Duck Dynasty, “Free Speech,” And The Culture Of Perpetual Outrage
"Reality" TV star says something dumb about gay people, gets suspended, usual pointless outrage ensues.
With the Christmas holidays fast approaching, the news is becoming thinner and thinner so it’s not entirely surprising to see some silly matters like the question of whether Santa Claus is black or white getting far more attention than they probably deserve. Starting last night, though, Twitter, Facebook, and the blogosphere exploded not over the racial makeup of a fictional being who travels the world in a magical sleigh, but to the star of a “reality” television program devoted to a family in what seems to be the redneckiest part of the Deep South that apparently devotes itself to making duck calls, hunting ducks, and being incredibly religiously conservative:
A&E has placed Duck Dynasty patriarch Phil Robertson on indefinite hiatus following anti-gay remarks he made in a recent profile in GQ.
“We are extremely disappointed to have read Phil Robertson’s comments in GQ, which are based on his own personal beliefs and are not reflected in the series Duck Dynasty,” A&E said in a statement. “His personal views in no way reflect those of A+E Networks, who have always been strong supporters and champions of the LGBT community. The network has placed Phil under hiatus from filming indefinitely.”
The news comes after Robertson compared homosexuality to bestiality in an interview with the magazine. He’ll likely appear in season four, which bows Jan. 15, since production is largely wrapped.
“It seems like, to me, a vagina — as a man — would be more desirable than a man’s anus,” Robertson says in the January issue of the men’s magazine. “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.”
During a discussion about repentance and God, Robertson is asked what he finds sinful.
“Start with homosexual behavior and just morph out from there,” he says. “Bestiality, sleeping around with this woman and that woman and that woman and those men.”
He goes on to paraphrase Corinthians: “Don’t be deceived. Neither the adulterers, the idolaters, the male prostitutes, the homosexual offenders, the greedy, the drunkards, the slanderers, the swindlers — they won’t inherit the kingdom of God. Don’t deceive yourself. It’s not right.”
GLAAD on Wednesday condemned his remarks as “some of the vilest and most extreme statements uttered against LGBT people in a mainstream publication” and said “his quote was littered with outdated stereotypes and blatant misinformation.”
“Phil and his family claim to be Christian, but Phil’s lies about an entire community fly in the face of what true Christians believe,” GLAAD spokesperson WilsonCruz said. “He clearly knows nothing about gay people or the majority of Louisianans — and Americans — who support legal recognition for loving and committed gay and lesbian couples. Phil’s decision to push vile and extreme stereotypes is a stain on A&E and his sponsors, who now need to re-examine their ties to someone with such public disdain for LGBT people and families.”
GLAAD responded to A&E’s suspension, commending the network for its swift decision. “What’s clear is that such hateful anti-gay comments are unacceptable to fans, viewers, and networks alike,” GLAAD’s Cruz said late Wednesday. “By taking quick action and removing Robertson from future filming, A&E has sent a strong message that discrimination is neither a Christian nor an American value.”
Soon after it was announced, though, Robertson’s suspension set off a firestorm on the right online that continued well into Thursday afternoon:
After ‘Duck Dynasty’ patriarch Phil Robertson was suspended from his popular reality television show for making controversial anti-gay comments in an interview with GQ magazine, conservatives jumped to his defense.
Lousiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) in a Thursday statement called Robertson’s suspension a “messed up situation.”
Both former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R) and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) also weighed in on Facebook by defending Robertson’s right to free speech.
“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,” said Palin.
“If you believe in free speech or religious liberty, you should be deeply dismayed over the treatment of Phil Robertson,” added Cruz.
Conservative blogger Erick Erickson on Wednesday defended Robertson’s reference to scripture.
“He spoke openly of his Christian faith,” Erickson wrote on his blog, “Red State.” ”Because he offended a secular left at war with orthodox Christianity, he must be punished.”
Radio host Rush Limbaugh on Thursday similarly claimed Robertson was suspended because of his religious beliefs.
“Now, excuse me for just a second here, but who is being discriminated against here except Phil Robertson? Who just lost a job because of religious beliefs?” he asked. “Nothing happened to any gay people or homosexual people. Nothing happened to them.”
These comments echo much of what I have seen from many, but not all, conservatives online over the past day, and there’s so much wrong with it that it’s hard to know where to begin.
First of all, though, it’s necessary to make it eminently clear that this is not a “free speech” issue at all. The only context in which the idea of “freedom of speech” has any real meaning eminates out of the First Amendment and, as anyone who has actually read that Amendment can tell you, that only applies to the government, originally only Congress but also, over time thanks to the Incorporation Doctrine, state and local governments. Outside of laws that bar employment or other forms of discrimination based on religious belief, there is no such thing as a “free speech” when it comes to the relationship between employer and employee. Most likely, that point is even further driven home by the fact that entertainment contracts like the one that Richardson likely has with A&E contain provisions that give the employer the discretion to discipline the employee as they see appropriate if the employee does something outside the matter for which they are hired that tends to bring the reputation of the employer or its property, in this case the television show, into disrepute. These provisions typically leave the matter completely within the discretion of the employer. Even without such a contractual provision, though, the idea that suspending Robertson violates his “free speech” rights as Palin and others have claimed is, quite simply absurd and either a deliberate conflating of the concept or a display of utter ignorance. I’ll leave it to the reader to decide which one applies here.
Second, it’s necessary to address the assertion that many of the commentators quoted make that Robertson is being punished for his religious belief. While I’ve never actually watched the show myself, my understanding of what it involves would seem to prove that this suggestion is absurd. Discussions about the show before today have frequently noted the extent to which many episodes feature the members of the Richardson family speaking openly about their very conservative religious views. Indeed, it seems as though this is one of the elements of the show that the producers have chosen to highlight over the four seasons that it has been on the area. Given that, the idea that Robertson is being punished for expressing a religious point of view that is frequently a part of the show itself is demonstrably absurd and really more a reflection of the perpetual outrage and sense of victimization that many on the Christian Right seem to want to project these days. Despite the fact that we live in a country where, according to polls, the vast majority of people say they believe in a God, where Christianity of some form is the dominant faith, and where church attendance is far higher than pretty much anywhere else in the West, there’s a group on the right who wishes to perpetuate the myth that they are constantly under attack. You can see another example of that silly idea in the so-called “War On Christmas,” which is been an annual meme on Fox News Channel for years no. In the end, Richardson wasn’t suspending for his faith, but for the manner in which he expressed it which, as the blockquote at the top of the page demonstrates, was really quite vulgar and offensive.
Perhaps the most interesting comments about this matter, though, came from Andrew Sullivan, who was critical both of Richardson and of what he sees as an overreaction by A&E:
[Richardson’s comments are] fascinating glimpse into the fundamentalist mind. You’ll notice that, for the fundamentalist, all sin – when it comes down to it - starts with sex. This sexual obsession, as the Pope has rightly diagnosed it, is a mark of neurotic fundamentalism in Islam and Judaism as well as Christianity. And if all sin is rooted in sex,
then the homosexual becomes the most depraved and evil individual in the cosmos. So you get this classic statement about sin: “Start with homosexual behavior and just morph out from there.”
This emphasis is absolutely not orthodox Christianity. There is nothing primary about sexual sin as such in Christian doctrine. It sure can be powerfully sinful – but it’s not where sin starts. And to posit gay people as the true source of all moral corruption is to use eliminationist rhetoric and demonizing logic to soften up a small minority of people for exclusion, marginalization and, at some point, violence.
If you think I’m hyperventilating, ask yourself what the response would be if in talking about sin, Phil Robertson had said, “Start with Jewish behavior …” The argument would be totally recognizable, once very widespread, and deeply disturbing. What we’re seeing here – and it’s very much worth debating – is how fundamentalist religion seizes on recognizable, immoral minorities to shore up its own sense of righteousness. You can gussy it up – but it’s right there in front of our nose.
Robertson is a character in a reality show. He’s not a spokesman for A&E any more than some soul-sucking social x-ray from the Real Housewives series is a spokeswoman for Bravo. Is he being fired for being out of character? Nah. He’s being fired for staying in character – a character A&E have nurtured and promoted and benefited from. Turning around and demanding a Duck Dynasty star suddenly become the equivalent of a Rachel Maddow guest is preposterous and unfair.
What Phil Robertson has given A&E is a dose of redneck reality. Why on earth would they fire him for giving some more?
Sullivan makes very good points on both counts, of course. Robertson’s comments serve as much to point out the flaws in a fundamentalist religious mindset as they reveal the extent to which that mindset is obsessed with the sexual practices that other people engage in. Why that is, or even should be, their personal concern is something I’ve never quite understood myself. I can understand on some level the idea that one might believe that homosexual behavior is sinful, but to obsess so much about what people do behind closed doors strikes me as just bizarre on multiple levels. These people would do themselves to listen to what Pope Francis has had to say about the issue when he argues that, while the Catholic Church still considers homosexual behavior, or indeed any sexual relationship outside of marriage, to be sinful, that should not lead Catholics to treat gay people in hateful and contemptuous ways, which is what Rorbertson’s comments do.
As for A&E’s decision to suspend Robertson, that’s their business decision as far as I’m concerned. Time will tell whether it’s one that will harm their bottom line or their ratings, but they certainly had the right to make it. I will note, however, that all of this is occurring mere weeks before the premiere of the 5th season of Duck Dynasty and that there have been reports for months that Robertson was planning on taking a lesser role in the show going forward. On some level, I find the coincidence of those two facts and the events of the past 24 hours to be a bit too much of a coincidence, but that may just be my suspicious nature.
