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Editorial: Everything seems to be coming out ‘just Ducky’!
About politics and other thingsJanuary 8, 2014 | 3,256 views | 1 comment
You were either like me and didn’t have a clue about this “Duck Dynasty” thing or you were one of its fans -- or you could have cared less.
But like many things in America, one comment by a TV star becomes a national issue, and the media have made the most of it. If you had never heard of Phil Robertson, the star of “Duck Dynasty” and inventor of a very special duck call, you probably have by now.
My introduction to the duck controversy first came as I was Christmas shopping. You couldn’t even go to H-E-B without seeing displays of outdoor gear, garden décor, mugs, T-shirts, and blankets, all with the name “Duck Dynasty” -- whatever that is.
I know I’m way behind the times when it comes to television, as I only recently learned that “Duck Dynasty” is a reality show, and readers know what I think of reality shows. I’ve never watched one.
Now everyone is talking about “Duck Dynasty” because of a controversial (read: biblical) comment made by Robertson in an interview with GQ magazine. Following that comment, he was promptly dismissed from the show by the A&E television network.
Backing up a bit, though, it seems that “Duck Dynasty” is wildly popular, and its popularity has some people scratching their heads. It is, after all, just about a bunch of rednecks who shoot squirrels and do whatever else it is that rednecks are supposed to do. It seems likely that A&E never expected this kind of popularity, instead thinking it had another “Beverly Hillbillies” on its hands.
Each segment of “Duck Dynasty” ends with a Christian prayer as the family gathers ’round. This is likely part of what has Hollywood types confounded, but Americans apparently took to this family.
So when Robertson responded with his opinion to a question about gays, it really ticked off the Hollywood types, and the LGBTs united to demand his firing. Indeed, he was promptly removed from the show, and this ticked off Christians and conservatives.
There was almost a repeat of the Chick-fil-A buyCOTTs of a year ago in response to a comment by its owner about same-sex marriage. Following A&E’s decision to let Robertson go, Cracker Barrel Restaurant said it was removing some of the “Duck Dynasty” products from its stores.
Conservatives jumped on social media, telling Cracker Barrel goodbye and Chick-fil-A hello, but it was only a matter of days before Cracker Barrel reversed its decision. This is part of what was posted on its Facebook page: “You told us we made a mistake. And, you weren’t shy about it. You wrote, you called and you took to social media to express your thoughts and feelings. You flat out told us we were wrong.”
A&E, too, heard from the public. It reinstated Robertson on its show nine days later. Its statement said, in part, that the show “... resonates with a large audience because it is a show about family ... a family that America has come to love.”
Some have called this a free-speech issue; others said that it is all part of the “War on Christianity.” Whatever it is, it has garnered a lot of publicity.
While it is not quite a First Amendment issue because Robertson was not prevented from speaking out (he only lost his contract because of his speech), it would appear to be a case of extreme hypocrisy. As Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal said: “Miley Cyrus gets a laugh, and Phil Robertson gets suspended.”
Stay tuned, as they say.
For those interested, the fifth season of “Duck Dynasty” premieres on Jan. 16 on A&E.
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