Salon.com this morning has the best article yet on the Steve Earle/John Walker's blues controversy. I honestly do not understand what all the hoo-haw is. When Johnny Cash sings "Delia's Gone," nobody fears for June Carter Cash's life. People write songs from the prospective of characters just exactly like novels and short stories are written from other people's prospective. Think of the song as historical fiction. If you don't want to hear a song about John Walker, then don't listen to it.
The dumbest commentary has been the people who claim Earle did this as a publicity stunt to boost his career. That is ridiculous. Since his return from rehab, his career has been as successful as he wants it to be. He owns his own record label and sells enough albums and concert tickets to make a pretty decent living. Hell, he hasn't even commented on all of this controversy as he has been vacationing in Europe. He probably finds all of this quite humorous.