There's some very good reasons that this concern is not really valid.
A) There are already thousands of groups that I have never, nor probably will never hear on the radio. For thousands of indie listeners, there already is no alternative. That is due, in part, the huge companies like CC having centralized control, but also because radio stations are limited by the available radio frequencies and so making there a limited number of stations. For people who could care less whether they have a Dixie Chicks "alternative" this is not really going to be a selling point. It also seems to me that the only reason the DC are an alternative to anything is because of one or two comments that really don't appear in the music all that much. With them going pseudo-pop anyway, their music is actually becoming much more like everything else instead of an alternative sound anyhow.
B) There is no dearth of groups and songs available that are against war. Perhaps not this war, but against war in general. Certainly if you listened to a number of radio stations you will never lack for finding the alternate viewpoint expressed in some way. Certainly some people's dislike for the administration is not a secret. If you think that what an artist believes personally is just as important as what you actually hear out of the speakers, then there is no lack of alternatives.
C) There is no constitutional right to get radio air time or star in a TV commercial. Just because they were being played on the radio and were pulled is no reason for them to be considered to be somehow losing their right to free expression. There's quite a few 80's hair bands out there that had air time and now can't be heard anywhere, but no one is screaming about that. If there was a ban on the Chicks being able to play or perform, that would be different, but as long as no one is preventing them from performing it's not an issue. Remember, Clear Channel didn't just up and ban then unilaterally, there were many many calls into stations to do so. There is a definite case to be made for simple economics pushing this.
D) I presume you are aware of the existence of CDs and tapes and the Internet. You certainly can hear the Dixie Chicks as much as you want to in that way. No one has banned them from store shelves, people just aren't buying them as much any more. You don't need radio to listen to them.
Edited by Uncle Sid, 20 April 2003 - 06:46 AM.