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Borders Fires Singer for Bush Joke

M.Ted 31 Jul 03 - 11:10 AM
Amos 31 Jul 03 - 12:14 PM
GUEST,MMario 31 Jul 03 - 12:25 PM
Maryrrf 31 Jul 03 - 12:31 PM
GUEST 31 Jul 03 - 12:37 PM
katlaughing 31 Jul 03 - 12:37 PM
open mike 31 Jul 03 - 12:42 PM
artbrooks 31 Jul 03 - 01:04 PM
M.Ted 31 Jul 03 - 01:24 PM
GUEST 31 Jul 03 - 01:36 PM
GUEST,guest 31 Jul 03 - 01:53 PM
M.Ted 31 Jul 03 - 02:18 PM
GUEST 31 Jul 03 - 02:23 PM
GUEST 31 Jul 03 - 02:45 PM
Don Firth 31 Jul 03 - 02:47 PM
GUEST 31 Jul 03 - 02:52 PM
kendall 31 Jul 03 - 02:53 PM
GUEST 31 Jul 03 - 02:58 PM
McGrath of Harlow 31 Jul 03 - 03:13 PM
GUEST,MMario 31 Jul 03 - 03:16 PM
GUEST 31 Jul 03 - 03:42 PM
mike the knife 31 Jul 03 - 05:05 PM
Folkiedave 31 Jul 03 - 05:22 PM
McGrath of Harlow 31 Jul 03 - 06:03 PM
SINSULL 31 Jul 03 - 08:22 PM
Barry Finn 31 Jul 03 - 08:27 PM
M.Ted 31 Jul 03 - 08:36 PM
Rapparee 31 Jul 03 - 09:42 PM
IvanB 31 Jul 03 - 11:59 PM
M.Ted 01 Aug 03 - 12:10 AM
GUEST 01 Aug 03 - 12:56 AM
Wilfried Schaum 01 Aug 03 - 03:11 AM
Maryrrf 01 Aug 03 - 09:14 AM
GUEST 01 Aug 03 - 09:19 AM
Blackcatter 01 Aug 03 - 09:38 AM
M.Ted 01 Aug 03 - 11:26 AM
GUEST,Martin Gibson 01 Aug 03 - 11:40 AM
Grab 01 Aug 03 - 12:00 PM
GUEST 01 Aug 03 - 12:15 PM
GUEST,Martin Gibson 01 Aug 03 - 12:48 PM
Frankham 01 Aug 03 - 02:08 PM
Kim C 01 Aug 03 - 02:25 PM
GUEST,Martin Gibson 01 Aug 03 - 02:57 PM
Mark Ross 01 Aug 03 - 02:57 PM
katlaughing 01 Aug 03 - 03:04 PM
GUEST,Martin Gibson 01 Aug 03 - 03:20 PM
M.Ted 01 Aug 03 - 03:29 PM
Kim C 01 Aug 03 - 03:33 PM
GUEST,Martin Gibson 01 Aug 03 - 04:43 PM
Maryrrf 01 Aug 03 - 05:01 PM
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Subject: Borders Fires Singer for Bush Joke
From: M.Ted
Date: 31 Jul 03 - 11:10 AM

Finally, a Bush related controversy that relates directly to Mudcatters. Check this out, from the Baltimore Sun Website:

>Bookstore ban on singer who mocked Bush's legs is silly
>Dan Rodricks
>July 27, 2003

>BORDERS Books & Music will have to ask itself: Was defending George Bush's skinny legs worth a >few days of bad publicity and criticism -- apparently even from some registered Republicans -- >for banning a young singer who made a harmless crack about the president?

The full article is here:
Bookstore ban on singer who mocked Bush's legs


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Subject: RE: Borders Fires Singer for Bush Joke
From: Amos
Date: 31 Jul 03 - 12:14 PM

That does it.

I am boycotting Borders' for being a Republican patsy organization.

I will never buy another book there.

(Actually I don't go there much anyway....)


A


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Subject: RE: Borders Fires Singer for Bush Joke
From: GUEST,MMario
Date: 31 Jul 03 - 12:25 PM

the only one close enough for me to get to doesn't have a much better selection then our local Wal-mart anyway...

