Madonna In A Tinfoil Hat

A conspiracy theory involving Madonna, Clear Channel radio stations and politics is wending its way through the mainstream media.

“The Scoop,” an online MSNBC gossip column, floated the theory that Madonna’s antiwar opinions have kept her new music off of Clear Channel stations, á la Dixie Chicks. The three singles from Confessions on a Dance Floor have received middling airplay in the U.S. despite being hits overseas, especially in Maddy’s new home of England.

About 6,000 people have signed a petition at to Clear Channel CEO Mark Mays.

“This has been going on ever since Madonna released the song ‘American Life’ with an accompanying controversial and thought-provoking music video,” the petition reads. “After that, fans/admirers were getting the impression that American radio was boycotting her and her music, but we couldn’t be sure because the singles from the album American Life weren’t exactly worldwide SMASHES. Not up to Madonna’s usual level of succes (sic) anyway. But then came Confessions On A Dance Floor, with its first single, ‘Hung Up.'”

The single was a worldwide success, according to the petition, but not in the U.S. Fans who called in to New York City’s Z100 radio station were allegedly told the song had to become a hit on smaller radio stations before getting added to the playlist.

The MSNBC story soon appeared in The Miami Herald.

A couple of facts refute the theory: First, U.S. radio is dominated by R&B and hip-hop, versus Madonna’s return to dance music. Then there’s the interesting tidbit that Mark Mays is vice chairman of the board for Live Nation, so keeping Madonna off the airwaves sure would make things awkward the next time he ran into the Confessions tour promoter – and Live Nation’s chairman of global music – Arthur Fogel.

It’s true that Madonna had a lot more media attention in the days when she first moved to England and introduced the U.S. to her limousine driver, Ali G. But over time, her permanent residence has likely made her less of a radio celebrity in the States.

And, personally, we’re more worried about radio conspiracies to keep the world safe from new music by Bruce Springsteen, Paul McCartney, the Stones, and Jimmy Buffett.