LOS ANGELES, July 9 (UPI) -- The Dixie Chicks were thousands of miles away but that didn't keep them from being featured attractions at a Senate hearing Wednesday.
The occasion was the Senate Commerce Committee hearing examining the effects of consolidation in the radio industry. Senators used the group as an example of what can go wrong when a single media company controls hundreds of stations across the nation, the Hollywood Reporter said.
The country group was banned from radio stations owned by Cumulus Media Inc. and Cox Communications after lead singer Natalie Maines told an audience at a March concert in London that the band was "ashamed the president of the United States is from Texas."
Chairman John McCain, R-Ariz., said he disagreed with Maines' sentiment but the fact that giant radio groups could ban a group's music because of a political statement was an "incredible, incredible act" that shows how radio industry consolidation is causing the "erosion of the First Amendment."