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July 19, 2004
Linda Rondstadt Discovers Free-Market Economics

My friend and Northern Alliance colleague Big Trunk at Power Line relates the economic education of yet another radical entertainer, this one Linda Ronstadt, who was relevant as late as 1987. Ronstadt misjudged her Las Vegas audience and tried to inject politics into her act during an encore, but the audience -- which paid to hear her sing, not talk -- gave her a rousing rendition of the Tremeloes' "Silence Is Golden":

Singer Linda Ronstadt not only got booed, she got the boot after lauding filmmaker Michael Moore and his new movie "Fahrenheit 9/11" during a performance at the Aladdin hotel-casino.

Before singing "Desperado" for an encore Saturday night, the 58-year-old rocker called Moore a "great American patriot" and "someone who is spreading the truth." She also encouraged everybody to see the documentary about President Bush.

Ronstadt's comments drew loud boos and some of the 4,500 people in attendance stormed out of the theater. People also tore down concert posters and tossed cocktails into the air....

Timmins, who is British and was watching the show, decided Ronstadt had to go for good. Timmins said he didn't allow Ronstadt back in her luxury suite and she was escorted off the property. Ronstadt's antics "spoiled a wonderful evening for our guests and we had to do something about it," Timmins said.

No one disputes Ronstadt's right to speak her mind, and conversely, no one should dispute the audience the same right to criticize Rondstadt. After all, everyone exercised their right to free speech that night, including Timmins, who I think went just a tad overboard by kicking her out of the hotel that same night. (The next morning would have been fine and just a bit more classy, IMO.)

I fully expect that Ronstadt and her colleagues will be screaming about repression of Ronstadt's rights and the new McCarthyism, especially an idiotic Elton John, who's been singing that song since before the 2000 election. Instead, someone should explain the free market to Ronstadt, where people expect to receive the services for which they've paid. In this case, they expected an evening of entertainment, and instead, Ronstadt turned the show into a political event. Not only is that dishonest, but also incredibly foolish, as the average Las Vegas patron is unlikely to be a big fan of Michael Moore. One hint is that casinos are not well-known for their popularity amongst anti-capitalists and social reformers.

The AP story has a great finish:

In an interview with the Las Vegas Review-Journal before the show, Ronstadt said "I keep hoping that if I'm annoying enough to them, they won't hire me back."

Looks like she got her wish.

UPDATE: Jonah Goldberg at The Corner notes that this isn't the first time she's dedicated "Desperado" to Michael Moore, an odd thing to do considering that she didn't write the song and Moore was a schoolboy when it was first performed.

UPDATE II: Goldberg again, this time with an e-mail from someone supposedly at the Aladdin who says Timmins blew this way out of proportion ... perhaps to justify throwing Ronstadt out of the hotel. Not sure why he'd need to do that, though -- all he'd have to say is that some customers were unhappy with the political speech, which the e-mailer doesn't dispute.

Sphere It Digg! View blog reactions
Posted by Ed Morrissey at July 19, 2004 4:58 PM

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Linda Ronstadt who started her career as a singer, more recently, has morphed into a political editorialist. "My career has befuddled other people, and it's befuddled me," she has been quoted as saying. In explaining her political stance she ... [Read More]

Tracked on August 28, 2004 12:36 AM

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