Minimum Gauge: Country Music Association tells the press not to ask touchy questions ahead of annual awards show

After the policy leaked publicly, CMA changes its mind about booting reporters from its awards if they ask about guns or politics; "Cop Rock" meets Five For Fighting in upcoming TV series; Marilyn Manson points a fake assault rifle at concert crowd.

click to enlarge Brad Paisley was one of the few major Country artists to condemn the CMA's attempt at press restrictions, tweeting, "I'm sure the CMA will do the right thing and rescind these ridiculous and unfair press guidelines. In 3...2....1....."
Brad Paisley was one of the few major Country artists to condemn the CMA's attempt at press restrictions, tweeting, "I'm sure the CMA will do the right thing and rescind these ridiculous and unfair press guidelines. In 3...2....1....."
HOT: CMA Rescinds Restrictions

At every major awards show since about, oh, Nov. 9, 2016, artists haven’t been shy about voicing political and social concerns. But the Country Music Association seemed to want to avoid such unpleasantness at its upcoming CMA awards, instructing media members not to ask any artists questions about recent gun violence, gun rights or politics in general. After the public (and a few artists with integrity, including Brad Paisley) expressed outrage, the group lifted the restrictions. The CMA’s initial action was an obvious attempt to avoid backlash from its core fans/consumers, and the incident fuels more questions not only about why so many Country acts shy away from denouncing things like gun violence and white supremacists, but also what that says about much of the audience for the music. Will the association try to muzzle artists who win awards on the big night?

WARM: Terrifying Headline of the Week

For passionate, knowledgeable and tasteful fans of television and music, there aren’t many word combinations that instantly trigger disgust and disdain like “Cop Rock” and “Five For Fighting.” The folks at Stereogum (as well as another outlets) tied together the two maligned entities — a disastrous cop-show-as-musical TV series and a contemporary Soft Rock band — in the chilling headline of a recent news item about a new ABC show: “The Next Cop Rock? ABC Readying Musical Police Drama From Five For Fighting.”

WARNING: At the 56-second mark, shit gets weird:


COLD: Put Your Toys Away, Marilyn

With mass murders at the hands of gunmen during concerts in Paris and Las Vegas, for safety’s sake (and to avoid mass hysteria and panic), it’s probably time to rethink working prop guns into your live show. But Marilyn Manson decided that his fake-assault-rifle schtick, which involved pointing a gun (with a mic attached) at the audience during a recent concert, was perfectly acceptable just weeks after the Las Vegas incident and hours after a mass shooting in a Texas church. Manson pulled the stunt in San Bernardino, Calif., where 14 people were gunned down less than two years ago. He likely did it for maximum shock value and was perhaps trying to make some kind of statement (oh, look — he was just trying to make us think), but the only clear message it sent was that Marilyn Manson is a huge asshole.


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