In any case, the one thing that the events of the past day reveal is that we now seem to live in a society of perpetual outrage where even a seemingly minor event like a magazine interview and a business decision by a network can set off the kind of outrage that, oddly, seems to be missing when it comes to issues that are obviously far more important. Apparently, there are a lot of people out there who stand at the ready waiting to be outraged by trivial matters. One would think they’d have better things to do.
I can understand on some level the idea that one might believe that homosexual behavior is sinful, but to obsess so much about what people do behind closed doors strikes me as just bizarre on multiple levels.
Serious question: Has there been a week that has gone by since you joined OTB that you haven’t written about some aspect of homosexuality (mostly in defense of gay rights)? It’s your choice to write about whatever strikes your fancy, of course. But many readers might assume that you were a bit obsessed with the topic as often as you write about it.
I suspect like my Christians, the Robertsons wouldn’t be obsessed about “what people do behind closed doors” if that activity wasn’t constantly — obsessively — talked about in the public square.
Richardson just missed the whole point of reality TV shows – hundreds of hours of material carefully trimmed down to a few hours annual show. He might have said the same stuff on camera, and the producer went #headdesk and tossed it in the bin. There is a reason why reality TV doesn’t do live shows – you need to protect your stars from being too much of themselves.
I think you and Sullivan both have it right. Yeah, bearded dude is a throwback. Which is part of why A&E hired him. It’s a reality show. If you want scripted, do a scripted show. If you want “reality,” then accept the off-notes that come with it.
@Joe Carter: And those black people. So icky, right? All on my TV and radio constantly.
That is some serious dumb right there. Yeah, before people started talking about The Gays, everything was fine. Have you ever even brushed past a history book? Gays didn’t stigmatize, ridicule, outlaw and imprison themselves. That was done by good religious folks long, long, loooooong before there was any discussion of gays in public.
But the problem becomes that it is not just about what people do in their bedrooms. Relationships, which go a long way toward defining as a human beings, are more than just what is done behind closed doors. My marriage, for example, is far more than that.
The way the society views and treats homosexuals is about human rights.
Indeed, part of what was offensive about Robertson’s remarks is that he reduced human relationships, both homosexual and heterosexual, to a simplistic choice about sensory preferences.
Exactly who is the outraged whiner in this story? Robertson, GLAAD, Limbaugh, Doug? They all seem a bit whiny to me.
Oh, wait, I take that back. MM2 made this story about race, so I’m suddenly afraid to take a side. (I guess I should have seen that coming. This story has race written all over it.)
Let me unpack that a bit more. Here’s how the right-wing argument on so-called “political correctness” goes.
In the beginning everything was swell. Black people were happy being treated like sh!t, and so were women, and Jews and gays. And white males Christians were happy to treat them like sh!t and all was right with the world.
Then along came people to upset the fine balance in which straight, white, Christian males ran and owned and controlled 100% of everything. Suddenly we weren’t allowed to call black people ni**ers. And we weren’t allowed to pay women half what we paid men. And gays even objected to being beaten up!
And now the true oppression is that visited upon straight, white, Christian males. They are the true victims! They have to endure the openly stated opinions of people who didn’t actually enjoy being treated like sh!t. And since all this began, bigots of various stripes have been made to feel uncomfortable.
My God. The horror of it! Pity the poor straight, white, Christian male.
Poor baby. You’ve been so terribly oppressed. Now you’re scared to even say anything. You are the true victim.
Palin has a long history of proving her 1A ignorance, as nicely summarized years ago at crooksandliars.
Michael, you’re being ridiculous.
I’ve said it before, you’re just like Michael Savage.
But as usual you fail to make a case.
@Pinky: I didn’t “make it about race”. I used an analogy. Sorry that linguistic concepts confuse you so much and/or force you to lie about others.
@Steven L. Taylor:
But it should also be noted that your marriage was also the key for taking all those icky practices and making them ok.
Sex outside of marriage = Sin
Sex after marriage = Mostly Ok (provided you don’t enjoy it too much)
That’s a privilege not typically afforded to gay people after marriage.
On the broader topic, Sullivan nails it. I think AMC completely over reacted on this (unless of course, there are future shoes that are about to drop).
@michael reynolds: I wasn’t trying to lay out a case. I was pointing out that you’re being ridiculous. I hope you don’t think that you made a case. Although now that I think about it I could make a case that you’re being ridiculous. It goes like this: res ipsa loquitur.
Doug this is an awful post. Phil quoted Corinthians when asked how he defines sin. Take it up with the Bible if you have issue with scripture. That is not a Right wing or conservative Christian view, it is directly from the Bible. You either believe the words of St Paul or you do not.
You have the right of free speech but you don’t have the right to have a TV show
BTW, while everyone has been focusing on his comments about homosexuality, his fond recollections of all the happy black folks singing spirituals and doing hard time in the fields before they were all ruined by hand outs might have had something to do with with AMC’s decision.
I have to wonder to what degree they’re worried about a Paula Deen situation.
All that said, I still think that no one at AMC should have been surprised by this interview and they overreacted.
Oh, the horror. The guy was asked his opinion and answered honestly.
“It seems like, to me, a vagina — as a man — would be more desirable than a man’s anus.”
Almost any heterosexual man would agree to this. (I certainly do.) It’s more hygenic, self-lubricating, and comes with boobies. Gay and bisexual men would disagree, but that’s the whole point — he’s not speaking as a gay or bisexual man, but a heterosexual.
As far as “hateful,” he stated that by his religious beliefs, such actions are wrong and will be punished. Does he intend to do the punishing? Hell, no. (Pun not intended.) He makes it clear that he considers it God’s prerogative to punish, not his. His response is to pray for those people, to spare them God’s punishment.
You can call that condescending if you want, but it’s hardly “hateful.” The only people who would find this offensive are the “perpetually outraged,” those looking for some excuse to get angry.
The message here is that anything less than total acceptance will not be tolerated, and “diversity” should only be skin deep.
On the other hand, Alec Baldwin’s standard practice of calling people he doesn’t like “faggots” is an example of hateful speech. But since he’s such a good liberal, he gets a pass.
The most fascinating thing about this story is how many Republicans don’t seem to understand the 1st Amendment.
Considering the comments that Robertson said about African-Americans under the Jim Crow laws, maybe A&E was simply trying to hustle him off stage before he dropped the ni-CLANG word.
Rod Dreher is, as you can expect, fulminating over at TAC about how horrible A&E has reacted and how Robertson is simply restating traditional Christian theology.
(For all his brilliance in writing, Dreher simply does not understand legal issues and should keep quiet when they arise.)
@Steven L. Taylor: no, he quoted scripture.
@grumpy realist: If you can’t find racism, then just make it up? That does seem a fairly common tactic…
But +1 for the Blazing Saddles reference. That was well played.
Which is again, you saying nothing. But it’s much better the second time.
lol, you mean it don’t cover making porn? Even “gay porn'” ?
@Jenos Idanian #13:
No, he got fired. So did Martin Bashir. But don’t let that diminish your victimhood in any way.
I call “utterly staged.”
If a camera is pointing at it, it’s staged. Robertson just got a whole bunch of free publicity for his business, and A&E got all kinds of free advert time for the show. Both are going to come out quite handsomely, breathless apologies aside (also staged), leaving those who didn’t get the joke to insist this liberty is being stolen or that bearded person has the mind of an anvil.
Everything we see in media is completely staged, as real as any fairy-tale, now including the “news,” pick any channel. Even Bill Moyers does “takes.” It’s all staged to look like reality.
But it isn’t.
No, they tried to stop them from doing it.
And you is high if you think “Christiany” is not being attacked 24/7 by athiest and gay millitants.
you paranoid mang..
lol, and perhaps abnormal?
lol, the fools fired a guy for an interview that he told the truth in! Becuaes they fear gay millitants and more then likely are gay millitants. It was bull**** and you have the villians and heros backwards.
Of course given that they think a well-regulated militia means no regulation … It’s not surprising.
@Jenos Idanian #13: Yeah Baldwin got such a pass that he got canned too. And no one fired up the outrage machine or started any petitions to have him reinstated.
@Jenos Idanian #13:
Baldwin got fired you stupid f~ck.
Jesus-Gawd you are stupid.
@Jenos Idanian #13: Hey stupid, Alec Baldwin was fired for those comments you say he “got a pass” on. Which you know and choose to lie about. Pathetic.
so I’m suddenly afraid to take a side.
And you wrote this moments after accusing others of being whiny? Pot, meet kettle.
The very sad part of all of this is that the lowest common denominator of American society get a TV show that 14 million people watch,
And he said the exact same thing, almost word for word on another thread. Clearly he’s a victim of mean old liberals.
Gay sex is discussed “constantly” and “obsessively” in public? Um. . . and I’m not judging or anything, what “public square[s]” are you visiting? The only times I hear anyone talk or comment about what goes on “behind closed doors” between two men is when some hayseed like Papa Phil opens his piehole to a reporter and occasionally at Savage Love – a sex-advice column. The obsession with gay sex by the rightwing is a bit creepy, frankly.
lol, what did they mean then smart guy?
@James in Silverdale, WA:
Staged, cut, edited. Yeah, reality TV isn’t real. It’s actually less real than scripted TV in the sense that at least scripted TV isn’t dishonestly packaging itself as “real.”
However it’s cheap to produce. No unionized writers and no actor taking a piece of the back end.
@Jenos Idanian #13:
The guy was asked his opinion and answered honestly.
Many people have been fired for expressing their opinions publicly. It’s almost always their own dumbass fault.
It’s more hygenic, self-lubricating, and comes with boobies.
