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Ed Driscoll

‘Our Long National Nightmare Is Only Warming Up, I’m Afraid’

December 27th, 2013 - 6:38 pm

A&E reverses course, allows Duck Dynasty patriarch Phil Robertson to rejoin his own show. But as Ace notes, “Robertson only gets to speak his mind without punishment because he has millions of fans. The rest of us are not so fortunate”:

Our current social understanding of free speech is this: You can speak your mind freely if you have a large enough army of supporters to pressure a company into resisting pressure from a large army of Speech Police.

This is not free speech. This is free speech as an exceptional thing — only for those with a wide, passionate following — not as a routine thing.

A&E is a cowardly organization. First it puts Robertson on “indefinite hiatus” under pressure from one group of people, then it puts him back on the air because they’ve been pressured by a somewhat larger group of people.

At no point did they trip over anything resembling a general principle of speech free from “consequences” of broad application.

While starring in a “reality” show, Robertson’s reality in terms of dealing with the legacy media isn’t that far removed from a star or producer who waits until his career has sufficient critical mass before coming out as a conservative, a la Kelsey Grammer or Jon Voight.

On the other hand, Deneen Borelli of The Blaze looks at the other side of the equation: at least A&E restored the show before Jesse Jackson could shakedown the network with his ambulance-chasing tactics:

A&E caving to public pressure shows the power that resides with Americans. Armed with social media, Duck Dynasty fans were able to overcome left-wing activists like Jesse Jackson and GLAAD, forcing Cracker Barrel restaurants and A&E to reverse their initial positions.

Moreover, it’s extremely gratifying to see that Jackson and the NAACP are losing influence. Their race card dealings failed showing their waning ability to force change through baseless claims and meaningless press releases.

As AWR Hawkins adds at Big Hollywood:

Still, the bottom line is that regardless of what A&E says to provide cover for itself, Disney, or the Hearst Corporation, Robertson was reinstated only nine days after being indefinitely suspended. Throughout his suspension he did not cower down to A&E. Rather, he said he had simply quoted the Bible in his comments to GQ and made clear that he would not apologize for doing so.

Bill O’Reilly is a big loser here as well. He too kicked Robertson while he was down, criticizing him for quoting the Bible in a way that singled out one group of people.

Phil Robertson won. A&E, Disney, the Hearst Corporation, and O’Reilly lost — and lost big.

“Robertson-1, Media Industrial Complex-Ø,” Kate writes at Small Dead Animals.

Comments are closed.

Top Rated Comments   
On the larger topic of free speech for the masses, it is true this doesn't help the little guy directly.

But if a popular TV star could be deprived of his job for merely expressing his earnest understanding of the Holy Scripture at least nominally followed by 77% of the American public, what hope would the little guy ever have?

It's not the final victory in the war to restore freedoms, but it is a victory.
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
I may disagree with what you have to say, but I shall defend to the death your right to say it. - Voltaire

From Voltaire to the Speech Gestapo - what a giant step backward for liberty .... and intellect.
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
Anyone who watches Duck Dynasty knows Phil Roberston is a simple, easy going man who couldn't care less if he was on the most popular show on TV. If the show was taken away, it wouldn't phase him one bit. In fact, he'd be happy to have the cameras out of his face! He'd still have his family, his duck call business and his beliefs.
GLAAD had no plan ready for a man who 1) wasn't gong to apologize for something he said 2) doesn't give a sh*t if you take away his TV show. 3) doesn't care what anyone thinks about him.
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
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All Comments   (37)
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I'm glad with how this shook out - A&E was the spineless loser and Duck Dynasty is great TV - but this really isn't a free speech issue. At least not in a first amendment sense. No one squelched Phil Robertson's speech - everyone heard loud and clear what he had to say. But speech often has consequences. If a boss doesn't like what an employee says, he or she can generally fire that employee. What is troubling is that the concept of "tolerance" has morphed from I-may-disagree-with-you-but-you-won't-get-beat-up-by-me into a demand for full-throated boosterism. Dude, my concept of marriage is exactly that expressed by Obama when he was elected, and now I'm a hater for it?
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Duck Hunters - 1 Dick Hunters - 0"
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
Have IRS audits, OSHA inspections, and EPA inspections of the Robertsons begun yet?
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
"...Nightmare ..."
..........
Would also recommend reading of David Limbaugh's of 12/24/13 on Human Events for more of the nightmare theme.
.........
Have not seen any allegations as to re-education camps, forcible mental hospitalization, castration, hanging, branding, pink symbols, routine public humiliation, special dhimmi tax, official ghettoization, etc.