But given that they had customer complaints regarding the singer and comments - they are certainly well within their rights to fire/ban the singer.


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Subject: RE: Borders Fires Singer for Bush Joke
From: Maryrrf
Date: 31 Jul 03 - 12:31 PM

I've played in Borders in Richmond, VA and in Fredericksburg. I will never play again in Fredericksburg - not because they banned me but because the staff was rude and the manager clueless. They don't pay - but I figured since it was nearby and a nice quiet venue I'd play a bit and maybe sell some CD's. Richmond is pleasant enough, but in Fredericksburg not only did they have no sound system (Oh it's broken") but they flat out refused to help me bring mine in (which I had brought along just in case). The first time I played there I didn't get my free beverage coupon (you get four free beverages while you're playing - yipeee!) until after I'd taken my sound system down right before they closed. The second time I had to demand it before I started playing or the same thing would have happened. They used to give you a store credit when you played there but no more. YOu would think that at least the staff would be polite since the musicians are playing for free. They are very nice in Richmond, but forget Fredericksburg.


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Subject: RE: Borders Fires Singer for Bush Joke
From: GUEST
Date: 31 Jul 03 - 12:37 PM

On the PBS news recently, they showed one of the Senate committee meetings on the new FCC rules. Republican Senator John McCain was grilling and severely admonishing the CEO of the radio station chain that led the boycott of the Dixie Chicks for Natalie Maines' comments about Bush.

He absolutely slammed the CEO for violating the free speech rights of an artist AND for interfering with their trade. McCain said he didn't like the remarks either, but that in the US, that is protected speech, and for an artist, impediments to free speech also blocks and restrains their trade, because of the nature of their work.

It isn't just a question of too much of this sort of thing going on "right now." This sort of thing shouldn't be happening AT ALL. It is like Nazi Germany in the run up to Kristallnacht. It isn't "nonsense" or "silliness". These are very serious violations of people's constitutional, civil, and human rights by corporations who need to be taken to court for these violations.

These violations of artists' rights to free speech and free trade are now occurring with alarming frequency. Artists obviously need to organize, or make use of already existing organizations to take these cases to the proper venues of the judiciary, and to the court of public opinion, to educate people that it isn't OK for corporations to interfere with their constitutional rights to free speech and free trade.


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Subject: RE: Borders Fires Singer for Bush Joke
From: katlaughing
Date: 31 Jul 03 - 12:37 PM

That's ridiculous! Giving into a vocal minority will lose them more business then if they'd let it go and turned it into a positive thing about books and supporting the right to free speech.

Good article. I knew about Bill Maher's show losing out, but I hadn't seen this quote from Fleisher (my emphasis): Reacting to Maher's comments, then-White House spokesman Ari Fleischer said, "There are reminders to all Americans that they need to watch what they say, watch what they do." Apparently there's a lot of that spooky attitude going around these days.


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Subject: RE: Borders Fires Singer for Bush Joke
From: open mike
Date: 31 Jul 03 - 12:42 PM

JOHN MCCUTCHEON has a great song about the large
book store chains and how they cause the demise
of some of the locally owned independant shops.
(as in the movie "you've got mail" ) Just yesterday
I was saying how the larger bookstores usually
offer live music, and this was one of the positive
things about them. but i see they CONTROL the
content of the music, and that cancels out any
positive aspects. Support small, independant
book sellers, and live, free speach music!!


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Subject: RE: Borders Fires Singer for Bush Joke
From: artbrooks
Date: 31 Jul 03 - 01:04 PM

Sounds like a stupid decision by a local manager to me. After talking to the manager of the Borders that just open up about 1.5 miles from me, I have the impression that the stores operate pretty independently...he had no interest in setting up a "new science fiction" section like the other Borders (and both Barnes&Nobles) in town have.

Like Starbucks, Borders seems to be an example of a small-scale operation that became a big success. This is from their corporate history (and should therefor not necessarily be considered as totally factual): Tom and Louis Borders, two brothers living in Ann Arbor, Michigan, opened a small used bookshop called Borders Books in 1971 and later expanded the operation to include several more stores in and outside of Michigan. Their success was due, in part, to their revolutionary inventory system that tailored each store's selection to the community it served..