Would anyone be surprised this guy doesn’t get many dates?
On the other hand, Alec Baldwin’s standard practice of calling people he doesn’t like “faggots” is an example of hateful speech. But since he’s such a good liberal, he gets a pass.
Actually, he lost a TV show as a result. But not only do you not defend him as you do Duckbeard, you deny he faced any consequence at all. It just goes to show the only consistent principle you hold is “I hate liberals.” In other words, your typical conservative/Republican.
Just the other day as I was trying to buy strawberries at my local market everyone started talking about anal. The produce guy, the moms with their kids, the dads with their trophy wives, the wandering old people, the manager over the PA system. . . Just nothing but hot, gay anal.
What, that doesn’t happen where you shop?
Everything Jenos knows about sex he learned from Duck Dynasty.
lol, you and near 14 million other smugtarded common senseless lib fantasy world role players watch Duck Dynasty?
Don’t tell him that those self-lubricating vaginas sometimes come with herpes, chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis and HIV. I don’t think he’s ever actually seen one up close and personal, and I don’t think we should discourage him in any way. He needs our support.
Now go back to picking your nose and eating it.
lol, I hate bugs…
I love how all the wingnuts are going ape schitt over the condemnation of Phil quoting the Bible and are complaining about the “intolerant” gays and “libtard” hate for Christian viewpoints.
So glad these defenders of Christianity and free speech were so vociferous in their support of Rev. Wright and his sermons quoting the exact same Bible, some of those sermons which the future President listened to and was influenced by.
It warms my heart that the wingnuts did not force the candidate Obama to repudiate a CHRISTIAN minister and ex friend because Rush, Joe Carter, insHannity et al. stuck up for the CHRISTIAN Rev. Wrights ‘ right to ‘free speech”.
Jenos, Joe Carter, GA other wingnut morons, did I get that about right?
I was referring to:
I am well versed in the New Testament (pun partially intended). That ain’t in there 🙂
If he needs my support he’s f~cked…anally.
Hmmm… perhaps it does mean for the Nazi/millitant perverts to take everyones guns so they can impose their dumb, stupid*** worldview on everyone.
Like you think.
@James in Silverdale, WA:
I’m pretty sure there is no video of the exchange. Also, I’m not sure what the “angle” or advantage is in staging a publicity stunt like this.
Do you chew when you eat that snot…. Or just swallow?
But it is so true.
I trust Phil to know what’s going on down there for the godly man with a willing member of the other gender. He’s talking freedom of choice. It’s all right there in the scriptures.
I’m pretty sure you swallow.
“It seems like, to me, a vagina — as a man — would be more desirable than a man’s anus,”
Now exactly how does he know this? Personal experience? He did say he was a “child of the 60s” afterall. Which means maybe on an acid trip he accidentally put it in the wrong hole. Come on, everybody did this in the 60s, right guys?
Its like those commercials for the “new, improved, more flavorful dog food”…I mean, who checks tha outt?
“Lets see honey, before I feed Rover the new dogfood, get me a spoon so I can compare the old with the new.”
I save it up to upgrade the brains of liberals with. As soon as I get some up to the size of a peanut I do surgery.
Its relentless, frankly.
Did Palin and Cruz speak out on behalf of Martin Bashir when he got fired? Or Baldwin when he got canned? They didn’t? I’m shocked., I tell you, shocked.
No I’m not.
And it’s not an issue of free speech, either.
lol…you wish I was “gay”and are most likey into bogger porn too it seems..
I get a lot of kinks, but bogger porn, C’mon man.
No…Jenos says you swallow
I think there should be room in the marketplace of ideas for almost every opinion, even stupid ones. Look, Christian fundamentalist think homosexuality is wrong, white supremacists think blacks are inferior, and I think it’s wrong to sleep with fat women…..big deal. It’s ok to disagree with someone’s preference as long as it’s understood that people should still be free to pursue those choices without interference of the law or societal institutions. So have 6 fat women at once if that’s your fancy. Sure, I’ll throw up in my mouth at the thought….but that has everything to do with me and isn’t the problem of the person literally having a ton of fun. Who cares how someone outside the legislative circle interprets the Bible, or opines about someone else’s life choices? Can’t have a truly free society by insisting on uniformity of thought on issues of the day.
@Pharoah Narim: nobody is insisting that Phil Robertson believe a certain way. Some people disagree with his opinion, and the people who pay him to be on the TV are (apparently) among them.
@C. Clavin: Please stop feeding the troll. I see that everyone else here is ignoring him, even the other right wingers pretend he doesn’t exist.
lol, who the **** are you?
Who cares how someone outside the legislative circle interprets the Bible, or opines about someone else’s life choices?
If you are on a TV show that wants to increase its audience, then your bosses care.
Can’t have a truly free society by insisting on uniformity of thought on issues of the day.
So we should all have the right to a cable TV show? No one is insisting on uniformity of thought here. Duckbeard can think whatever he wants, and so can you, even if you’re an asshole, which you clearly are. Nobody is interested in your thoughts on women, big or small, but you’re certainly free to express them.
lol, dude “gay’ Millitants are attacking everything and everyone that dares to tell the truth about their sin while they bully/indoctranate everyone else. It’s that simple.
You people want to truly defend the gays? Join a army and go fight the muslims and stop being proaganda bots for dumb ****.
This just in. Man has independent thought. Homosexual rights group doesn’t like thought, freaks out. Media company cuts its losses. Others comment on partial information.
Probable outcome. The Robetrsons will be amused when he comes in from duck season. A&E will quietly reinstate him in time for next seasons filming. More people will watch Duck Dynasty. GLAAD will get a few bucks from people already on their contributor list.
Oh, and there will probably be more shows centered on unabashed Christians coming to A&E and other channels.
Big girls need luvin’ too.
Interesting that this should happen at right around the same time that New Mexico becomes the latest state where SSM is legalized…these sad, little straight white Christian males will probably only become all the more outspoken and bitter as the things they don’t approve of become more and more commonplace…what would Jesus do…
Agree. And again, this is the image he picked for an avatar. Troll, indeed.
@Buffalo Rude: “Also, I’m not sure what the “angle” or advantage is in staging a publicity stunt like this.”
Profit. Roberton’s business is already successful. He just got free ads. So did A&E. This profit exists regardless of any outrage, manufactured or otherwise. And neither party has any interest in “caring” in the traditional sense what anyone has to say about it. They will stage what brings home the bacon. Robertson has a Like Spike, for example. How does that happen otherwise?
All about the benjamins. It’s the only thing that speaks and is heard.
@JKB: Yes, I’m sure you would be just as sanguine and unfazed if some minor reality show celebrity was making similar hateful comments about say…heterosexuals or Christians or conservatives…
Three threads today. I wasn’t planning on it, but every thread turns into race after about a dozen comments. I suppose I could keep pointing it out every time one of the lefties tries to shut someone up by implying that they’re racist, but I’ll probably be exhausted by the end of tomorrow. Tell ya what, Savage, come up with a different analogy or bluster or whatever and I’ll get some rest.
@Jenos Idanian #13:
Please stop…you’re getting me all hot.
What I always fail to understand when wingers are running around lamenting the end to free speech in cases like this; have they suddenly abandoned their devotion to the person that is the corporation? If corporations are people and the right surely venerates them, why would any one individual have more rights than a company? Is it corporations have rights to do whatever they want 364 days a year until they exercise their rights against someone they agree with? If his rights are being violated and A&E were forced to keep him wouldn’t their employer rights be violated? I guess it just matters which foot the shoe is currently on, because the outrage is obnoxious and too much.
I agree A&E overreacted because the people that really outraged have never watched the show (disclaimer neither have I) and the people defending him agree with him and are avid watchers of the show. What I am really curious about is why so many people care about what one inconsequential redneck had to say? None of this matters and won’t in a month, a year at most. Why let yourself be upset about any of it one way or another? Why bother? If this is the most important thing that happens to you today, tomorrow, this week, I feel sorry for you.
I actually think the gays thing is (a) less important, and (b) maybe even an intentional distraction from the religious intolerance:
So, he’s a crazy old coot. That’s fine, and maybe even entertaining.
But I think a lot of people are missing the real problem with that interview. It isn’t that men and women are made for each other (to put it in more polite terms), it is that Christianity must prevail across the world.
Remember…no such thing as bad publicity. James, I think you have it exactly right.
BTW, commenters at The American Conservative immediately linked “Robertson’s attackers” to the people who wish you “Happy Holidays.”
War on Christians … even as they compare Shintos to Nazis.
Y’all realize that if this plays out according to well-established precedent… Mr. Duck will turn out to be gay.
All of the most vocal Republican homophobes turn out to really like that which they fear the most.
BTW, to everyone that says “overreacted,” remember that the thing any corporation wants least is a loose cannon.
You get it back under control, or you toss it overboard.
At TAC I compared to Alex Baldwin. He’s a well-known loose cannon, but he knows the rules. He does the public penance. That allows him to keep working.
Do you think Robertson was offered that path, and perhaps declined?
That would make him an uncontrolled loose cannon, and I sure wouldn’t want responsibility for him within the network.
lol, I was just watching MSMBC and CNN.
It was all God is stupid, Christians are stupid hicks, The word of God is a vile belief.Just like here.
Oh, they talked a lot about this stupid belief and how they don’t want it to be shared also.
They even have a fake preacher to talk about the Bible as they all get everything about it wrong.Just like here.
Oh, And why do so many “gay” guys use that fake gay accent?
And how come the lesbians don’t have one?
