By Sandy Fitzgerald
Country music star John Rich says conservative singers like himself don’t speak their minds about their political views because they fear “liberal-run media outlets,” including some radio stations, will quit playing their music.
“They are not saying what they want to say because they know, if they do, the liberal-run record label that they’re on or the liberal-run media outlets, including a lot of country radio, won’t play their songs anymore,” Rich said on the “Cadillac Jack: My Second Act” podcast, hosted by former Cumulus Media “Kicks 101.5” WKHX-FM Atlanta morning host Cadillac Jack and his wife, Donna Choate, reports InsideRadio.
He added that “not all” stations are like that, but “enough of them that it would definitely hurt their career if they came out like I come out.”
Rich said, without naming names, that he’s had “quasi-counseling sessions” with artists who are “many multiple times more successful than I am” about expressing their concerns.
He also said he remained silent for many years, but then one day he “just felt bad” about himself.
“That is not integrity to feel strongly about a subject and not exercise your freedom of speech for fear of retaliation by the other side,” Rich said. “‘Is your freedom of speech for sale or not?’ That’s kind of the question I asked myself. Hell, no, it’s not for sale. You can’t scare me into silence.”
Rich added that there are maybe “other people” who feel like he does, and he believes that “when I step out and say it loud enough, maybe they’ll follow me in that direction. I think we’re starting to see a little bit of that now.”
Rich frequently speaks out against liberal censorship, including earlier this year when he weighed in after then-President Donald Trump’s social media accounts, particularly on Twitter, were blocked after the Jan. 6 Capitol attack.
“The list of country artists calling me is growing by the day who are saying they’re being ‘muzzled’ by the industry when it comes to them expressing their frustration and anger about the targeting of conservatives, and suppression of free speech by the powers that be,” he tweeted at the time.
Rich, who has a program on “Fox Nation,” said during a recent panel discussion on Fox’s “Outnumbered” that he plans to write a new song about the “cancel culture offensive thing,” and is calling the song “‘I’m Offended That You’re Offended.’ It’s going to be coming soon to a radio station near you. You’re gonna love it … It’s basically that I find it offensive that you are offended by things that are really not that offensive. I think it’s going to hit the target. It’s going to be good.”