If the local, independent, book stores want my business, they need to be competitive. To me, that means have a good selection of books and get the new releases as soon as they come out. Discounts and coffee are also a plus.


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Subject: RE: Borders Fires Singer for Bush Joke
From: M.Ted
Date: 31 Jul 03 - 01:24 PM

I used to shop at the original Borders--it was a cool bookstore, though oddly enough, not the biggest or the best at the time. I believe that it is now owned by K-Mart--


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Subject: RE: Borders Fires Singer for Bush Joke
From: GUEST
Date: 31 Jul 03 - 01:36 PM

There is some serious thread creep going on here, that is rendering the original point and post irrelevant. The thread isn't about whether Borders sells coffee and someone's favorite genre of books, or even what their discount policy is.

This thread is about censorship of artists in Borders, and the interference with the artist's right to free trade.

If this is just going to a thread about how much we all love or hate Borders books, it doesn't belong in the music section, but in the BS section. So if the majority of posters want to trivialize a musician censorship issue by turning it into a AOL conversation about themselves and their bookstore preferences, then I think it is time to move the thread to the BS section.


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Subject: RE: Borders Fires Singer for Bush Joke
From: GUEST,guest
Date: 31 Jul 03 - 01:53 PM

Personally I can't understand why there's such a backlash in the US when somebody insults Bush. I can't ever remember when it wasn't okay to joke about the president until now (just look at the Clinton jokes). Regarding Borders - I think they overreacted.


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Subject: RE: Borders Fires Singer for Bush Joke
From: M.Ted
Date: 31 Jul 03 - 02:18 PM

There are lots of music related questions that we can discuss--like what kind of a precedent does it set to provide free musical entertainment for a huge reatail corporation when it is really a part of their ongoing promotional activities?

Or about when you play, what kind of control does the person paying the bill have over what you do? What about when you play for free?

We can also reflect on whether this thing actually does her a lot more good than harm, since the controversy is garnering a lot of newpaper ink, and is making a celebrity out of her--

We can also ruminate on the idea that celebrity status seems to be worth more to performers than talent--

Or, if those issued get played out we can also talk about whether Americans really have freedom of speech when you can be fired, investigated, detained, or even imprisoned if you say something that is negative in the eyes of the current administration--


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Subject: RE: Borders Fires Singer for Bush Joke
From: GUEST
Date: 31 Jul 03 - 02:23 PM

legally if you accept ANYTHING (even free drink coupons) in exchange for your singing which puts you in a position of 'working for them' then free speech doesn't enter into it - as your right of free speech doesn't extend to when you are representing a corporate entity.

Likewise - though you are 'in public' at a Borders - it is NOT a public space - but a private one - and they are again within their right whether or not you are working for them to restrict what you say and or do.


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Subject: RE: Borders Fires Singer for Bush Joke
From: GUEST
Date: 31 Jul 03 - 02:45 PM

Really, Guest 2:23? And on what laws and legal precedents are you basing your assumptions that corporate rights trump an individual's constitutional rights? Or that individuals lose their constitutional rights when they enter a business premises? Or the assumption that this artist might have actually had a contract with Borders, and that Borders may have been in violation of their contract for firing the musician and interfering with her trade?

Beyond the little legal technicalities as to whether corporate rights of free trade trump and individual's rights to free trade in disputes between a corporation and an individual, there is still this horrendous censorship issue.

It appears to me as if some of you are overlooking the importance of this act of censorship of an artist, and the interference of her trade, is a bookstore. Bookstores are considered to be bhavens and advocates


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Subject: RE: Borders Fires Singer for Bush Joke
From: Don Firth
Date: 31 Jul 03 - 02:47 PM

"George Bush has chicken legs. He needs to pump some iron."

That's IT? That's what she said that caused all the kerfuffle? But he does!

(Oh, God! Now they're gonna come and get me!)

Don Firth

Here, George, have another pretzel. . . .


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Subject: RE: Borders Fires Singer for Bush Joke
From: GUEST
Date: 31 Jul 03 - 02:52 PM

Sorry, I inadvertently launched that last post before I finished writing it.