This is what I wrote at TAC:
Sure, you can add “cool kid atheists” to that mix. Most of them are probably not the independent thinkers that they think they are.
BTW, if liberals actually think the gay thing is more important than the religion thing .. they might be more shallow and topical than they think.
Of course, as I say, I suspect the Roberson supporters are positioning it all as a “gay lobby” backlash intentionally, to distract from the gamut of crazy talk.
You got the part where Robertson said Blacks were happy before Welfare?
@C. Clavin: Is John Ensign gay?
Dude, you haven’t pointed out anything but your own self-pitying mentality and your own personal obsession with the myth of white victimization. And even then you do it in a wimpy, passive-aggressive way.
I think it is the middle of duck season and he probably has no idea the morons have gone more moronic. The man gave up starting quarterback in college because it interfered with duck season. Do you really think he cares that a bunch of people are upset he paraphrased the Bible when asked what he considered sinful?
Baldwin lost his show on MSNBC, which had maybe a dozen viewers. But he’s still the face of Capital One, and I don’t see protesters demanding that the bank get rid of this hate-filled homophobe.
And I tried watching Duck Dynasty once. They were building a conveyor belt for their business. They powered it with an old Jeep, and then one of them tried to ride on the belt in a canoe. At that point I changed the channel.
It ain’t my style, but it is insanely popular.
@mantis: No one is particulaly interested in your opinion about my opinion. But since you were interested enough to chime in with your all-knowing spidey sense that my opinion makes me an asshole. I believe such poor form earns you the dubious distinction, in my mind at least, of being a pussy….or a chubby chaser. Probably both. Cheers.
Local news report: A nearby warehouse store had about 400 Duck Dynasty t-shirts. Today they sold them all out in less than three hours when this news broke. The WalMart sold out of their shirts, books, lanyards, caps, and anything “Duck Dynasty” related. This Robertson man has already written three best sellers. Their show gets 12+ million viewers and is the highest watched on cable or satellite tv. Their speaking engagements are packed and they are booked way ahead.
A&E: much ado about nothing, so you just made them millions more.
“This is the United States of America
The land of the brave and the free
We believe in God and we believe in justice
We believe in liberty” (“This Ain’t No Rag, It’s a Flag” Charlie Daniels great hit)
@MM: Actually that’s not the exception I’m taking. Robertson is an employee of A&E and they are taking action in their interest to preserve their brand. Got it. What I would like to see from the peanut gallery of the interwebs is a collective Meh. Instead it’s going to turn into another Chick fil A deal with this guy getting even more popular with a bigger audience to spout nonsense to. That’s the OPPOSITE of what we want no?
The Robertson’s just put A&E on the hot seat.
Does A&E throw away throw away a ratings leader? Somebody going to get fired…
Of course he cares. Last week, he was a mainstream hit. Hit cable show, kiosks of merch at Walmart, a genuine pop culture phenomenon.
Now he’s in danger of joining George Zimmerman and Joe the Plumber as mascots for a political movement’s pet issue. You go from the Tonight Show to the Tea Party circuit. Not a wise career move.
@michael reynolds: Passive-aggressive? I hope not. Maybe you’re so aggressive that anything short of bluster strikes you as passive. But the funny thing about bullies: it’s not standing up to them that defeats them, it’s yawning at them. You act like a bully. [stretches] Yaaaaaawwwn. G’night, Mike. Let’s see how your comments are tomorrow.
The Robertson’s can take their show anywhere they want and take their audience. Plus, there are books, merchandise, speaking engagements, etc. Oh, and that is in addition to a very successful duck call business.
Content is king. Not to mention the audience. The media vehicle doesn’t control anything anymore.
More self-pity, more victimhood. And still zero substance.
I’m actually surprised his comments about life being great for blacks under Jim Crow were overlooked.
The stars will be under contract. Said contract will be weighted heavily in A&E’s (and Gurney Productions) favor. There will be a morals and conduct clause. If the stars fail to fulfill their contract A&E and the producer may sue them.
No one at A&E will get fired. No one at Gurney Productions (the company that produces the show) will get fired, either. They have many more irons in the fire, including a new show with Raven-Symone who is gay.
Most likely the network will realize it’s a hopeless mess and cancel the show and these guys will appear at some Tea Party rallies and shuffle off to join Joe the Plumber in the Sarah Palin parade of has-beens.
The suits from A&E and the Gurney people will all get together at CAA (or WME or wherever) and laugh about the dangers of dealing with hicks. Then they’ll go on to talk about other projects.
The one person who may get fired is whatever hapless flack set up the interview. Publicists are a dime a dozen.
Well, season 5 is in the can. So that contract is probably coming to an end. Not to mention, these guys weren’t some starving actors, they already had money, i.e., lawyers, to look after their interests.
Plus, they are popular, they bring in the bucks every week. Reportedly making $200,000 an episode. 12 million viewers. By contrast, there are 8-9 million GLBT individuals in the US.
Hollywood may try to toxify them. But keep in mind, they are big enough to move people to online and other delivery methods. They could be the trigger to unbundle cable.
It will be interesting.
@JKB: There is money to be made. I have no doubt somehow this will all be worked out.
Doubtful. As Michael pointed out, there are contracts. “Duck Dynasty” is “their” show about as much as Two and a Half Men was Charlie Sheen’s show.
“Their audience” was vast enough NOT to be composed solely of Bible-thumping homophobes, so if the Robertson’s want to start a new show on whatever channel runs the 700 Club, I’m sure they will. But only a small piece of “their audience” will come with them.
It’s true. As long as “Duck Dynasty” is a mainstream hit, everyone wants a piece of the action. It’s downright foolish to think that will continue after they alienate their audience, lose their show, and join Mel Gibson and Jane Fonda on the “Shoulda kept their mouth shut” list.
Actually, no, they can’t. The norm for productions like this is for the production company (in this case Gurney Productions, a division of UK giant ITV) to own the concept / material / episodes. The people who perform in the show are contracted employees, perhaps with some backend on the royalties, perhaps not, but they do not own the show itself. They are paid to perform.
More importantly, they are contractually obligated to perform, so they don’t have the option of sitting on the sidelines in protest either, lest they get sued. While they might have achieved a modicum of success, A&E = Disney and Hearst, and ITV is gigantic in its own right, so these people do not have the financial means to endure a fight like that one in court against three multibillion dollar corporations. While some may be comforting themselves with the belief that these people have options, they really don’t.
And, just as an aside, I have to wonder how many of these garment rending fans were involved in the (failed) campaign to force JC Penney to drop Ellen DeDeneres as their spokeswoman. Or the one that attempted to force Disney to abandon the gays. The hypocrisy (and the stink) emanating from these people is, as usual, overpowering.
Wow….you must be joking.
12 millions viewers…..and it’s inconceivable to you that some of them would disagree with Phil Robertson on the subject of gays.
8-9 million GLBT individuals in the US….and it’s inconceivable to you that these people have families and friends and acquaintances who would disagree with Phil Robertson on the subject of gays.
Seriously, JKB, tell me you’re joking. How can you write this:
And expect to be taken seriously?
Game of Thrones and Breaking Bad couldn’t do it, but Duck Dynasty will? Step outside the bubble, bud. You’re kidding yourself here.
The standard contract length for people on TV series and reality shows is 7 years (often 6+1). Notice, it’s years and not seasons. And the show started less than two years ago. So no, the contract is most likely not coming to an end.
Sure they had money already, but they were also unknowns. Why would A&E be willing to give a show to unknowns without having them sign a contract with the standard contract length? It might be a hit (which it was).
Because the only ones having issues with his views are GLBT individuals…
They can’t take anything anywhere. Trust me, A&E did not leave them a way to take their show elsewhere. As for them having lawyers – so do I, trust me, the network wins.
The silliness of your count of gays is self-evident. I’m not gay, but I support them. As do just about all the American people at this point.
@Tyrell: I wonder who gets a bigger cut from “Duck Dynasty” merchandise, A&E or the Robertsons? Seriously, I’d like to know.
Well, until someone sees the contracts we won’t know. But from the article that started all this, it seems like they do some or all the writing. They also have negotiated no betrayal of their faith or family, not to mention duck season. So they might not be in such a weak position.
Not to mention, Phil didn’t say anything he hasn’t said before and A&E did nothing till now. So I wonder about the clause they are citing for the suspension. The lawyers will sort it all out.
And even if they own the name Duck Dynasty, these guys have recognition on their own and they have Duck Commander, their real business.
The part that really amuses me is their absolute conviction that A&E (which is a convenient way of saying Disney and Hearst) just can’t handle the loss of this television show, and will come crawling back begging for forgiveness when the ratings start to drop.
Over a cable show that gets beaten in the ratings by fricking Dancing With the Stars. It ties with 60 Minutes, for chrisssakes.
What will happen if they stop watching the show, IMO, is that A&E will just cancel it and replace it with some other equally braindead piece of reality fluff. A year after they do, nobody will even care that these people once had 15 minutes of notoriety on the boob tube.
I love it when the Right discovers what the concept of at-will employment actually means.
By the way, to reiterate my original comment way above, I don’t give a damn about the show or this dude one way or the other. I think A&E and Gurney played with fire hiring these guys, the producers were able to cash in, the family was able to make some money, good for all of them.
But I doubt seriously they were making 200k an episode – at least not in the first three years. More likely 5-10k an episode with a third season renegotiation, if I were guessing. Their best money would come via a book if they have one, plus appearances, merch, etc…
No way to know if season 5 will be broadcast. I assume they’ve been paid for season 5, but if it gets nasty and A&E sues they’ll be giving that back. As HarvardLawyer pointed out, you want to put your money on the side with the deepest pockets.
