Media Blog

Toby Keith (I)

A bunch of bloggers are jumping on Michael Ledeen’s recent visit to a Toby Keith concert. Andrew Sullivan calls him a “poseur,” for example.

Annie Marie-Cox takes it a little further:

One problem: Toby Keith also hates America. That is, if you believe, as Ledeen does, that being against the war in Iraq is the exact same thing as being anti-American:

Keith doesn’t support the Iraq war — “Never did,” he says — and he favors setting a time limit on the occupation.

You know, I have a feeling I know exactly what Keith — er, “Toby” to Ledeen — would say to anyone who tried to tell him that his position on the war drew his patriotism into question…
[h/t: Andrew]

I’m not sure it’s a safe bet to “have a feeling I know exactly what” Toby Keith thinks about anything. He’s pretty independent. For example, how many people do you know who’ve voted for Bill Clinton twice and for Bush 41 twice? Here’s a good interview with Toby Keith from a few days ago in the Arizona Republic to give readers some insight into what he’s really thinking. Some key excerpts:

“You can’t just say I’m a lefty or a righty all up and down the board. Whatever makes you feel better as an American and what makes your community better, you have to vote along those lines,” Keith said.
“Just punching the ticket on (one) side and saying, ‘That’s my agenda,’ to me is really ignorant.”


In Keith’s world view, taking a stand is important and something he has never shied away from in songs like The Angry American, American Soldier and Beer for My Horses. (The last song, a duet with Nelson, advocates swift justice for modern-day gangsters and terrorists at the end of a rope or a gun barrel.)


Keith, 46, said he walks a fine line between his unfailing support for U.S. troops – he has performed 100 shows in overseas war zones for five years straight – and the early doubts he voiced about the invasion of Iraq. (He now believes that intelligence that the general public doesn’t have access to probably supports America’s mission in Iraq.)

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