As I was saying, bookstores have long been considered both havens for and advocates of free speech, so the effects of such a large chain of bookstores engaging in this sort of censorship could have long lasting and widespread effects upon free speech and open debate in our society. There is simply no other interpretation to put on this action, than to say that a musician was not just censored for telling a joke about the president, but was fired for it. If that doesn't scare musicians and artists about the current state of affairs in this country, especially in the wake of the censorship campaign against the Dixie Chicks for something they said about the president, then I guess nothing ever will.


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Subject: RE: Borders Fires Singer for Bush Joke
From: kendall
Date: 31 Jul 03 - 02:53 PM

Someone should tell Borders that only John Asscroft has the authority to take away anyone's first amendment rights.


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Subject: RE: Borders Fires Singer for Bush Joke
From: GUEST
Date: 31 Jul 03 - 02:58 PM

Thanks for the link Don.

Well, it appears that it was the Borders in Fredericksburg, VA that fired her for the appearance on July 18th. However, she has a shitload of other appearances booked for Borders stores all over Virginia, so if she has in fact been fired by headquarters, and not just the Fredericksburg store, I would say that is a substantial interference with her trade.

Anyone know if it is just the local store, or the entire chain she was fired from?


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Subject: RE: Borders Fires Singer for Bush Joke
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 31 Jul 03 - 03:13 PM

If course, if this was in England, it'd be illegal for a bookstore to allow anyone to perform without a special licence.

But I can't imagine anyone anywhere over here having a problem because someone said, for example that Tony Blair had skinny legs.

Freedom isn't all of a piece is it? You've got more in some ways and less in others whichever country you are in.


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Subject: RE: Borders Fires Singer for Bush Joke
From: GUEST,MMario
Date: 31 Jul 03 - 03:16 PM

well - if the singer does any copyrighted material the venue needs to pay ascap and bmi fees...which is akin to getting a license.


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Subject: RE: Borders Fires Singer for Bush Joke
From: GUEST
Date: 31 Jul 03 - 03:42 PM

In answer to my own question ;-) it appears from the musician's website that she was only fired from her gigs at the Fredericksburg store.


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Subject: RE: Borders Fires Singer for Bush Joke
From: mike the knife
Date: 31 Jul 03 - 05:05 PM

To quote Kendall: "Someone should tell Borders that only John Asscroft has the authority to take away anyone's first amendment rights. "

Don't worry, he's working on it...

The Ari Fleischer statement is chilling- was that a THREAT? Perhaps he thinks that Americans can't be trusted with free speech. Funny how Republicans are always nattering on about "less government", and then start in with the creepy, orwellian stuff...


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Subject: RE: Borders Fires Singer for Bush Joke
From: Folkiedave
Date: 31 Jul 03 - 05:22 PM

This is a bit of a thread creep I know but for our American friends the need for a licence referred to above is nothing to do with Performing Rights (as it is in the UK) but simply that a new law brought in on July 10th means that to perform anywhere (basically) the venue needs a licence.

This is in addition to performance rights. Try Licensing Bill in Mudcat if your computer has enough space and you can see the controversy this has caused.

Dave
www.collectorsfolk.co.uk


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Subject: RE: Borders Fires Singer for Bush Joke
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 31 Jul 03 - 06:03 PM

Not strictly true - even before the new act there was a ban on live musical performances without a licence om amu place freely open to tey p8blic in England except in church - or in pubs, if there were only two people playing. The new law has just changed the arrangements for getting a licence, and removed the two-in-a-bar exemption.

There was a case a couple of years ago when a big bookshop arranged to have a string quartet play some Mozart - the authorities intervened and they couldn't play. So everyone sat and listened to a record of the quartet, which was legal!

But all this is drift, and this isn't the thread to pusue the matter. (Put PEL in the search engine if you wan tto fiund oput more, and stand back...)

So far as this US episode is concerned, the issue surely isn't that the bookshop might have the legal right to say who plays on theri premises and who doesn't - it's that there is something pretty weird about anyone who thinks that "Mr Bush has skinny legs" is a significant insult.


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Subject: RE: Borders Fires Singer for Bush Joke
From: SINSULL
Date: 31 Jul 03 - 08:22 PM

I myself have never seen a picture of Baby Bush's legs. Has one been published? If not, how did she and Don Firth know? More strange behavior in the Oval Office? And was the pretzel reference suggesting that his legs are not only skinny but also that something was twisted? Another presidential sex scandal? Oh, I hope so. I am so sick and tired of the news out of Iraq.