The family taking this to the next level pretty much cooks their goose. They’ll have violated their morals and conduct clause and attacked the network, so they’re almost certainly off the air, and they’ve given A&E ample grounds to sue them. So it’s probably over and time for the family to join the traveling Palin freak show.
Again, I’m sorry these people stepped in it. They screwed the pooch without probably even knowing they were doing it.
@JKB: 12 million viewers doesn’t mean 12 million supporters.
Disney drops 100 million dollars on a movie that bombs and walks away whistling a happy tune. But Duck Dynasty will break them. Yep.
These contracts are typically boilerplate, never more so than when they are being executed with unknowns who have absolutely no leverage over the negotiations.
Trust me on this one: they have little to no real power over the outcome of this one. Past failure to act on the conditions of a contract doesn’t nullify the power to do so. The bottom line is that these contracts always, always, always include verbiage to the effect of “if you embarrass us or cause negative PR for us, we have the power to toss you to the curb”. That power is decidedly unilateral.
Beyond that, A&E just distributes the show. It is a product that they buy from a supplier, and they can decide to stop buying it as they please. Gurney / ITV can shop it around to other buyers if A&E waives, if they so choose, but that decision will be made by network execs in London, not bumpkins from Louisiana. That’s honestly just how it goes.
At will wouldn’t be applicable here, as there is almost certainly an employment contract involved. What can be said with certainty is that those contracts overwhelmingly favor the production company from a balance of power standpoint.
I just did a TV deal with Sony. I have a big boy lawyer with deep experience, plus CAA, and its still Sony’s contract. Because they’re Sony and I’m not.
My particular outrage: while they are required to get me a biz class ticket and first class hotel accommodations should I need to travel (to this entirely speculative show) they’re only required to pay $60 a day per diem.
As I pointed out, that’s either one room service breakfast at the Beverly Hilton or two decent Scotches at the bar downstairs. I’ll be living like an animal.
No, we know because we know how this business is run. You’re holding out to see the contract because you…apparently don’t.
Yes, they will always have their niche. No one is disputing that.
Indeed, the way the wagons have been circled, I think we’re one Facebook post away from a Duck Commander buy-cott. Tea Party rallies will soon be buzzing with official Tea Party edition Duck Commander merchandise. Every time a homophobe wants to signal to another homophobe they’re a fellow traveler…..quack quack.
You’d probably be fine with that, but I would hope that you would at least admit to yourself that would be a significant diminishment of their current stature.
That business generates around $40 million a year in gross revenue.
Disney? $42 billion
Hearst? $9 billion
ITV? About $6 billion (depending on the exchange rate).
This couldn’t be more David and Goliath if it tried, only in this case, Goliath wins.
GA is all about truth in advertising, if not in commenting.
Exactly. While not at all intended to impugn your work, which I am certain is excellent, from their point of view they are buying a product, and one that nobody has a monopoly over.
It’s a relatively small number of deep pocket companies like Sony that can afford to move these projects into production, against a much larger pool of content providers from which they can pick and choose as they please. That skews the game enormously in their favor.
Well, there you go.
One question, how do you make people be funny? Duck Dynasty is a comedy that hinges quite strongly on the humor brought by the family. They aren’t just repeating words off a page.
But, this is all for naught. There is money to be made and in a couple months, you guys won’t know whether the show is on or not.
It just occurred to me. Is the reason Phil’s religious views are suddenly a concern because Barbara WaWa said “quack”(the Duck Dynasty guys) was more interesting than Obama? check out the video in the “Messaih” post below.
Sure we will. We’re political junkies.
Now that the Robertsons are political activists, it’s likely they will remain on our radar. Well, at least until their 15 minutes are up.
A perfect phrase. And it got me thinking, it really is a freak show, so how come there’s no freak show show? I mean something grittier and more transgressive than what Fox does. It seems to me that there’s a real opportunity for someone to create a show (via cable? netflix? youtube?) that brings together a bunch of semi-forgotten right-wing heros. A good host would be someone like Erick Erickson, John Hinderaker or Glenn Reynolds. I’m thinking of guests like George Zimmerman, Nakoula Basseley Nakoula (the “Benghazi patsy,” as Rich Lowry called him), Paula Deen, Dan Cathy (the Chick-fil-A dude), and Joe the faux-plumber. Also people like Todd Akin, Richard Mourdock, Sharron Angle and Christine O’Donnell. Don’t forget Sheriff Joe Arpaio, Orly Taitz, Donald Trump, Ted Nugent and of course Phil Robertson would be perfect.
I’m probably forgetting a bunch of people. Is there already a show like this, and I just don’t know about it? I see a real niche here. I would probably watch it myself, for the laughs.
Short answer: No
Slightly longer answer: No, that’s completely ridiculous.
I’ll have my people call your people. We’ll do lunch.
The show is a commodity, one of nearly 40 that Gurney has in production, and there are a great deal more Gurneys offering up product as well. In a market where a show like Honey Boo Boo can be a hit, practically anything can sell. Beyond that, a decent chuck of A&E’s revenue is generated by end providers like Cox and Verizon paying the network for the programming stream. ALL of it, so A&E gets paid whether or not DD is included in their lineup.
And the supply of this cheap to produce fluff is quite broad. Shows are popular, until they aren’t, and they come and go with regularity. While I don’t mean to sound arrogant about it, let’s face it, the demographics on this one aren’t exactly deep. We’re talking largely less educated, lower income viewers. If this one stops working, they’ll just plug in a replacement, and another one, and another one, until something else clicks. These companies care a great deal less about losing the show than the folks performing in it do, and that is where the imbalance of power comes from.
This relationship is going nowhere, because your concept of lunch is Beverly Hilton and mine is Subway. Seriously though it would be funny if a show like this was put together by a bunch of flaming liberals.
There’s no conspiracy here, it’s very simple. The guy said something that embarrassed the parent company. A&E looks at the interview, their audience, their demo, and realizes they’d better issue a statement separating themselves from this guy’s opinions. Silence would be consent from their point of view. They can’t let that implied agreement stand. So they make a statement – they suspend the guy.
Then it blows up politically, which essentially dooms the show they were all probably trying to save. Once Palin and her ilk got involved it almost certainly doomed the show.
As HarvardLawyer points out, this is a peanuts to the corporations involved. It’s a rounding error. Even if it was more important, they will never let the “talent” win a showdown like this. Never, ever, ever. Just ask Charlie Sheen. You can hold them up for more money, if you don’t overstep yourself, but once it turns into some kind of power struggle the talent loses. That’s just the way it is.
Forget it, JKB, it’s Hollywood.
Come on, how often do I get a chance to drop a Chinatown reference?
JKB: as luck would have it, I have one of these contracts stuffed into the great and eternal archive. This is an example of the conduct clause that they contain. The verbiage may change a bit, but the restrictions are pretty much industry standard for a television actor.
The determination of what constitutes such acts is left to the discretion of the network. As you can see, it is more or less a 24 hour a day, 7 day a week gag order.
Do you have the clause that grants them the right to bend you over, with or without lubrication, and require you to squeal like a pig, and do so throughout the universe? Because I’m pretty sure I’ve seen that language at some point.
LOL, I think that one would be the one where the actor(s) cede any potential entitlement to ongoing revenue streams and derivative income. The barrel that they have unknowns like these guys over results in some truly egregiously skewed agreements.
But thus goes the golden rule: he who hath the gold maketh the rules.
You will absolutely love this one
Much bigger names than Duck Dynasty thought they could stand up to the Networks, Production Companies etc and with no exception that I can recall all of them lost. If the Duck guys try to fight this they will lose and if they’re lucky not be worse off than before the show aired. If they are smart, they will shut up and ride out their 15 minutes and the money it brings them.
@Ron Beasley: Does that rationale also apply to trash-talking Bill Maher’s show?
Guys who use this expression tend to have very little hands on experience with women’s bodies.
You discovered a new scientific law.
Whenever some right-wing darling says something stupid or offensive, the probability of Bill Maher being mentioned goes to 1.
Sleeping with fat women can have beneficial side effects. It’s one of the main reasons I quit drinking.
We just call him “Marin County Mike”…
@Pharoah Narim: Well, at the end of the day, I’m not terribly interested outside of watching a trainwreck/cynical cash grab. I don’t have any stake on the Robertsons going broke or if Sarah Palin buy s a million duck calls passive-aggressively. Society moving forward doesn’t hinge on the Robertson clan any more than it did on Dog Chapman or Dave Hester. However the issue with the collective “Meh” is that it grants tacit approval.
Did that benefit the network or the Robertsons more? Other than silly symbolism, that may not have been nearly as effective as people thought.
I’m betting the network. Disney knows merchandising.
A lot of people get high off dudgeon. Selectively so. I’ve watched the show, and I have to say that it’s very funny at times. Those guys are very appealing. But there is one thing I’ve noticed. The show always ends with the family around the table having dinner. But I’ve never seen Willie’s adopted son at that table. If you don’t know, Willie adopted a mixed-race child named Will. I’ve had fleeting glimpses of Will here and there in the show, but that’s all they were, fleeting. I’ve read Willie saying that, while some folks around Monroe have been supportive of Willie’s adoption of Will, some of his church brethren and sisiteren have been less so.
Now, I’ve always wondered why that black child is never at that dinner table. Well, not really. I think we all know why he’s not there. The base demographic of the show would be made, to say the least, uncomfortable. Will is not a part of the show for purely venal reasons: His presence might be deleterious to the ratings of the show with respect to the base demographic. That is to say, Will is kept out of the way so as not to offend people. Just a Phil may (may!) be kept out of the way so as not to offend people.
