Country music and "American Carol" star Trace Adkins appeared on the December 1 edition of "The O’Reilly Factor" to decry liberal pop stars preaching from the stage. Channeling Laura Ingraham, Adkins said of fellow entertainers "I just want to hear your tunes. I don’t want to hear you puke up your liberal stuff at me." Host Bill O’Reilly jokingly observed "that sounds like a song."
Adkins explained that. despite his conservative politics, he does not "use the stage as a political platform" because people spent their "hard earned money" to hear him sing not preach. When O’Reilly asked if such political preaching is "annoying" the country singer affirmatively replied "it is to me" to those artists who feel "more enlightened" than most.
The transcript follows.
BILL O’REILLY: There’s no doubt that you’re a conservative traditional guy and many country music performers are there. And then you go to Hollywood where you were and then New York with the music industry and you see very liberal people. Why the split?
TRACE ADKINS: You know, there is a split I, I would agree with you there, but I would have to say too, though, I know a lot of guys in the rock, pop world that are conservative. It’s just that they can’t really be that outspoken and out front with it because their fan base is not going to appreciate it and they’re going to, you know, and so I think that, that’s why the perception is the way it is.
O’REILLY: So are you saying that because the pop world is probably more liberal, they don’t say anything, is the converse true because the fan base in the music world is more conservative, that, that’s why people go that way?
ADKINS: Well, I think there probably are more conservatives in country music. I didn’t mean to insinuate the opposite. But I think that ones that are liberal that do sing country music, they just aren’t very vocal about it.
O’REILLY: Well, look what happened to the Dixie Chicks. They lost their fan base-
ADKINS: Perfect example.
O’REILLY: -in, in country music. So it’s almost a reverse pressure on the performers in the music industry. You have to figure out what your base wants to hear, not only musically but also if you want to delve into these politics.
ADKINS: Yeah, or you can just choose to do kind of what I do and I just don’t put it out there too much. I don’t talk about it that much, you know. And I certainly don’t do it on stage in my shows because-
O’REILLY: Why not?
ADKINS: Because people don’t buy tickets, they don’t spend their hard earned money to buy tickets to come to their show to hear me get on stage and preach to them my political philosophy. And, and I don’t use the stage as a political platform. I get up there and sing the songs that they’ve heard on the radio, songs that they’ve heard on my albums. That’s what they came to hear.
O’REILLY: Now, Willie Nelson, he does the opposite.
ADKINS: There, well, there are some entertainers who are known for, for that. And you know when you buy a ticket to their show-
O’REILLY: You’re going to get that.
ADKINS: You’re going to get preached too.
ADKINS: But I, I never been on that-
O’REILLY: Do you think, do you think, is that annoying to you?
ADKINS: It is to me, you know, because I think that there are a lot of people that buy into this thing and they start buying into their own press and their own hype-
O’REILLY: Aren’t you an artist?
ADKINS: You know, I’m a singer man. I sing country songs right? The artist sings-
O’REILLY: You write them too though.
ADKINS: I write some, yeah. But I, I think that some of the artists start thinking that they’re more enlightened than you or I are.
O’REILLY: But you’re a movie star too.
O’REILLY: I mean, you’re an actor, you’re a writer, you’re a song- and singer. You’re really an artist.
ADKINS: I, you know, I have a good time trying to entertain people. I don’t consider myself, you know, Picasso was an artist, you know. And I do know some artists in the music business, some guys that write and are experts in their particular instrument and they’re good singers and that thing.
O’REILLY: Well, so what you’re saying to me is that when you see these people, like Neil Young is probably the best example, take themselves ultra seriously, that takes away from the entertainment value?
ADKINS: It does to me, sort of, you know. I just want to hear the tunes and I don’t want to hear you puke up your, you know, liberal stuff on me. I don’t want, I don’t want that.
O’REILLY: You puke up your liberal stuff- that sounds like a song, that you may be able to make!
ADKINS: Well, you got to wait until it dries to brush it off, you know, I don’t want that.
O’REILLY: Look, you know, I’m with you. You know, when I pay the money to go see you guys, I just want to be entertained by what you guys do.
ADKINS: Just take me away for a few months.
O’REILLY: You know, I got to do this five days a week here. I don’t want to hear it when I’m on my down time.