Here's your ironic story of the week, folks: According to a story from Reuters/Hollywood Reporter, The Weinstein Company (TWC) issued a press release late Thursday lambasting NBC for refusing to run an ad for the film Dixie Chicks: Shut Up and Sing!

The documentary tells about the period three years ago when the Chicks stirred up mountains of controversy after lead Chick Natalie Maines said during a London concert that the Chicks were ashamed President Bush is from Texas.

TWC also released documents that appeared to be from NBCs advertising standards division with handwritten remarks about the film having material that "disparges President Bush."
The release also went after the CW Network, which says it had concerns about having "appropriate programming in which to schedule this spot." Harvey Weinstein said in the release, "It's a sad commentary about the level of fear in our society that a movie about a group of courageous entertainers who were blacklisted for exercising their right of free speech is now itself being blacklisted by corporate America."

How hilariously ridiculous is it that NBC would refuse to run an ad for a movie that's about artists being censored for publicly stating a political opinion? What exactly where the thought processes going on around the Peacock nest about this? "Heck, Gene, we can't run ads that show these uppity womenfolk talking bad about the president, that's downright un-American." "Damn straight, Lloyd. Those mouthy bitches need to STFU. They're givin' my woman ... ideas."

Freedom of speech is one of the most precious rights we have, and those Weinsteins are certainly using their fair share with this release. Now exercise your own right to free speech: The networks have the right, of course, to air or not air what they want. But in this case, was it a completely stupid thing to do? And do you think Harvey Weinstein is legitmately self-righteous about the free speech issue, or is he wisely just taking advantage of a blustery way to call attention to the film?

The film opens today in New York and Los Angeles.

More on the Dixie Chicks:

Interview with Shut Up and Sing directors Barbara Kopple and Cecilia Peck

The Weinsteins Whistle Dixie