Sunday, December 22, 2013

Intolerant Conservatives Rush to Condemn Firing of TV Star Who Voiced Hatred, Religious Prejudice and Homophobia

Free Speech Does Not Mean the Freedom to Harm One’s Employer

Apparently conservatives felt a little levity was needed for the holiday season, so they got together to defend the right a of TV star of something called Duck Dynasty to mouth hatred and prejudice, and still keep his job on TV.  Here’s a part of what the center of this controversy said, and yes we are embarrassed to even reproduce it.

A&E, which airs “Duck Dynasty,” put Robertson on indefinite suspension from the show on Wednesday because of a controversial interview with GQ, in which, he commented on his inability to comprehend homosexuality or societies “without Jesus.”

“That’s just me. I’m just thinking: There’s more there! She’s got more to offer. I mean, come on, dudes! You know what I’m saying? But hey, sin: It’s not logical, my man. It’s just not logical,” Robertson told Drew Magery in GQ.

When Magery asked him to define “sin,” Robertson responded, “Start with homosexual behavior and just morph out from there. Bestiality, sleeping around with this woman and that woman and that woman and those men.”

In another part of the interview, Robertson equated Shintoism and Islam with Nazism.

“All you have to do is look at any society where there is no Jesus. I’ll give you four: Nazis, no Jesus. Look at their record. Uh, Shintos? They started this thing in Pearl Harbor. Any Jesus among them? None. Communists? None. Islamists? Zero,” he said. “That’s eighty years of ideologies that have popped up where no Jesus was allowed among those four groups. Just look at the records as far as murder goes among those four groups.”

Now Freedom of Speech says that this gentleman(?) has the right to say whatever he thinks and feels.  But somehow the defenders of this man, people like Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, all of whom almost certainly agree with these thoughts, think that this man should continue to be able to work in the entertainment industry, should continue to be on a TV show even as he offends viewers and embarrasses his employer. 

Jindal’s primary criticism centers on what he calls an infringement of free speech.

“I remember when TV networks believed in the First Amendment. It is a messed-up situation when Miley Cyrus gets a laugh, and Phil Robertson gets suspended ,” Jindal said.

On Thursday, Faith Driven Consumer, a Christian organization, also came to Robertson’s defense by launching petition campaign and calling for Robertson’s full reinstatement to Duck Dynasty.

Mr. Robertson is not losing his job as a violation of Freedom of Speech.  He is losing his job because he is acting against the interests of his employer, driving away customers of network.   Paula Deen can make all the racist remarks she wants to, but this does not require stores to carry her products.  The entertainment industry and public relations activities use celebreties in order to get consumers to associate the celebrity with them and their products and their company.  For doing nothing but being famous, these celebrities get a lot of money.  But there is no requirement for a company to continue public association with a celebrity who brings shame and embarassment and disgust to that company.

But the thing that really gets everyone laughing here is the plea for “tolerance” by some of the most intolerant men and women on the planet.  Here is Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, as intolerant a person as can be found in public life.

“If you believe in free speech or religious liberty, you should be deeply dismayed over the treatment of Phil Robertson,” Cruz wrote on his Facebook page. “Phil expressed his personal views and his own religious faith; for that, he was suspended from his job. In a free society, anyone is free to disagree with him—but the mainstream media should not behave as the thought police censoring the views with which they disagree.”

Of course nobody is censoring this speech, all his employer is doing is protecting their interests, you know, keeping viewers and preventing them from turning away in disgust from this person and watching other shows.  The very fact that Mr. Robertson did have his views published is proof that there is not censorship, that he is free to express his opinions (however offensive they are) and that he is free to get his opinions published.  There is no attempt to get GQ to censor the remarks, to punish them for printing these remarks or even to condemn that publication.  That is free speech.

As for Mr. Cruz, maybe before the next time he votes to allow things like religious services in public schools he ought to look up the meaning of the word ‘tolerance’.  Obviously that is something that was skipped over in his education.

Finally, we are actually glad that the opinions of Mr. Robertson, whose views reflect those of Bobby Jindal, Sarah Palin, Ted Cruz and others on the extreme right are published.  These people hide behind a facade,  of attempting to be shown as reasonable people.   The more their true nature is exposed the faster they will pass into oblivion, with future generations wondering why anyone ever paid any attention to them at all.

Nothing is more destructive to hatred and prejudice and malice and bigotry than the light of day, the exposure to the general public and the widespread knowledge of what these so called conservatives really think.

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