Tony Bennett just might be having a Dixie Chicks moment. If so, it’s because of remarks the legendary singer made on Howard Stern’s Sirius Radio show Monday night about the level of culpability the U.S. had in the 9/11 terrorists’ attacks.
“They flew the planes in, but we caused it,” Bennett, 85, said on the show. “Because we were bombing them and they told us to stop.”
“But who are the terrorists? Are we the terrorists or are they the terrorists? Two wrongs don’t make a right,” said Bennett in reply to being asked what the U.S. should do about terrorism
In 2003, the Dixie Chicks were boycotted by the record industry when they said they were “ashamed” to be from Texas, the home state of President Bush. The reaction to their remarks, made at a concert in London on the eve of the Iraq war, all but knocked the group from the top of the charts.
Bennett also referenced Bush on the Stern show, saying that the former president “told me personally that,” he made a “mistake” in invading Iraq. The two were together at an event at the Kennedy Center honoring Bennett in 2005.
Bennett, who is promoting his new album “Duets II,” is considered one of the great vocalists in American music history with hits like “Rags to Riches” and “I Left My Heart in San Francisco.” He had a career revival with his 1994 album “MTV Unplugged,” and he appeared on the most recent MTV Video Music Awards in a tribute to the late Amy Winehouse, who appears on “Duets II.”
He’s been active in social causes throughout his lifetime, participating in Civil Rights marches in the South in the ’60s and refusing to perform in South Africa while it was under apartheid rule.
Bennett also spoke to Stern of his experiences in World War II as a combat soldier.
“I’m anti-war,” he said. “It’s the lowest form of human behavior.”
The question here is if Bennett’s 9/11 remarks will have a negative effect on his career from here on out, or if he’ll get a pass because of his age and service to the country or because of a shift in the country’s feelings toward 9/11.
Attempts to reach Bennett’s personal rep and record label rep for clarification of the remarks were unsuccessful.
Photo courtesy of WENN.com