Saturday, December 28, 2013

A&E Supports Duck Dynasty

I am always amazed that the "we want freedom" gay supporting folks are so quick to bash people who believe differently than them.  Thankfully the other ~50% of the population stood up for Phil's right to voice his beliefs.

I mean as he said, it isn't his job to judge.  God will make the final call if being Gay is a sin or not.  For the Gay folks sake, I hope God is Gay friendly...
USA Today A&E Calls Off "Duck Dynasty" Suspension
GQ What the Duck?

Thoughts?

30 comments:

Anonymous said...

Phil's got a right to express his belief's and A and E has a right not to provide a forum in which he can express them. A and E's actions both in suspending the guy and lifting the suspension seem more motivated by business concerns than any political agenda they might have.

In general, I oppose boycotting people for their political or social views. But I also understand that people who want to boycott also have a right to do that. People who espouse unpopular views need to understand that such views might make them unpopular.

--Hiram

John said...

I don't know if you read the article, but it seems A&E controls the content of the show so his views are not heard on the show.

I was being critical of those that thought to boycott, not A&E in this case.

jerrye92002 said...

Learned long ago that the threat of a boycott is usually far better than the real thing. A few loud ideologues can gain action from a few weak-kneed managers a lot better than they can get action from millions of people making their economic decisions based on personal economic priorities rather than ideology.

Of course, managers can do stupid stuff and lose customers for any reason, but they may not notice the few people who WILL make a decision based on an ideology, and those that do are usually lost in the ebb and flow of normal competition. I suspect A&E realized that their #1 show could easily go to some other network, and that they weren't about to make a principled stand and lose that much economically. Principle is great when it's cheap. When half the world says you are on the wrong side of principle, you might want to temper your stance.

Anonymous said...

I have generally found that businesses are wary of political controversy. This can be a problem for them because they often want to support certain political causes. The solution is to do it through third parties where their support is less visible, and when it comes to light, more deniable.

It seems to me that A and E was very proactive here. They didn't wait for the outrage. And there position is understandable. As was stated they control the content of the show, and here they got on of the stars acting outside their control, quite possibly in violation of their contract, and certainly to the detriment of their image. Phil put A and E in a tough spot. And he forgot who is employers were. Not that the opportunity ever comes up, but if GQ ever interviewed me, I would make a point of avoiding racist and homophobic comments because, among many other reasons, I know my employer wouldn't like it.



--Hiram


Sean said...

Seem to me that if you're going to back Phil Robertson, then you need to back Martin Bashir and Alec Baldwin, too.

John said...

Please be more specific.

And did they state religious or personal views?

Sean said...

I don't understand why that distinction is important. First Amendment rights to free speech are independent of religion.

BTW, Robertson said plenty of objectionable things in the interview that weren't Biblically based, either. His Jim Crow comments, for instance.

Laurie said...

Of the three I would have only fired Alec Baldwin (if I were in charge)

Alec Baldwin, As Is His Wont, Casually Uses Another Gay Slur

Martin Bashir Resigns From MSNBC Following Palin Comment

Laurie said...

Off topic link:

Another 13 Years in Afghanistan?

I think we should leave and if the 13 years turn out to be for naught, it beats the commitment of soldiers and $ to stay there indefinitely, in numbers large enough to make a difference.

John said...

Laurie,
Why Alec other than that is generally annoying?

I thought Martin's comment seemed fairly factual, though implying a "threat" to a public figure in such a graphic way was probably not too smart.

Sean,
Strangely, I think Robertson was actually trying to show his concern for the Black society. Though he probably could have done this better.

Considering the poverty, single parent households, crime statistics, poor academic achievement, etc within that society, I am pretty certain that he truly believes that they need more religion in their life, which he believes they had pre-civil rights and pre-welfare.

Thoughts?

Anonymous said...

Seem to me that if you're going to back Phil Robertson, then you need to back Martin Bashir and Alec Baldwin, too.

Neither had any sort of right to be on the air. Both damaged the business interests of their employer.