Can someone ‘splain me how, at the end of the day, the two shunnings differ?
I have watched this show occasionally. It’s okay. But I usually stick to “Sponge Bob”, “Tom and Jerry”, and “Andy Griffith”. I can talk about those and not have to worry about possibly offending someone. My favorite is “Gunsmoke”. None of that political correctness stuff in Dodge City.
“You can go home pig or pork. Make your choice” (Marshall Dillon, “Gunsmoke”)
Phil Robertson ?
These aren’t the droidsThis isn’t the role model you’re looking for.
… move along.
Hey… Haters are going to hate. And as you can see, people who compare homosexuality to bestiality have lots of friends and supporters.
And how convenient for them to feel smug and comfortable expressing their hate, cause – hey – backwards cretin Christians were hating gays centuries ago. See, hating gay people is ok – the people who wrote the bible and claim to hear god speak said so.
Ps: You can always spot latent homosexuality. Look for the guy who refers to a woman’s breasts as “boobies” – those are the guys whose suppressed homosexual tendencies make them hate gays – because they hate and want to deny their own inner gayness. It should therefore come as no surprise that they have the maturity of a 12 year old.
@MM: That’s not a universal truth…. meh is also an effective response to a ridiculous assertion….like fundamentalist Bible exegesis or me not finding fat woman sexing particular appealing.
Full disclosure: I abhor it from personal experience….very personal. Yes, I’ve slapped several thighs and rode the wave in. I’m better now.
Ah, yes…the perpetual outrage machine.
Blogger, heal thy comments section.
@John425: Yes. By the way, as we all remember, he lost his show on network television precisely because he said something controversial/offensive on the air, and he could lose his show on HBO if HBO executives think that he should do so.
The reason that reality TV is so popular is because it´s cheap, since you don´t have to hire people like Michael Reynolds to produce it. Reality Television that becomes too expensive is not interesting to these companies, because then it´s easier to hire people like Michael Reynolds to produce scripted programming with the same subject.
152 comment on this minor story. Now 153. I suspect A&E and Mr. Duck hit the jackpot. They were going on hiatus ’til next season anyway. They’ll milk this as long as they can, come contact negotiation time A&E will try to convince Mr. Duck they might really cancel, and next season every hillbilly in the country will feel it’s his Christian duty to watch the show. This is like Trump “running” for prez, a good show, but don’t take it seriously.
Wonderful video telling the truth about the Robertson family –
Duck Dynasty is Fake! NSFW for language.
Well yeah…this is a bunch of rednecks that hit the lottery…and this latest episode is just the Powerball Multiplier.
6 years from now no one will remember these idiots.
Just like those clowns from the Chopper show.
I hope they are smart enough to take advantage of their luck.
But based on his comments…both factually and logically incorrect…they are not.
They are not,they just play them on TV. They all have college degrees – Phil has a M.A on Education.
Not to quibble…but I know a whole lot of rednecks with advanced degrees.
I don’t actually know anything about the show…never wasted time watching this sort of thing.
I’m going to outsource my view on this to Josh Barro:
No, the only thing new here is that his well known views were printed in GQ. His views on homosexuality and sin were known before the show started.
But in the end all the production company owns are the episodes and the term “Dynasty”. The Robertsons own or control the location, the signature camo, the beards, the dialogue, and the actual dynasty. They even have a merchandising brand. And the successful business that underlies it all. Plus they are celebrities in their own right now.
The end of the actual production of the show would probably be welcome.
The gay thing is noxious on its own, but you combine it with the religious sentiments…and then everyone rushes to defend the gay stuff. I figured that was all old hat. The religious crap is just insane.
@Pinky: Really, Pink? You’ve called it out rightly in maybe one thread out of three so far; this is not a good ratio. You might want to consider discretion.
@michael reynolds: Does the “condescending a$$hole” routine ever convince anyone you’re right?
So, guys like the Robertsons wouldn’t be so deranged and obsessive about homosexuality if people would just not acknowledge it or mention it, and if gays would stay closeted?
I’ve heard many in the North Bay refer to his followers as “Sewage Nation”
All this fuss, so A&E runs a Duck Dynasty marathon, yesterday, today, and on the weekend.
Speak for yourself. I can stop any time I want.
@al-Ameda: I’ve had conversations with fundamentalist about this and their position, at least, the ones without incentive to fill pews or garner votes, is that they be allowed to speak their interpretation of the bible that homosexuality is sinful and not acceptable. A small percentage have a belief in this “sin” being greater than others but most don’t. They view all sin as equal so the womanizer, drunk, liar, etc are all in the same boat.
Frankly, this is the majority Christian position so its news like “dog bites man” is news. Other Christians are able to articulate it using more nuanced, less inflammatory language so they don’t offend anyone because their honest goal is to have people, even gays, be more receptive to the Gospel as they see it. The media portrayal of the fundamentalist is often skewed towards the militant fundamentalist because that’s what generates click and comments…attention. This is not reality. My parents became fundamentalist after I left home and despite having their views, they still treat the lesbian couple across the street from them with the upmost respect….probably nicer than the butthole straight couple that lives next door. They would feel they weren’t living up to the requirements of the bible if they did anything different.
Apparently so. My up/down vote ratio seems to run about 10 to 1 in my favor. I only condescend to people who richly deserve it.
If you don’t mind a bit more “condescending a$$holery,” I’ll add that I generally know what I’m doing when it comes to writing words. I know how to write a character, including the one that’s me.
What I find amusing browsing the interwebs is that neither the fundamentalist nor their critics have any idea how to get the best meanings that are relevant today out of the Bible. Monkeys vs Baboons discussing a chemistry book. I am not a credentialed bible scholar but have a passion for ancient religious texts. I’ve probably got a couple of thousand hours on the bible alone. It’s a fascinating book when viewed from certain perspectives and in context–as are other works of the ancient world of similar subject matter.
@michael reynolds: I’ll give you credit. I’ve never read your professional works nor ever will but its obvious you have the high end of the gift to turn words into imagery into peoples minds. But up/down ratio?!?!? Come-on Michael. It ain’t hard to preach to your own choir.
I agree. I’m an atheist in large part because I actually read the whole Bible. I found the character development of the main protagonist (God) to be fatally flawed. Which is just interesting if its an amazing collection of very ancient stories, fables, histories, sermons, etc…, and only a problem if you choose to believe it’s the divinely inspired word of God.
Jesus on the other hand I like quite a bit. Very interesting guy, very far ahead of his time philosophically. Night and day from the OT God. But Jesus ends up being a bit of a Cassandra in that no one ever seems to believe what he says – especially his alleged followers. I keep wanting to tell Christians that they should consider actually listening to what the man said, because Jesus was way smarter than they are.
You have to admit it. Barbara Walters was right. Phil Robertson is more interesting than the Obamas.
What is interesting about being unwilling to even discuss a delay of Obamacare to the point of shutting down the federal government, to then 60 days later to order a de f acto delay in violation of the laws plain language? It is so puerile. But I guess Obama got all wee-wee’d up over the coming disaster.
My own choir? This is the comments section of OTB, owned and operated by James Joyner and written by Doug and others. We’re on a conservative blog and I’m pretty clearly a liberal.
As for your implied slander of other readers here, I’ve noticed they have no difficulty at all in telling me I’m full of sh!t when we’re talking NSA or various foreign policy issues where I’m to the right.
@john personna: Yes, I found that a definite WTF? moment. The only thing I could think of is he’s watched too many WWII movies set in the Pacific.
Eating rice cakes and ringing ropes with bells on them is equivalent to being a Nazi? Wow.
If you want some good Duck news: Controversy expected to spur merch sales.
The stuff branded with the show name (Duck Dynasty t-shirts, for ex) is one thing, individual books authored by cast members etc a different matter, I’m assuming. If the family had a smart lawyer/agent they may have gotten a separate revenue stream for merchandise. Otherwise merch money will go into the big pot and we don’t know how much if any back end participation the Robertsons have. Generally “back end” money for cast (or rights owners) is sort of laughed off as unlikely to materialize. But it could, depending on how much, the terms of the deal, the relative honesty of accounting, etc…
In any case I doubt the family will be on food stamps any time soon.
I still don’t see what the guy said that was so outrageous and hate-filled. But Reason’s Brian Doherty had a good take on the Cult of Perpetual Outrage:
@James Pearce: Actually, they probably don’t have rights over “Duck Dynasty”, either….
(looks on line)
Yup, just as I thought. A&E own the trademarks that have issued.
So no, Robertson et. al. can’t just walk away, take the show with them, or set up their own set of merchandise with the Duck Dynasty name/logo on it. In fact, they might have difficulty setting up their own show/merchandise dealing with huntin’ and ‘shootin’ if they copied the “look and feel” of the show too closely. (don’t you love trademark law?)
You’re probably right. Yesterday, for some reason, Michael’s schtick was really amusing to me. Today, it’s back to being sad.
Among conservatives, the schtick is known as Kafka-trapping. Accuse someone of racism: if they react to it, that means they’re guilty; if they don’t react to it, it means they’re guilty. I was trying something different by pointing out how often it happens and the obvious intent behind it rather than ignoring it or trying to defend against it. For my part, I never actually slink away when someone pulls out the race analogy or accusation or whatever. As someone who knows his own heart, I know I’m ok on it. The idea that someone would assume by my reading of economics or something that I’m motivated by racism, well, that reflects on them, not me. But it’s a type of bullying, subconscious or not. Bullying is at the heart of the very thing these people claim to hate, racism. A racist is one kind of bully. Michael (or his character) is apparently a different kind of bully. Bullying is just sad.
