- The Washington Times - Friday, November 3, 2017

UPDATE:

Responding to backlash, the CMA announced Friday afternoon that it had lifted the press guidelines.

CMA apologizes for the recently distributed restrictions in the CMA Awards media guidelines, which have since been lifted,” the organization said in a statement. “The sentiment was not to infringe and was created with the best of intentions to honor and celebrate Country Music.”

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The Country Music Association is asking reporters to avoid asking artists at the upcoming awards ceremony any questions about their political affiliations or views on gun rights in light of last month’s mass shooting in Las Vegas.

Organizers issued press guidelines for Wednesday’s 51st annual CMA Awards held in Nashville, saying the event should be a celebration of country music unmarred by partisan politics.

“In light of recent events, and out of respect for the artists directly or indirectly involved, please refrain from focusing your coverage of the CMA Awards Red Carpet and Backstage Media Center on the Las Vegas tragedy, gun rights, political affiliations or topics of the like,” the organization said in its guidelines, obtained by Nashville Scene.

“It’s vital, more so this year than in year’s past due to the sensitivities at hand, that the CMA Awards be a celebration of Country Music and the artists that make this genre so great,” it continued. “It’s an evening to honor the outstanding achievements in Country Music of the previous year and we want everyone to feel comfortable talking to press about this exciting time.”

Media personnel risk having their credentials revoked “via security escort” if they violate the guidelines, the organization said.

Several musicians took to Twitter to criticize the rules.

“I’m sure the CMA will do the right thing and rescind these ridiculous and unfair press guidelines. In 3…2….1…..,” country music star Brad Paisley, who is co-hosting Wednesday’s event, tweeted to his more than 4.3 million followers.

Singer Ryan Adams joked that only topics like “Bacon” and “Cammo bedsheets” would be allowed at this year’s CMA Awards.

“Well @CountryMusic should be ashamed of this,” singer Will Hoge added. “As should every journalist, artist, and writer involved in the show.”

The guidelines come just one month after a gunman opened fire from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay hotel in Las Vegas, killing 58 people and injuring 546 attending a country music festival while Jason Aldean was performing.

The Oct. 1 tragedy renewed calls on the left for stricter gun control.


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