Robertson was trying to establish a brand, one that was somewhat independent of A&E's carefully designed marketing strategy. As much as anything, that's why his employers' had the problem with him that they did. Unlike Bashir, his employment was not terminated. We don't even know the terms of his suspension.

--Hiram

Anonymous said...

A worker might have certain statutory right to protection against religious discrimination in the private sector. But I wouldn't go so far as to say that those statutes exempt the worker from employer sanctions for something the worker has done simply because the worker has labelled it religious or a form of religious expression.

--Hiram

John said...

I agree that the employers have the right to fire their employee for lots of reasons since I believe employment is at free will on both sides.

I thought it was strange that all the "free love" folks were being so critical of someone who believes differently than themselves... Seemed a bit like the pot and kettle.

Anonymous said...

I thought it was strange that all the "free love" folks were being so critical of someone who believes differently than themselves

The story here was that A&E suspended someone for doing something they didn't like. That was a business decision. Corporations worry about their image and that's their right. That's why another corporation took a much more severe attitude toward Bashir. For myself, I have never found it all strange when controversial views are criticized. I think it would be really weird if they were not.

--Hiram

Anonymous said...

What I think is interesting, if not surprising is that while both Robertson and Bashir said obnoxious things. only Bashir was fired. Why do you think that is? And again, while both Robertson and Bashir said obnoxious things, literally no one has come to Bashir's defense. No one is arguing that Bashir's free speech rights were violated. No one is urging the boycott MSNBC. Nobody questions the network's decision to rid themselves of an obnoxious, offensive employee.

--Hiram

Laurie said...

Baldwin's comment was much more offensive than Bashir's, who inadvertently crossed the line in making the point that Palin's slavery comparison was deeply offensive.


I think liberals who err in politics or the media often suffer worse consequences than conservatives. It seems very few conservatives are forced to step down.

Anonymous said...


"I think liberals who err in politics or the media often suffer worse consequences than conservatives."

I know I had no problem with forcing Bashir and Baldwin to quit. And I have no problem with Robertson staying on the air. He is a performer, not a news person who needs credibility to do his job effectively.

==Hiram

John said...

Of course folks came out against A&E / Robertson, here are a few words from our friend Miss Dog Gone... Though I do agree that she is far left of center...

Was Bashir working when he said those things? Maybe that is the difference, since Robertson was on his own time. And did Bashir have a strong following like Robertson who would vocally stand up for him? Probably not.

Anonymous said...

Of course folks came out against "A&E / Robertson, here are a few words from our friend Miss Dog Gone... Though I do agree that she is far left of center..."

If bigotry were all that bad for business, Robertson would be out of a job. In not firing him, in not even suspending for any serious length of time, A&E was, in effect, saying that bigotry just doesn't matter much. And the fact is, Duck Dynasty isn't the only reality show that has dealt with the issue lately.

"Was Bashir working when he said those things?"

Yes, he was. But Baldwin was not, when he made the remarks that resulted in his separation from the network.

"Maybe that is the difference, since Robertson was on his own time. And did Bashir have a strong following like Robertson who would vocally stand up for him? Probably not."

No, unlike Robertson, Bashir had no following at all eager to stand by him when he uttered his vicious and contemptible statements.

--Hiram

John said...

"Full Definition of BIGOT: a person who is obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices; especially: one who regards or treats the members of a group (as a racial or ethnic group) with hatred and intolerance."

My question is who is the bigger "bigot", those who speak out about the "gay life" or "welfare life" choice, or the ones who critique them for stating their beliefs?

Anonymous said...

My question is who is the bigger "bigot", those who speak out about the "gay life" or "welfare life" choice, or the ones who critique them for stating their beliefs?

Pretty obviously those who hold the bigoted views, not those who criticize those views. Bashir was a bigot, and I don't feel at all bigoted for stating that fact.

--Hiram

Anonymous said...

Let's be clear here. Robertson was briefly suspended not because of his bigoted remarks but because the fears his remarks would have on the business interests of his company. What A&E found almost immediately was that there was little negative reaction from people like me, who deplore his statements but pretty much recognize his right to make them, and really don't care much either way. And what they found on the other side was a lot of pressure to reinstate someone they could portray as a victim of liberal bigotry. The result was that A&E found that putting Robertson back on was nothing more than good business.

