In 2003, the Dixie Chicks were flambeed for exercising their first amendment rights. The beginning of the demise of all of our constitutional rights. If you are professional entertainer you do not check your basic liberties at the stage door. For them to be told by the far right to "shut up and sing" is outrageous.
I guess when we are imposing a Jeffersonian democracy in the Middle East we are supposed to suspend our rights at home.
The fact that they won five grammys speaks to the sea change in the attitude of the country.