Get out of my way, Don. They are after me not you.


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Subject: RE: Borders Fires Singer for Bush Joke
From: Barry Finn
Date: 31 Jul 03 - 08:27 PM

It is a bit ironic that a book store would dictate what an artists says or sings (probably not any more than a library having to keep records on what their patrons check out). Maybe Border Books is in the wrong business, they might fare well in politics, they do seem to be marching in fashion with the goosestep of the times. Barry


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Subject: RE: Borders Fires Singer for Bush Joke
From: M.Ted
Date: 31 Jul 03 - 08:36 PM

Kevin, For what it's worth, Fredricksburg is both a college town and a tourist town--The townies tend to be a mix of artsy/hippy types(not a put down, just an easy description) and Virginia good ol' people-- The tourists are combination of affluent yuppies in search of overpriced antiques/junk and military history buffs who wander through the Civil War Battlefields and try to figure out where who slaughtered who--The town is a short drive from the Pentagon, plenty of both the yuppies and the history buffs are connected to the military, and some will do whatever it takes to show their loyalty--

Funny thing is that in Texas, both the loyal and the unloyal would have just gotten a big laugh out of the joke--


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Subject: RE: Borders Fires Singer for Bush Joke
From: Rapparee
Date: 31 Jul 03 - 09:42 PM

I thing, but then I'm no lawyer, that if you accept an offer of a place to perform in public you are entering into a contract (offer, acceptance). That would mean that you, as a sort of contract employee, would have to abide by their rules regarding the use of the space. For instance, if a bar offered you a place to perform and thereby expose your talents to the public, and you accepted the offer, you would be bound to abide by their rules (e.g., you have to give us 10% of any CDs you sell on our premises).

They are offering you, in exchange for your talents, a place where you can showcase those talents. Of course, they hope that you'll attract customers who will buy beer, books, coffee -- something -- and help keep them profitable. In the best world both sides gain from the encounter.

The thing to do is to ask for the rules up front, obviously. If the manager or whoever's in charge says, "Keep it clean, but otherwise no problem" you'd have a gripe if you were "fired" for political humor. Most managers probably haven't thought even that far ahead.

But as I said, I'm not a lawyer.


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Subject: RE: Borders Fires Singer for Bush Joke
From: IvanB
Date: 31 Jul 03 - 11:59 PM

Unfortunately, I doubt that Borders offers a union gig, so the artist really has no protection - she can be fired for almost any reason they want to give (or, for that matter, for no reason at all, which would have been a wiser choice in this situation). Her 1st amendment rights weren't violated - she was allowed to make her statement, the store just decided not to give her a venue for making any more - entirely within their rights. It's also a fact that they get to bear the consequences of their action in terms of ill will, bad publicity and possibly decreased sales.


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Subject: RE: Borders Fires Singer for Bush Joke
From: M.Ted
Date: 01 Aug 03 - 12:10 AM

You have an interesting point, Rapaire--the musician is techincally a contractor--the contractor is different from an employee though, the agreement is more like selling a product--you get music for a certain amount of time at a certain place, I get money. The parties are on equal footing, and each is responsible for specifying to the other what they expect--The problem is that with gigs of this kind, not a lot is spelled out, and when there are problems, no one is really sure who was supposed to do what--


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Subject: RE: Borders Fires Singer for Bush Joke
From: GUEST
Date: 01 Aug 03 - 12:56 AM

Uh, guys--you did read what the "offending statement" was, didn't you? If not, let me repeat it again for you:

"George Bush has chicken legs. He needs to pump some iron."

That's what got her fired. Now, you tell me how making an innocuous comment about the president gets put "off limits" in a contract, and you might be talking sense.

Also, as I have pointed out, it isn't just about free speech. The store is interfering with her trade, or in lay terms, her ability to make a living.


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Subject: RE: Borders Fires Singer for Bush Joke
From: Wilfried Schaum
Date: 01 Aug 03 - 03:11 AM

Big Brother is watching you again? In the home of the brave and the land of the free?
Raise, ye loyal citizens, and fight for your rights!

