Toby Keith comes clean (maybe)

by Jason Gross

5 September 2007


So you think that country mega-star Toby Keith is some GOP slime who’s gonna get carpal tunnel from waving the flag too much?  Well, the guy obviously is patriotic but before you call him a conservative war-monger, you might want to check out his recent screed at Amazon about his politics.
It’s worth quoting at length so here’s what he has to say at Amazon in his notes about his latest album:

I get roped into these political arguments, but the truth is I don’t see things right or left, I see them right or wrong. If you put check boxes on the left and right for all the big issues, my list will go back and forth all the way down. But all I have to do is disagree with a hardcore, far left liberal on one thing and they just mark me down with all the boxes on the right. And it’s pretty much the same thing on the other side.

That song says exactly how I feel about myself in the world. I have to deal with other celebrities assuming all my marks are in one column, and all it shows me is that most of those people are very uneducated. For instance, Sean Penn was accepting a humanitarian award from a freedom of speech organization recently and said Sean Hannity, Bill O’Reilly and Toby Keith should be held accountable now that the Iraq war has gone astray. He’s lumping me in with these guys when my song clearly, word for word, indicated my support for the invasion of Afghanistan.

Now the difference between me and Sean Penn is that I’ve talked to 50 generals. I doubt he’s even talked to one. I didn’t support the war in Iraq and still don’t, but I’m sure I know more about it than he does. When he and Clooney get together and say we should go to Africa and stop the genocide, I’ll be the one over there performing for the troops when it happens.

I’m not going to apologize for where I stand. I am who I am, and if that bothers people it’s okay. And if you agree with me, that’s fine, too. I don’t feel like I have anything to prove. Not since 2000, anyway. My first seven years in the business I was fighting all the time to prove myself. But I’ve answered those questions.

So why is he going out of his way to say all of this?  Is he scared that he’s gonna lose his fanbase as the Iraqi war is seen for the boondoggle it is by most of America (the way most of the world already saw it)?  If not, why did he wait so long to say this?  Be that as it may, kudos to him for distancing himself from O’Reily, Hannity and other lying nutjobs who twist the truth for the sake of ratings.  Hopefully, Keith isn’t doing the same (again?).

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