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Rage Against Bush

Last weekend, Rage Against the Machine capped off this year’s much awaited reunion at the eighth annual Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival with a fiery, chatter amassing performance. During the band’s headlining gig, politically charged frontman Zack de la Rocha offered a few characteristic words for President George W. Bush’s war hungry posse, stating the current administration should be “hung, tried, and shot like the war criminals they are.” In response, FOX News talk show Hannity & Colmes recruited conservative columnist and author Ann Coulter, red-blooded rocker Ted Nugent, and Democratic strategist Jane Fleming to discuss what is being referred to as Rage Against the Machine’s “Dixie Chicks moment” on the May 2 episode of the show.

What transpired was a whirlwind debate exploring the First Amendment, its lengths, and RATM’s relevance — Coulter’s, umm, musical expertise says they aren’t relevant at all — to citizens, fans, and progressive American politics. And bloggers are up in arms; some scolding FOX News’ steadfast conservative lean, Coulter’s naive generalizations, and Nugent’s lack of political history knowledge, while others criticize de la Rocha, claiming that a call to violence has no place in protesting the ultimate act of bloodshed: warfare.

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Here’s what bloggers are saying about the reaction to de la Rocha’s onstage rant:

“While the whole of de la Rocha’s speech was pretty inflammatory from a political perspective, it clearly wasn’t terroristic.” — Allah is a Hardass,

“Nobody is silencing these guys…Nuge backpedals pretty quickly, but it’s telling nonetheless. I’m sure in Nuge’s arsenal of guns he has a silencer or two.” — and then there were none,

“I’ve never been a fan of Nugent’s political or social views, but in this case I have to agree with him. Calling for an elected leader to be shot is unacceptable. I’m not sure whether it’s a publicity stunt, or whether he’s 100% genuine when he spouts off with this crap, but he should just learn to shut up. People want to hear the music…not some stupid ass rant.” — Nwobhm,

“1. Saying no one knows who RATM is ignorant. 2. Saying people care what you have to say, but not RATM is not only ignorant, but just plain wrong. 3. Getting a bunch of people that agree to rant about something is not the right way to televise a story. 4. Where is there a threat in Zack’s statement? I’m not saying I agree with him, but is me saying, ‘my car should be washed,’ the same as ‘I want to wash my car?’ 5. Having eight people talking at once doesn’t make your opinion count any more. 6. Ann Coulter is a fucking idiot.” — Kenny,

“Coulter predictably used the occasion to attack Democrats, she got almost a complete pass on her own ‘jokes’ about murder. Ever since she offended conservatives at CPAC last March (by calling Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards a ‘faggot’), Coulter’s support from her fellow conservatives has been on the wane.” — Ellen,

“What they were doing was no out-of-the-norm presentation of speech against our administration. People say shit like that all the time. And no matter the nature or phrasing of your statement, you are allowed to speak out against your government. That IS the point of Free Speech.” — my3droogs,

Talk: Where do you stand on de la Rocha’s onstage speech?