27 December 2013
Duck Dynasty Redux
After a week of free publicity, A&E has reinstated Phil Robertson to the Duck Dynasty program. The cable network, whose initials once stood for "Arts and Entertainment" suspended Robertson after various homophobic, religiously bigoted and otherwise insensitive comments made to a GQ magazine interviewer. A backlash followed as Robertson's fans, and politicians pandering to those fans, declared the Duck Dynast the real victim of intolerance, the real victimizers being those who can't stand to hear that their lifestyle might be wrong. Once the remaining Robertsons threatened to end the channel's most popular show, A&E's surrender was inevitable. It's just business, anyway, and you can't blame A&E for making the call. Their taking the initiative only made Robertson the victim of corporate suits and a nebulous cultural elite. If people out there are still so outraged by his comments that they want to drive Robertson and his family off the air, it's their turn to show their strength. If they care that much, let them boycott A&E or the sponsors of the Duck show. The channel, at least, has proved itself spineless, so you never know what might happen when pressure is applied. Actually, I can see the future a little bit. Anyone advocating a boycott will be called intolerant the way A&E itself was and all critics of Robertson were. And they may as well fess up. Nothing wrong with being intolerant of something that shouldn't be tolerated. Does that mean you want to make Robertson's views illegal or forbid them from the airwaves. No to the first and probably no to the second, but if he claims a right to speak his mind (or the "word of God") than he should hear what others think of him. Judge not lest ye be judged, the saying goes. Judge, and prepare to face judgment.