Mike Straka received about 2,000 e-mails responding to his column about the Dixie Chicks. I chose the ones below because I feel that they give a fair and balanced view of your many responses.
--Katherine Sands, FOX News intern
Dawn K. in Washington, D.C.: Hi, Mike! I enjoyed your article as I usually do most of yours, and just want to send my two cents. What really turned me off about Natalie's comments was that she said them overseas -- as you pointed out, "in Europe." Honestly, I think if she had made the same comments on American soil, most people would have just blown them off -- after all, trashing our elected officials has almost evolved into a national pastime, and I've yet to see the elected official with whom the entire population agrees anyway. I think Natalie had a right to say what she did. It's the fact that she took those comments overseas that I have a problem with. You said at the end of your article that "we all have the right to say what we think ... and that is one of the reasons America is the greatest country in the world." Right! We have the right to say what we think -- here! Keep writing that Strakalogue!
K. Boberick in Oaklyn, N.J.: You point out something that I think everyone has forgotten in the last 10 years or so -- this is America, and we can have opposing views. It doesn't make us stupid or ignorant or misguided -- it makes us American. It's just a shame that articles like yours get pushed to the back pages while loudmouths or more "sensational news stories" make the front page.
Carl Schmitt writes: Mr. Straka, in your May 24 article on the Dixie Chicks, you said nobody would notice if Natalie Maines made her famous 2003 comment today. I disagree, I noticed! Granted, I'm not a Chicks fan, even before the band's acerbic comments on the president. My point is, other than diehard groupies, nobody really cares what political advice the Dixie Chicks give, or Bruce, or any entertainer. They should all restrict their entertainment to their natural talents and not regress to being bobblehead dolls.
Michelle C. writes: While I certainly do not agree with anything the Chicks have said, I respect their right to voice their opinion. However, I also respect my choice to never purchase an album, concert ticket and to turn my radio to a different channel when their music is played.
Jenny R. in Dalton, Ga., writes: I am so glad that someone in the public eye has enough “sac” to stick up for these girls! I hear 10 times worse things out of people everyday … but everyone had to get so up in arms about it ... they paid a heavy price for the 5th amendment … we do live in America, right? Who cares if it was in another country ... it wasn’t like it was said in Iraq! People need to calm down! Go team Chicks!
Patrick L. writes: I don’t admire Maines at all. I have no problem with her speaking her mind. My issue is with the apology and then taking it back. That’s waffling. If she had such resolve or commitment, she would not have apologized in the first place. I view this as trying to save the Dixie Chicks. She apologized to appeal to the fans, and now she takes it back to appeal to the fans.
Gail L. in Rock Hill, S.C., writes: Mike, I admire you for your stance. I think that the Dixie Chicks and President Bush have a lot in common. They both have conviction and stick to their guns even if everyone is saying that they're wrong. However, I am very disappointed in the country music industry and the double standard that they have applied to the Dixie Chicks. If they were Republican and speaking in support of the president and the war, they would be played incessantly as Toby Keith was and is. I don't care about politics, just music. But I don't begrudge the Chicks or anyone else their politics.
Bonnie Lation on Atmore, Ala. writes: Mike: As a dyed-in-the-wool Soul Patroller, I'd like to thank you for your recent interview with Taylor Hicks. So many unkind things have been written about Taylor that it's refreshing to find a journalist who digs beneath the horrible crushed-velvet jacket to reveal the true humanity of the man. As someone who has seen him perform live AND on "American Idol," I can tell you that "AI" has had him in a musical straight jacket. He is the consummate performer who electrifies his audiences. Taylor Hicks is one "American Idol" who is going to be around for a long, long time. Thanks again for your article.
Brian Gilbert in Pigeon Forge, Tenn., writes: Barry Bonds hits home run No. 715. I couldn't care less about baseball, but this gets on my nerves. He’s used cork bats in the past and has even been accused of steroid use. He doesn’t deserve to be moving ahead of Babe Ruth. Thanks for letting me get that off my chest.
Lucinda L. in Fredericksburg, Va.: So we should now all applaud that Brad and Angelina have given $315,000 to maternity hospitals in Namibia? This from a couple who each get paid tens of millions to make a movie. I am sure that $315,000 is a mere fraction of what their stay in Namibia cost with private security guards, doctors, chefs. Please don't expect me to applaud them for their donation -- proportionally it's like me giving 5 cents to a worthy cause here. Let's get real and admit the whole thing is a major publicity production.
Jackie in Dallas writes: GRRR to Sharon Stone and all the other celebs who are so concerned about AIDS. She blasts the president because he is only funding abstinence programs and not sex education. How can she be so involved in this cause and still not get it that the only way to ensure that you are not infected with AIDS or any other STD is through abstinence? Condoms and other forms of protection are not 100 percent effective.
LL in cyberspace writes: My GRRRR (to say the least) goes out to District Judge Kristine Cecava of Sidney, Neb., who has recently sentenced a convicted child rapist to 10 years probation because she felt he was TOO SHORT to go to jail (by the way he's 5'1" -- this is not a Disney ride ... IT'S JAIL!! PUNISHMENT, REMEMBER??). Are you kidding me? If you're tall enough to enlist in our armed forces and die for our country, you're certainly tall enough to go to jail. Gee, judge, do you think that maybe if his CHILD VICTIM was taller, he or she could have gotten away??? You think that's why he rapes children -- because he can't hold down a grown up?? This is the most disturbing and hypocritical piece of garbage that I have read about in a long time. I suggest you get your severely misguided head out of our rear end, step down and GROW UP!!!
Sharon Brown in Denver, Colo., writes: I AGREE! Onions have no place in anything that I eat. I just don't like them. It is amazing the number of people who will scold or deride me because I don't like onions. Is there an 11th commandment that states "Thou shalt eat onions!"? I don't get it.