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Steve Gilliard, 1964-2007

It is with tremendous sadness that we must convey the news that Steve Gilliard, editor and publisher of The News Blog, passed away June 2, 2007. He was 42.

To those who have come to trust The News Blog and its insightful, brash and unapologetic editorial tone, we have Steve to thank from the bottom of our hearts. Steve helped lead many discussions that mattered to all of us, and he tackled subjects and interest categories where others feared to tread.

Please keep Steve's friends and family in your thoughts and prayers.

Steve meant so much to us.

We will miss him terribly.

photo by lindsay beyerstein


Fuck making nice

Country radio still cold to Dixie Chicks

By KRISTIN M. HALL, Associated Press Writer Mon Feb 12, 6:10 PM ET

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Country radio still isn't ready to make nice with the Dixie Chicks.

With a haul of Grammys Sunday, the Texas trio topped their comeback from their 2003 Bush-bashing comment that turned them from superstars to pariahs — but Music Row isn't welcoming them back into the country-music fold.

"Most country stations aren't playing the Chicks, and they aren't going to start now," said Jim Jacobs, owner of WTDR-FM, a country radio station in Talladega, Ala.

The awards might have the opposite effect, sparking another radio backlash against the group. Country broadcasters said Monday that the group's five Grammys show how out of touch the Recording Academy is from the average country fan.

"I think (the listeners) are outraged," said Tony Lama, program director for KXNP in North Platte, Neb. "This is rural, conservative America. They are just disgusted."

Country stations quit playing the Chicks in 2003 after singer
Natalie Maines told a London audience: "Just so you know, we're ashamed the president of the United States is from Texas.

Almost overnight, Maines became a lightning rod in the debate over the
Iraq war, with conservatives blasting her for criticizing the president, especially while on foreign soil.

The Chicks sang about the controversy in their single, "Not Ready to Make Nice," which won Grammys as record and song of the year. Their album, "Taking the Long Way," won album of the year.

"I'm not ready to make nice. I'm not ready to back down," Maines sang. "I'm still mad as hell, and I don't have time to go round and round and round."

Country radio may not be ready to embrace them again, but the Grammy runaway suggests that a significant portion of the rest of the country has come around to their way of thinking. The president's approval ratings are down, and his party was ousted in the midterm elections.

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