////////////////////////////////////
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
Patience. These things take time. Already we have Soviet psychiatry (“homophobia”), kristallnacht (ACT-UP vandalizing churches), state prosecutions of dissenters (in Denver and Albuquerque), Nuremburg-like laws on hiring sexualities, and Der Sturmer-style art (urinate crucifixes). The rest may or may not follow but the essential similarity to Nazis should be readily apparent.
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
While we are glad and relieved that Phil Robertson was able to vanquish the Gay Cult Lobby and the race-hucksters, I would like to remind people of another media star who was not so fortunate.

Reggaeton artist Shabba Ranks.

On a British TV talk show he was asked his opinion of homosexuality, and fearlessly testified for his faith in the Laws of Moses. This exchange is available on YouTube.

This testimony cost this very talented man his airplay.

Just so we don't forget others who unlike Phil Robertson, did martyr their careers for their Faith in God.
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
I completely disagree with the contention that the media cohort and Big Gay and Bill O'Reilly lost. They merely did not get everything they wanted RIGHT NOW. This story is ongoing, attention spans are short, the energies of resistance are exhaustible, and the forces of social transformation are ferociously self-righteous and relentless.
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
I don't watch The Ted Baxter Factor but it does not surprise me that he would deign to pile on Phil Robertson in the middle of a hit job. Ted is nothing if not a consummate populist, but he has gotten well over his skis for a while now and this is but a sample of his insolence.
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
Well, things are looking up in the skin privilege game, the DOJ finally took over local state jurisdiction and charged a suspect with a hate crime for playing the knock out game and bragging about it: after hundreds of black assaults on whites without any hate crime indictments the DOJ finally managed to charge a white guy for assaulting a black guy. Apparently the white guy wanted to see if he would get national exposure and publicly aired his motives for testing the DOJ's color blindness regarding selective prosecutions.
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
A & E should do us all a favor and drop Duck Dynasty.

The sooner they do it, the sooner they fail. Bundling model of TV broadcasting/cable will fail and a la carte model will be here.

The liberals will be only supported by their own community. There will Still be liberal activists groups and media. There will just be fewer as they weaned from the broadcast model and its income stream.
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
I have cable. There a literally but a few movies every on. They are usually the same ones over & over. I expected movies that were over 3 years or 5 years old might occasionally appear. They do not. Nothing, not movies from the 1980 or 1990s.

If I went back to over the air broadcast TV (HD this time ) what would I miss. I would miss some thing of the History, TLC, AMC, Sci fi, business channels, NatGEo and ID and a few others.

Would I miss those channels? Somewhat. But TV watching is not as entertaining as it was 10 years ago and it is not just an age thing. (I can get the shows I want from other sources and plan to watch them & read books the rest of the time). I do not need cable

if you do not like American Pickers in the History channels there is a lot of time in between shows I might watch.

My point is is that content providers should be very careful on stepping on toes of masses of viewers.

distributors such as Comcast & DirectTV make you pay for every view of every new movie (new to TV) & sporting event. Did Distributors and providers fight a la carte. Yes they did.

But of all they new movies that came out in the last 3 years, how many were provided to basic or premium subscribers? Not many. you have to pay a subscription fee and THEN pay for individual movies. We have DE FACTO a la carte.

Give that we have a la carte among the big expensive distributors what is to stop people from going to netflix, ROkU , & internet TV?

In such a world Duck Dynasty will survive but would A& E survive.

A La carte is here and liberals will no longer be carried.
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
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