Wilfried


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Subject: RE: Borders Fires Singer for Bush Joke
From: Maryrrf
Date: 01 Aug 03 - 09:14 AM

While they may have legally had the right to fire her - and I'm pretty sure they did, it is inconceivable that customers would get so bent out of shape about hearing a silly but harmless comment like that to the point where they would complain - I can't imagine, and unbelievable that Borders fired her. What is happening to this country!!! Since when are we not allowed to criticize of poke fun at the president????


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Subject: RE: Borders Fires Singer for Bush Joke
From: GUEST
Date: 01 Aug 03 - 09:19 AM

no - the store is not interfering with her trade - not unless they go to OTHER venues and attempt (or succeed) in having her banned/fired. They are under no sort of obligation to allow her to perform in THEIR venue. who they hire or not hire is up to them - within the limitations that they can't dicriminate based on race, creed, sex , etc.


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Subject: RE: Borders Fires Singer for Bush Joke
From: Blackcatter
Date: 01 Aug 03 - 09:38 AM

Finally peopel are making sense on this issue - it has nothing to do with free speech and trying to say so only causes confusion.

I'm sorry she was fired, but hopefully the press will casue some problems for the Borders. (has anyone here have the phone number of that particular Borders so we can all CALL them and complain?)

Talking about this is fine, but are any of you who are righteously upset, gonna do anything about it?


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Subject: RE: Borders Fires Singer for Bush Joke
From: M.Ted
Date: 01 Aug 03 - 11:26 AM

I've been thinking about this, and IvanB and Blackcatter, I believe that you are both mistaken--for this reason--

I have had some experience in dealing with employment law, and, while it is true that you can terminate someone for no reason, it is also true that if there is a reason given, it can't be an illegal reason, such as race, creed, sex--I think that terminating someone for the excercising the freedom of expression , particularly an artist, who you have actually contracted with to express themselves, falls under the catagory of an illegal reason--

That is if this is an employment situation, but it isn't--it is a contract tor service, which would means that neither party can unilaterally terminate "at will" , like you can for employment--There are a lot of standard, customary reasons that are acceptable for terminating a performance contract, but it seems to me that you would have a hard time convincing a judge that it was reasonable to terminate a contract(that is, cancel the upcoming gigs) because someone objected to political/topical joke, particularly when you knew that the performer did political/topical material--

I am not a lawyer, but I have read a number of court decisions on freedom of expression issues, and the court is very, very, concerned about protecting these rights, and takes a very dim view of any actions, particulary arbitrary and capricious actions, that curtail them--


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Subject: RE: Borders Fires Singer for Bush Joke
From: GUEST,Martin Gibson
Date: 01 Aug 03 - 11:40 AM

Rapaire's post makes the most sense here to me.

The Border's near me is a fine store, has the biggest bluegrass CD selection around, brings in bluegrass acts, and is a well run business. They serve the community well. I will continue to support them.

All the whining about the comments. More then likely there were other issues that some found offensive and casued Borders to react.

They are a business, and their best interests are their business.


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Subject: RE: Borders Fires Singer for Bush Joke
From: Grab
Date: 01 Aug 03 - 12:00 PM

MTed, it depends if she's employed. Doesn't sound like she's signed a contract or anything, Borders are just allowing her to play there.

Graham.


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Subject: RE: Borders Fires Singer for Bush Joke
From: GUEST
Date: 01 Aug 03 - 12:15 PM

Well, none of us knows if she had a contract with each of the Borders she performs at or not. But MTed is the only one here who seems to know what he is talking about.

As I said, if this is a situation where a contract was signed between the Fredericksburg Borders store and the artist in question, then it is Borders who has violated that contract, not the artist. I agree with MTed that the artist may well have a case, perhaps an employment law case if she was legally an employee (unlikely), or perhaps an impingement of trade case, if a contract existed. It is clear that the artist's repertoire was known to the Borders managment, as they helped to promote her in-store appearances. One can't just break a contract because an artist does what they are contracted to do, because someone complains about the political speech content of the performance.

Considering all the positive attention the firing has garnered for her, if she did have a contract, I would hope that she would help others as well as herself, and hire a good attorney to sue Borders over the action, whether it be a contract or employment action. The action most certainly does have profound First Amendment implications, and that is what any lawsuit brought by her should focus upon, IMO.