@michael reynolds: I was going through tough times at a pivotal stage in life and thought maybe the fundamentalist path had the answers. I don’t do anything unless Im all in so I went full bore for several years. I found that the Bible generated more questions than answers (which is actually what it is designed to do). Ultimately, I began to look for what was missing from the meaning in history and other contemporary works…even lightly studying ancient hebrew and greek to make my own decisions about the word choices of politically motivated translators. From there, I stumbled onto the path I was looking for…a path that never ends.
You and I came away with different conclusions on the surface –in general– because I am not an atheist per se. I believe that the Bible is both a lie (albeit a noble lie) and the truth–at the same time. I can absolutely guarantee though that, a certain level, you believe, practice, and agree with almost everything the bible teaches OT and NT. We just understand it using different language than what the Bible uses have the benefit of a couple of thousand more years of human consciousness evolution.
What’s the conservative term-of-art for a guy who goes on multiple threads to announce that he’s been intimidated, when in fact no one has even addressed him?
Three times you leaned in with your chin out there hoping I’d take a swing. Three times it didn’t work. You even tried with your sock puppet the other day. That didn’t work, either. But hey, keep at it. You never know. You may still get your martyrdom.
@michael reynolds: @michael reynolds:
If you’d like to throw some Christians for a loop—point out that one of the main places Jesus preached to save people was in the Synagogues (or what we’d call today the Church). And, as much as many Christians would like to believe that they are the chosen spokesman for the Gospel, many of the woes and condemnations in the Bible are actually about them. There is work to be down raising one’s mental and spiritual understanding and the plain surface meaning of the Bible is for the lazy. If you don’t work…you wont “eat”.
@JKB: It’s very easy to see you know absolutely NOTHING about trademarks….
@michael reynolds: Interesting enough, the comments section at OTB despite being conservative/libertarian is slightly left of left center. Its predictable which ideas/slights/insults will get up voted or down voted. We even have a few resident goons so everyone gets to blow their downvote wad for the day.
However, the commenters do a helluva lot better job here developing their ideas beyond the bumper sticker level and they are reasoned and thought out. In a perfect world this section could have a few more people of the TAC brand commenting to give the readers and lurkers exposure to a fuller spectrum ideas.
Being kind of shitty and sexist isn’t really the best response to someone being kinda shitty and homophobic (with a bit of racism tossed in).
Why does Phil Robertson obsesses so much about gays? Because he’s gay himself. It’s gross that I was made to think about that gross redneck having sex with other gross rednecks.
It appears that “free speech” is only for the leftists. The PC crowd only practices tolerance if you agree with them.
oh good lord.
Dude, it’s the Internet. People are going to judge you on a lot of parameters based on just sampling a few. I think it was Brummagen Joe earlier this year (can’t believe I remember this) who started calling me an idiot over a point I tried to make about Nazi uniforms looking cool. Or maybe it was over whether Stormtroopers and regular German army were interchangeable, I honestly don’t recall. You can’t equate the very basic misinterpretation and miscommunication that comes from not talking to someone face to face (where ~70% of communication lies in tone, facial expression, body language, etc.) with bullying.
Granted, Michael was bullying you a bit, but you also were kinda asking for it. Like I said, you have a bad ratio so far.
As a professional writer, I’d hope you’d know the difference between appealing to those who already agree with you versus convincing them of your point of view. Joyner owns the site and conservatives write most of the posts, but the commentary here skews liberal, as your up/down vote ratio amply demonstrates.
@Grewgills: What can I say….human beings are flawed. Its a feature–not a bug. The “us” of humanity moves to perfection through the imperfections of “I”. In other words, im doing my part to ensure the next generation is less shitty and less sexist..
@slimslowslider: If you are calling upon God as Lord, then the “L” should be capitalized.
Sounds like they’ve [taken] the strongest position they can, even if it isn’t terribly honest.
They are positioning this as war on Christians, never mind the bit about Shintos being like Nazis
(and certainly never mind that WWII Germany was overwhelmingly Christian.)
@Tillman: I get that. It’s not like Michael is the only one who turns everything into race. Aside from a little foam around the mouth, he seems like the median for this site. And hey, when the site features articles about things like Santa’s skin color, I can’t expect much better. I just hate bullying. Tell you the truth, I’d rather someone call me a racist than level the accusation at someone else who might be cowed by it.
@Tyrell: That’s fascinating — you actually watch only those things suitable for a six year old just in case you might be tempted to talk about what you watch and accidentally offend someone?
Why would you deliberately infantiize yourself like this?
Excuse me? Robertson makes some really stupid comments about black people, and THEN michael turned it into race?
Hmmm.. I’m having trouble finding the verse that says “It seems like, to me, a vagina—as a man—would be more desirable than a man’s anus”
Is that something Jesus said, or is it the Old Testament?
I know they have a 40 yr old company. That they had successful TV shows before with their signature look
Do you really think they signed away all that for some reality show? The name is one thing. The Robertsons are another. In any case, they were wealthy at the start, they’ll be more wealthy when it ends. A&E will move on, some advertisers will leave. Others will not dare since it would alienate their actual customers instead of some Progs with sensitivities. Do you really think Brownell will end their sponsorship of the most famous users of shotguns in the world?
It is amusing how ignorant so many commenting here wish to remain when the truth is just a click away. The Robertsons weren’t some family A&E found in the bayou. They were successful in the Duck business before A&E even came into existence.
Don’t remain ignorant, go read the GQ article. Apparently, most who are upset over this cannot. Must be afraid of the truth in context.
@john personna: I just reread the article, and I see that Andrew Sullivan brought race into the conversation first. I’d missed that. But what I saw was an article that didn’t mention race at all, certainly didn’t talk about the Duck Dynasty guy’s sentiments about anything other than homosexuality. I don’t know if Robertson’s comments about black people were even released yet. When Joe (comment #1) made his point, MM2 recast it in a homosexuality / race analogy. That’s what I responded to.
I thought michael was responding to Robertson.
The interesting thing is, if you are correct, and he was only anticipating …
he anticipated correctly, didn’t he?
So much for michael’s crazy ideas.
Seriously, what we see in this thread and in that last statement is what we’ll see for the coming month.
Robertson and friends will try to position this as Christianity vs the “gay lobby”, and they will have to be reminded again, and again, and again that faith is not a free pass for intolerance of all stripes.
I mean, was there any intolerance Robertson missed? Race, religion, sexual preference … check, check, check.
@John425: Nothing annoys the Almighty quite like improper capitalization, huh?
You can’t be serious. You have to be some kind of satire, Poe’s Law be damned.
@Pinky: Robertson brought race into it. From the GQ article:
Read More http://www.gq.com/entertainment/television/201401/duck-dynasty-phil-robertson#ixzz2o3BYQ3NY
Perhaps you missed the part of the GQ article where he mentioned picking cotton with black folks and how they were happy and singing and never mistreated. It was a remembrance of childhood, but as an adult reflecting back on that time it takes a pretty startling level of willful ignorance to state that African Americans picking cotton in Louisiana in the 50s and 60s were happy and well treated. So, it was Phil Robertson who injected race into the original GQ article.
@Grewgills: As I noted, that wasn’t in the original OTB article, nor in any of the first round of outcry that I heard. MM2 said that he inserted race as an analogy – he was very specific about that. I just read the GQ article, and boy was it boring. But there was nothing racist in it. (Again, I don’t know these Duck Dynasty guys. Maybe every other word from them is racist.)
How is slagging overweight women helping move us towards a less sexist society?
I tend to think that any time you have a place where people can actually exchange ideas and viewpoints instead of talking points you’ll get a broader spectrum, indeed, but pretty much only if you have the time and energy to go through the comments section. This is one of the few places in the political junkies’ realm that’s worth that time and energy. Because of that, however, viewpoints tend to be more nuanced and it’s difficult to nail someone down as a liberal, although I can generally predict what 2-3 of the most vocal “conservative” suspects are going to say on any given thread.
It would be even more interesting, as I think you are intimating, if there was more nuance on both sides of the spectrum. I am honestly interested in knowing why people think what they think, but it gets frustrating when a point is made by A, another point is offered in rebuttal by B, and then A either just repeats the original point, changes the subject, or disappears.
Many of the deep seated problems facing us today lack bumper sticker solutions. (The best example I can think of to illustrate that is the NY Times 5-part article on the homeless family; there are so many interwoven issues in the basic facts of “homeless” “child” “New York City” that to even start to discuss the issue you have to leave a lot of political rhetoric at the door.)
FWIW I self identify as an independent but in the past 10 years I’ve turned left – or else I just missed the turn-off.
I think you are demonstrating why we should not take your positions on race seriously.
Steven quoted this bit about race from the original GQ article above. It might not be racist per say, but it displays a startling amount of ignorance of his own white privilege in the Deep South of the 50s and 60s. From the quote, he apparently thinks that black folk had it pretty good and were happy with their lot in the Deep South during Jim Crow and it wasn’t until Welfare that black folk started having problems. I have a number of relatives who are much like how he comes across. None of them consider themselves racist and none of them are aware of their privilege as whites in the South. I cringe at holiday meals when I hear them says nonsense like, “There’s nothing wrong with the blacks, it’s the n!&&ers that are the problem.” Phil didn’t say anything that directly racist in the article, but he sure as hell said something that ignorant.
Where was the intolerance? He simply stated what he considered sinful. Further, he relates later in the article that it isn’t his place to judge homosexuals. It was Gods. He duty was simply to relate Gods love to all individuals.
