I wrote this downstairs:
I would like to say here and not that they ONLY thing we learned from the whole Phil Robertson (Duck Dynasty) fiasco is that most people in America who use the Internet have no fucking clue what the right to free of speech entails.
And imust wrote:
Sounds interesting. I think I understand what you are saying, but can you expand on that thought a bit? (A post would be most excellent!)
Only for you imust. Because I really don’t want to write a post about Phil Robertson or Duck Dynasty. I don’t think they’re worth the pixels. I’m certainly not putting his picture here because I think he’s ugly. And his mother dresses him funny.
They’re not even real rednecks. Go ahead and Google “duck dynasty, yuppies” without the quotes. The only thing real about reality TeeVee is the money.
Personally, I don’t care one way or the other what happens to Phil or the show. I don’t watch the show. I don’t watch reality TeeVee (except for the Amazing Race on occasion, but only so I don’t miss the beginning of The Good Wife, which does not begin on time if a sporting event pushes into 60 Minutes). Of course A&E knew what he would say in an interview–it’s part of his mystique.
So, this is the expansion of my comment from below.
The usual suspects were quick to mount their self-righteous indignation soapboxes:
From Palin on FB (with a photo of herself with the cast of the show):
Free speech is an endangered species. Those ‘intolerants’ hatin’ and taking on the Duck Dynasty patriarch for voicing his personal opinion are taking on all of us.
(Yes, she had an opinion without even reading the interview!)
I also acknowledge that this is a free country and everyone is entitled to express their views. In fact, I remember when TV networks believed in the First Amendment.
Fact is, I don’t care what Palin or Jindal say either. What finally did get my last nerve was the incessant posts in my Facebook feed where people (ordinary citizens educated on our tax dollars) proved how little they learned. If you’re gonna wave the Constitution in my face, at least have the decency to read it. This is the first amendment to the constitution:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
Phil was not put in jail for voicing his opinion. Congress nor any state enacted an Anti-Phil law because of what he said. The government did not prevent Phil from exercising his religion in any way he saw fit. While we’re at it, disagreeing with Phil is not intolerance and it’s not infringing on his free speech. It’s called having your own opinion and exercising your own free speech. Intolerance is jailing, torturing, beating, berating, denying employment, denying rights, and withholding common privileges from someone because you disagree with them. What happened was that Phil was suspended from his job.
A&E is a company, not the government. Companies have workplace harassment rules among other rules. The reason they have rules is not because they really are people and have some morality. It’s because they don’t want to get sued by anyone who gets offended, say for example, other workers. I know this because we recently completed our annual training on this and several related topics where I work. As it happens, there are a number of things that are perfectly legal that we are not allowed to do as employees. Even off-hours and off property. You would be amazed. For example, I cannot tell another employee that they look like they lost weight because they JUST MIGHT have a disease and now I’ve crossed a line and harassed them for an immutable characteristic.
Back to Phil. What the Constitution Ho’s saw was the free market in action. First A&E thought they might lose profits or get sued over what Phil said, so they suspended him. Then A&E realized they could make even more by bringing him back on, so they did. Frankly, I would not be surprised if the whole thing was staged by A&E to generate hype. As if you couldn’t see this coming, Phil Robertson supporters are hosting a Chick-Phil-A Day.
No constitutional amendments were harmed in the making of this fauxrage. But we were.