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Subject: RE: Borders Fires Singer for Bush Joke
From: GUEST,Martin Gibson
Date: 01 Aug 03 - 12:48 PM

You can bet that if she makes trouble, no one will hire her again, if she was even hired. I've played before at Borders in groups and there is no pay, no formal contract.


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Subject: RE: Borders Fires Singer for Bush Joke
From: Frankham
Date: 01 Aug 03 - 02:08 PM

Hi Kat,

In response to Ari Fleischer (a thread creep..belongs below) it seems to me that they (administration) are operating on an antequated view of the world popular in WWII. (Loose lips sink ships). This is their coatrack, so to speak. Also, "Clear and Present Danger". Can't forget that old warhorse.

Mudcatters, where the issue doesn't belong below is clearly this.
Ari Fleischer might be telling you "Be careful what you sing" as well.

Fredricksburg impresses me as being a very Conservative part of the US. The reality of this is that civil liberties has always taken a back seat to cultural bias. There is a myth about the US that it is a free country. There are still places in the South where you have to watch what you say or instigate violence. This is not freedom.
Some of you might remember the lesson at Peekskill.

It's the height of hypocrisy to allow songs about Clinton and Monica and to denounce a song about George's skinny legs. I believe that in censoring any negative reference in a song about the (P)resident is trashing the Bill of Rights. But this is a new wrinkle. Ike played golf. JFK was called "Jack the Zipper". "LBJ, how many did you kill today?" Ronnie's famous "war career" and now Borders has taken it on themselves to get upset with George's skinny legs? I think that the ACLU should become involved.

Be careful what you sing and play. Loose strings sink ships. :)

Frank Hamilton


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Subject: RE: Borders Fires Singer for Bush Joke
From: Kim C
Date: 01 Aug 03 - 02:25 PM

Chicken legs. Big deal.

Maybe the store manager already had something against this artist and was just looking for an excuse to get rid of her.

I enjoy Borders. I won't let the actions of one stupid store manager influence my decision to patronize the chain. In a chain situation, there are lots of stupid things that go on, that have nothing at all to do with corporate policy.

I have to say, though, that while I really enjoy visiting the state of Virginia - Fredericksburg is probably my least favorite place. I went into a shop there, looked around for several minutes, and left, without anyone saying hello, goodbye, kiss my ass. And yes, the shopkeeper knew I was there, because she was sitting right by the door. There were only two establishments in Fredericksburg that didn't treat Mister and me like we had lobsters crawling out our ears - one relic shop, and one coffeehouse. (not a Starbucks, either, by the way)


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Subject: RE: Borders Fires Singer for Bush Joke
From: GUEST,Martin Gibson
Date: 01 Aug 03 - 02:57 PM

Kim C. said:

"Maybe the store manager already had something against this artist and was just looking for an excuse to get rid of her.

I enjoy Borders. I won't let the actions of one stupid store manager influence my decision to patronize the chain. In a chain situation, there are lots of stupid things that go on, that have nothing at all to do with corporate policy."


You have a lot of common sense. Your common sense approach is so refreshing compared to all the political posturing, constitution babbling, and lawyer wannabees.

Take Care!


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Subject: RE: Borders Fires Singer for Bush Joke
From: Mark Ross
Date: 01 Aug 03 - 02:57 PM

Borders is definitely an anti-union shop! See Michael Moore's THE BIG ONE. The IWW tried to organize in Philly 10 years or so ago, and they fired the organizer. This doesn't surprise me at all, it's corporate fascism and I refuse to shop there.

In Solidarity,

Mark Ross


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Subject: RE: Borders Fires Singer for Bush Joke
From: katlaughing
Date: 01 Aug 03 - 03:04 PM

My first impression of a brand new Borders here was very negative. They were new and I did try to be patient, but none of them knoew how to look up a book on the database, didn't know where the section was that said book might be shelved in, etc. I finally left after 10 minutes of fraying patience. Went down the street to Barnes & Noble had the book fetched and in hand and was out of there within 5 minutes. Borders should not have opened until they were well trained in operating!