--Hiram

jerrye92002 said...

Where I have trouble with this discussion is somehow putting some sort of moral/ethical/political equivalence to the three cases. I find it particularly interesting that I had not heard about Phil Robertson's "racist" comments, in the same interview. That tells me that this tempest was caused by special-interest groups like GLAAD, not the general public, and it's high time their screaming demands for silence from others fall on deaf ears.

Second, since the bombastic Mr. Baldwin's and the righteous Mr. Robertson's remarks were on the same subject, I think we have to figure in the intent and degree of the offense. Mr. Robertson spoke from his personal belief, not trying to offend, in response to a question, while Mr. Baldwin was deliberately, unnecessarily and spontaneously offensive. There IS no equivalency, though it is a classic liberal trope to create one where none exists. That the "penalties" should fall differently on the two ought to be self-evident.

Finally, what Mr. Bashir said was offensive to almost everybody, and thus was far worse than either of the other two. Of course he should have been fired, on the spot if it had been possible.

A&E found that offending a tiny group of grievance-mongers isn't a good business decision, compared to offending a major part of your audience. Mr. Baldwin's employers decided that they couldn't tolerate his continued offenses against larger segments of their audience and that they had reasonable alternatives to his service, while Mr. Bashir's employers recognized the disastrous impacts his continued employ would have on their brand. It's all rational and has little if anything to do with free speech. We all have the right to say what we want. But we have no right to command others to listen. Offend us and we tune out.

BTW, I thought Ann Coulter put it brilliantly the other day. She said, "Duck Dynasty is my favorite show, but I've never seen it."

Anonymous said...

I really don't think A&E was a response to any sort of existing public outcry. Their immediate reaction, I believe, was based on business concerns. My guess is that the producers of the show had dealt with these issues a lot behind the scenes. These views were absent from the show, which in all likelihood, was the result of careful editing. Again, my guess is that the Robertsons had been made aware of the problem, and that within the corporate sphere, Robertson's remarks were seen as insubordination which is why the reaction was so quick.

--Hiram

Laurie said...

I really don't get what is so offensive about what Bashir said.

Palin's comparison minimized the brutality of slavery and Bahir's statement gave a graphic account of the punishment's suffered by slaves.

Suggesting Palin be subject to this form of punishment did go too far, but an apology should have sufficed.

jerrye92002 said...

Laurie, I think you're saying that there is a context in which Bashir's comments might be excused, especially if an apology were offered. I cannot imagine any context in which such a comment would ever be acceptable, and no apology would ever suffice, nor AFAIK was one even offered. That this was offered from the man's supposedly "professional" perch made it a firing offense.

John said...

Jerry,
Of course you may be overly sensitive since you often speak of taxes as "slavery", which is of course silly as Mr. Bashir so graphically and logical noted.

The slave masters must be incredibly benevolant to allow you to leave the society any time you wish to stop paying the dues set by the society.

jerrye92002 said...

You must be thinking of a different comment than the one I heard. By the way, I understand that Bashir "resigned" rather than being fired, and did offer a belated half-apology. No matter.

Laurie said...

about Bashir, it seems that he had several insulting names for Palin and offered a lengthy apology on the very next broadcast. I still don't think I would fire him unless he had previous instances of crossing the line. His show, as many on MSNBC, was an opinionated take on current events, which gives him more leeway than that of a straight up news anchor.

‘Wholly Unacceptable’: Martin Bashir Apologizes to Sarah Palin for Response to Her Slavery Remarks

You can also see the clip of his show with the comments that got him fired.

Anonymous said...

It's often unclear why a separation occurs in these cases. After a profuse apology, Bashir resigned, but if he hadn't been, he might well have been fired. I expect it was a negotiated departure. I really don't know what he was doing commenting about Palin, who for better or worse, isn't a public official and isn't running for anything.

--Hiram