other country music fans that I know, the Dixie Chicks have burnt their bridges. We'll never buy any of their music, listen to it, not even if it were free. It's a shame too. They do have talent, can't take that away, that's God given. They ruined themselves with their mouths.

Actually that's quite ironic. So beautiful on one side, and so ugly on the other.

President Bush is the President, he's a human being, he's a dad, a husband, and a friend of the American people. I don't think the President would say a bad thing about anyone, even the Dixie Chicks. That's not our President.
Don Bernius

It's seems the anger comes not from the fact that they are against the war — but that they make it personal. They've taken on the president. I give Bono points for arguing against policies — and not people. By all accounts, he is very well informed and world leaders have taken him seriously because of it. He is not taking anybody down. Just trying to raise everybody's awareness a bit.

So what to do? I like the president and the Dixie Chicks. I like their music. I'm sure I'll get some e-mail for this — but I will buy the new CD. I would guess the president doesn't spend too much time worrying about what the "Chicks" say about him.

I will say this for them. They're committed to their point of view. They stick to their guns and don't pay attention to the polls (or the station managers). Guess that's a Texas thing.

"American Idol': Why we care.

"American Idol" used to be after my kids' bedtimes. But this season, my daughter begged me to let her stay up. She said EVERYBODY was always talking about their Idol-faves and she felt totally out of it.

Friends told me it was real, old-fashioned family TV. I hadn't seen that since I watched Carol Burnett on Sunday nights with my parents and my sisters. Sometimes we laughed so hard we cried — together.

So yes — sometimes it's over the top. Sometimes the judges say stupid things. But everybody from my husband, (who watches nothing but "The Sopranos," the Mets and news) to my littlest, who favors "SpongeBob," is hooked.

It's a good story — a simple idea that works in every way. So many of you told me today that they are voting for Taylor. I thought he was awful in the beginning, but he does grow on you. Katharine, leaves me a little cold. So we'll see what happens tonight when we gather around the tube — together.

Fire up the popcorn and have fun watching!

See you tomorrow,

What do you think? Send your comments to: martha@foxnews.com

Watch "FOX News Live" with Martha MacCallum, weekdays at 2 p.m. ET.

Martha MacCallum currently serves as the co-anchor of "America's Newsroom" alongside Bill Hemmer (Weekdays 9-11AM/ET). She joined FOX News Channel (FNC) in January 2004. Click here for more information on Martha MacCallum