The only thing we did was right was the day we started to fight

Bruce Springsteen on Ann Coulter, the media and George W. Bush.

Published June 23, 2006 3:51PM (EDT)

CNN's Soledad O'Brien scored an interview with Bruce Springsteen, and she used the opportunity to make the obligatory suggestion that there's something wrong with musicians -- rather than televangelists or bodybuilders or exterminators or failed oilmen -- who state their views about politics.

"Yeah," Springsteen responded, "they should let Ann Coulter do it instead."

Regular readers will know that we're all for giving Coulter the what-for -- but also that the wrath of the reasonable really ought to be directed at the hairdos who give her a stage on national TV and the Republicans who do nothing to distance themselves from her when she advocates, say, the assassination of a member of Congress.

Springsteen understands that, as he made perfectly clear in his own version of a Jon-Stewart-on-"Crossfire" moment. Think Progress has the video and the transcript. Here's an excerpt:

O'Brien: There is a whole school of thought, as you well know, that says that musicians -- I mean you see it with the Dixie Chicks -- you know, go play your music and stop.

Springsteen: Well, if you turn it on, present company included, the idiots rambling on on cable television on any given night of the week, and you're saying that musicians shouldn't speak up? It's insane. It's funny.

O'Brien: As a musician though, I'd be curious to know if there is a concern that you start talking about politics; you came out at one point and said, I think in USA Today, listen, the country would be better off if George Bush were replaced as president. Is there a worry where you start getting political and you could alienate your audience?

Springsteen: Well that's called common sense. I don't even see that as politics at this point ... You don't take a country like the United States into a major war on circumstantial evidence. You lose your job for that. That's my opinion, and I have no problem voicing it.

By Tim Grieve

Tim Grieve is a senior writer and the author of Salon's War Room blog.

MORE FROM Tim Grieve

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