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The Sounds of Silence

September 01, 2011 J

Where’s Bruce Springsteen? Where’s Bonnie Raitt? Where’s Bono? Where are the Dixie Chicks?

Where are these and all the other left-leaning musicians who purport to care about the “little guy,” the “working man,” the politically persecuted, in response to a federal raid by the Obama administration’s overzealous eco-enforcers on the Gibson Guitar Company, alleging the illegal importation of exotic wood?

Where are all these purported populists when the heavy hand of the federal government is being used to harass, intimidate and potentially crush an iconic American instrument-maker like Gibson? Why aren’t they stepping-up in defense of threatened American jobs? As supposed civil libertarians, shouldn’t they be asking whether this might be a case of selective, politically-motivated prosecution, since other instrument-makers reportedly use these same woods and the owner of Gibson is rumored to be a Republican?

Where are the protests? Where’s the indignation? Where are all the music industry’s liberals when the “little guy” needs them most?

They’re nowhere to be found, thus far. The company’s owner has had to turn to conservatives and libertarians, he’s had to tap into what one publication calls Tea Party anger, to rally public opinion to his side. From his liberal customers in the music biz (many of whom may also be guilty of a crime simply by owning a Gibson since the law is retroactive) all he’s gotten so far is a cold shoulder.

The silence of the liberal entertainment elite in response to the Gibson raid has been striking, deafening — and revealing of how quickly high-flown principles are junked when partisan politics intervene. Could the silence have something to do with the fact that the persecutors in this case are rabid environmentalists and overzealous eco-cops in the Obama administration, both of which enjoy lapdog-like support from many in the entertainment industry?

That’s not only the most plausible, but it’s the most likely explanation. And we’re sticking with it until contrary evidence emerges.

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