Hi, Frank,

Bit more thread creep. You may be right about the way they meant it, but I think if you read it in context from the above linked article, it seems a bit more sinister. Sorry, I probably should have posted the whole paragraph before. Referring to the chicken legs comment:

That seems to be the comment that got Rose in trouble, though she also sang a tribute to Bill Maher, the liberal comedian and former host of ABC's Politically Incorrect who after the 9/11 attacks made comments condemned as supportive of terrorist zealotry and critical of U.S. military tactics. Maher apologized but still suffered the wrath of viewers, advertisers and, eventually, the network that killed his show.

Reacting to Maher's comments, then-White House spokesman Ari Fleischer said, "There are reminders to all Americans that they need to watch what they say, watch what they do."


kat


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Subject: RE: Borders Fires Singer for Bush Joke
From: GUEST,Martin Gibson
Date: 01 Aug 03 - 03:20 PM

Too bad Mark Ross.

Borders Blend is a fine coffee. They probably also have that CD you can't get anywhere else.

Don't you think spouting "corporate fascism" is a bit dated?


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Subject: RE: Borders Fires Singer for Bush Joke
From: M.Ted
Date: 01 Aug 03 - 03:29 PM

I am curious, Martin Gibson, why you find it necessary to insult people--it doesn't seem to me that you really want this discussion to take place--curious to why that is--

Also, in the larger sense, why is the world's largest bookstore entitled to engage musicians but not pay them? I isn't a charitable event, in fact, it is a promotional effort intended to increase revenues for the store--musicians, like other skilled tradespersons, ought to be paid--People would be outraged if they tried to get masons to lay tile for free, or glazers to put in those big glass windows for free--if they demanded electricians to rewire those annoying fluorescent fixtures for free, they would be enormous outrage--

Don't tell me that it is the exposure--how much is that exposure worth when the main opportunity is playing for them?


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Subject: RE: Borders Fires Singer for Bush Joke
From: Kim C
Date: 01 Aug 03 - 03:33 PM

Thanks Martin. :-)

The truth is...... we have several fine bookstores in Nashville, and rarely do ANY of them have everything I'm looking for. B&N has no books on belly dancing, and while they have a great selection of books in Spanish, they don't have anything in any other foreign language (aside from the usual language reference books). Which is strange, because Bookstar (which is owned by B&N) has a shelf of foreign language books. But neither of them have many foreign language magazines - usually Spanish, sometimes French, but little else.

Davis-Kidd (which used to be locally-owned, but got sold to a company based in Tennessee) usually has some German magazines, but no books.

All of them have crappy history sections, and fairly poor art sections.

Borders has a GREAT bargain table.

Anymore, I get most of my books online, either from Amazon, or Alibris.


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Subject: RE: Borders Fires Singer for Bush Joke
From: GUEST,Martin Gibson
Date: 01 Aug 03 - 04:43 PM

Well, M. Ted

Why the hell would I not want something like this discussion to take place? Who cares?

No one is forcing anyone to play for free at Borders. No one has to if they don't want to. They DO play there for exposure or for the fun of it. I did. Just like an open mike night in some gin mill sells beer, performers in the Border's Cafe sells books and CDs.

I'll take Borders. At least there are no drunks. Also, the lighting's better.


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Subject: RE: Borders Fires Singer for Bush Joke
From: Maryrrf
Date: 01 Aug 03 - 05:01 PM

The way it works at Borders is that you do have a contract and it is given to you by the regional manager. In this case, Fredericksburg is under the same regional manager as Richmond and some other stores in Virginia. You get the "free drinks" and an opportunity to play "for exposure". I occasionally play at Borders in Richmond and enjoy it, the people who work there are nice and friendly, it's usually a nice, attentive audience that enables me to experiment with some of my quieter material, and I sell CD's and promote my other upcoming performances. As I said before, the two times I played in Fredericksburg I didn't enjoy it and I won't play there again. I was rudely treated the first time but I did play a second time because I had a contract and decided to honor it. Although Borders is a chain I guess the individual management at each store is different and the "atmosphere" is different. The one in Richmond is very pleasant and they have a very good selection of music - at least I'd say it's the best selection around here. I also enjoy browsing the the books and magazines. Having said that I'm now debating if I'll play there again. They could at least offer the store credits, like they used to.


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