NFL's kickoff concert: A political football?
Is tomorrow’s NFL Opening Kickoff 2005 special turning into an anti-Bush fest? Some conservative bloggers think so, since Kanye West, the Rolling Stones, Green Day, and Maroon 5 are on the bill. (Maroon 5? Pundit Michelle Malkin criticizes the band for performing at last year’s Democratic National Convention, though they played at a non-partisan Rock the Vote event. However, frontman Adam Levine had harsh and occasionally profane words for President Bush in this Rolling Stone interview.)
The NFL, however, is still in post-Janet mode, and it will apparently be keeping a tighter leash on its performers than NBC did at last week’s hastily assembled telethon. For one thing, the Kanye and Rolling Stones segments will be pre-taped. It’s not like the Stones are going to be allowed to sing ”Sweet Neo Con.” And West said in a press conference yesterday that he’ll stick to the script during tomorrow’s ABC broadcast. On the topic of governmental response to Katrina, West said, ”I can’t say anything about it or wear any T-shirts that say anything about it.”
Besides, its absurd to think that the NFL wants to alienate anyone by courting political controversy. ”We are working with the Rolling Stones, Kanye West and Green Day for their entertainment value, not for their political views,” NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy told the Boston Herald. ”We don’t anticipate any issues with our performers.”
By the way, Kanye’s Late Registration is expected to have sold about 900,000 copies this week, as we’ll see when the Billboard chart comes out later today. Chart impact of his comments Friday is apparently zilch.