He simply related experience he had working as a field hand in the Jim Crow South. He simply did not impose judgement upon the times for what reason we don’t know. In fact, we don’t know he didn’t since that quote is not presented in context but as an isolated sidebar.
You seem upset that Phil Robertson doesn’t hold your level of perpetual outrage.
Hey Doug, congratulations. We don’t often top 200 comments.
And its about friggin’ Duck Dynasty.
Bring on the meteor already.
Michael, don’t cry, but I just got $75 per day. For Atlanta!!!! And $4K a month housing. For Atlanta!!! I’m gonna live like a king! You should see the sweet penthouse in Midtown I got for $2500, with the balance going in my pocket. WhooHoo!
@JKB: oooooh…..local common law vs. US-wide common law trademark fight!
Their earlier shows were regional and local, yes? Than sorry,. given that A&E basically broadcasts Duck Dynasty country-wide, A&E will at least get the rest of the territory. Plus, if the Robertsons have stopped doing their earlier broadcasting stuff there will be the argument that they have abandoned their own trademark “look and feel”…..
(Not saying that the argument will win, but that’s what the argument will be.)
It’s pretty obvious that the Robertsons have no claim to “Duck Dynasty”.
This is an utterly boring and ginned-up kabuki drama which both sides will take to the bank and the only possibly interesting issue I see is the trademark question if the Robertsons actually leave the show and try to recreate it on their own.
It’s all kabuki negotiations at this point, make more noisy by the number of conservative politicians who think they can cement their bona fides with the great unwashed by jumping on the bandwagon.
Comparing Pat Robertson to Rosa Parks. Yeah, that’ll really be great outreach to those of a duskier complexion. And those of Japanese descent.
@grumpy realist: Checking the PTO web site, what the Robertsons own is “Duck Commander” (they have a registration that was issued in 1992) while A&E owns “Duck Dynasty.” Anyway.
@EddieinCA: when I was doing a show in London – well, Bray, at the old Hammer Studios – they would hand me an envelope with 800 pounds every Monday… Even though they were also paying for my hotel. I went to the theater every night on Disney’s dime.
1995, I did a series there. 600 pounds a week for housing (cost me $150 pounds a week for my flat), 350 pounds per diem 40 pounds per week for “transport”. All on top of my salary and the catered breakfast and lunch. The food was crap, but it didn’t matter since we were so flush.
As I say, you have to be reminded that this isn’t just about the gay thing.
It is amusing that you keep thinking all that wasn’t sorted out by a good entertainment attorney before the whole Duck Dynasty thing started.
Word from those close to the Robertsons is that the show will probably be ending. One presumes that they have some contractual basis for that feeing. But even if the rest of the family could be forced to continue, the show will die simply because the show is them being real people, not some actor repeating what is written for them. And you can compel people to fulfill their contract but you can’t compel them to produce inspired work.
. In other words, im doing my part to ensure the next generation is less shitty and less sexist..
You’re failing miserably.
So you dispute this from the BBC?
Don’t be a nitwit. Yes, a militaristic state can use whatever religion comes to hand. It has been done many times and with many religions.
Robertson’s bizarre claim was that if they’d been Christians, they would not have been like the Nazis who did come to power in a Christian nation.
Actually he said if they’d had Jesus, just as the Nazi and Communists would have it they hadn’t disavowed Jesus. Germany had a Christian tradition before Nazism. The Nazis, however, negotiated the Catholic church out of the public sphere and perverted the Protestant sects into the “Blood and Soil” belief system. Then when in power, Hitler went after the Catholic church.
What about what Robertson said is so hard for you to comprehend?
@JKB: “Word from those close to the Robertsons ” — speacial insight?
The show may well end, we shall see.
I still think that there is enough money on the table for all involved that I expect this will all be settled. Further, I do not put it past any of the actors involved that they are using the current situation as pure PR.
What in that is untrue? You might argue a different view, but what is untrue?
That’s a lot of wiggling, and not for much.
Yes, the minority in charge of Nazi German planned on suppressing Christianity in the future, that wasn’t Robertson’s claim. It was that merely being Christian protected countries from this kind of outrage.
Germany was Christian. It did not protect them.
You know, people like JKB have an amazing persistence. They can lose an argument for 200 comments, but stick with it.
Not in the hopes of winning, merely in the hope of diluting the essential truths.
Go ahead, run the clock, jackass.
yes, it’s called the news media. Entertainment media to be precise in this instance.
check out the very obscure E! Online.
@JKB: Here’s the quote:
By that logic, Germany should never have gone Nazi, as Germany was decidedly a society that embraced Jesus.
@JKB: I guess then, that the appropriate citation would be to a report, yes?
More specifically, that is what I thought: it is just speculation at this point.
Could you explain the logic of that leap? Robertson mentions Nazism and you leap to the presumption about Germany?
A & E: “are based on his own personal beliefs and are not reflected in the series Duck Dynasty,” A&E said in a statement. “His personal views in no way reflect those of A+E Networks,”
If that is the case, why is he being “suspended”? You already have a disclaimer, that is all that is needed. Robertson did not do anything illegal. There were no racist statements. He was asked his personal religious views and he gave them. If I did that over a talk radio station or on a radio religious station, would I be fired from my job? If I were, someone is going to court.
John Wayne made all kinds of political statements, yet I recall no one calling for his job or movie contracts to be cancelled. Why? We all know why: back then a person could give their opinions and not be vilified, attacked, scorned, trampled, berated, or disrespected. Other people would simply say that they disagree with their views, but they still respect their opinions. The same thing should suffice in this Robertson situation. We can certainly disagree with his views, but we should still respect him and his opinions. That is how a civilized society works, That is how the country used to be, and needs to be now. Things have gone way out of balance and crossed the line.
People knew better than to try and pull that kind of stuff on John Wayne. “You don’t mess with the “Duke” !!!
Perhaps if Robertson gave more respect, he’d receive more?
Just a thought.
A&E is showing 18 episodes of Duck Dynasty this weekend.
…there’s a presumption?
@Tyrell: Um, given John Wayne’s relationship to Hollywood blacklisting, I really don’t think you want to bring him up in a conversation about free speech and first amendment rights…
Just a stupid correction: Muslims embrace Jesus – they consider Jesus to be messenger of God, not his Son or God Himself, but Jesus is not irrelevant in Koran. And many Christians managed to get some relevance in Muslim countries – Saddam Hussein´s Prime Minister was a Christian.
Nazis were German,. Germany was a Christian country (there was “Jesus among them”) and yet succumbed to Nazism. This undercuts the “Uh, Shintos? They started this thing in Pearl Harbor. Any Jesus among them?” argument.
I know that Christians like to think that if a country is right with God then that country will do good things. This is the essence of Robertson’s analysis (so to speak) of global politics. However, the German example rather undercuts that argument. You know: Germany, the country that gave us Martin Luther and the Reformation.
@Andre Kenji: True, but to Christians in general, and especially to conservative evangelicals, the wrong understanding of Jesus is just as bad, if not worse, than no understanding at all.
@Grewgills: What this clown doesn’t realize is that black folks in Louisiana or any well else during that time damn well better not have complained or got out of line. Of course they all looked happy around white people. It was a survival tactic. Trouble makers got dealt with.
@Pharoah Narim: Did you pick cotton with black people in the 1950’s in Louisiana?
@Sirkowski: Hey, thanks for sharing that word picture. It was like getting kicked in the nuts.
@Pinky: It actually isn’t necessary to have been physically present in Louisiana at the time to know what the situation was. I would recommend some research on Jim Crow and lynchings.
@Grewgills: Believe it or not the reason we have awakenings that slavery is wrong or gays are entitled to human dignity amongst other human awakenings is because previous generations engaged in those extremes both outwardly and inwardly. Our universe is ordered to correct extremes. We see the same in constant oscillations between liberal and conservative generations in American an other cultures. History doesn’t necessary repeat itself–but it does rhyme. So the failings of liberalism and conservative are less drastic with each iteration while the positives of those viewpoints will yield better outcomes. Slavery has re-invented itself to be less dramatic and oppressive than its previous version–future versions will oppress even less. I am a flawed, biased human being like the rest of us—even if I don’t show it outwardly. However, my inward participation in those emotions will be recognized and rejected by younger generations–probably starting with my kids. Interesting enough, its is a recent cultural phenomenon that thin was held up as the pinnacle of feminine beauty–its a good bet that thin will eventually become the new fat in the future. Where this all ends up…who know?
@Steven L. Taylor:
That can be translated that only Evangelicals can understand Jesus.
@mantis: Failure is a part of a tried and true learning process so no regrets here. The larger question is: Do you ever have a point-of-view to put forth besides the picking apart of others ideas? [Crickets]
Come-on bug! Shed the side-man routine and try the lead role a time or two. Bayoneting the wounded may be effective but where’s the fun in it?
Germany was a prior to Nazi control a Christian nation. Nazism however attacked Jesus Christ as this contemporary report highlights.
Read more: Religion: Nazis v. Jesus Christ – TIME http://content.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,747864,00.html#ixzz2o4iNYnfe
@JKB: You are missing the point of the very argument you are defending.
I am not arguing the Nazis were Christian. I am noting that the presence of Christianity in Germany did not stop Nazism from coming to power.
@Andre Kenji: That is precisely what a lot of evangelicals believe.
@Steven L. Taylor: So, every atrocity that´s committed outside the Southern United States can be blamed on the absence of Jseus.
@Andre Kenji: Please understand, that is not the argument I am making.
@Pinky: Why is that any of your business? How about you walk up to the next black person you encounter over the the age of say 70. Ask them to describe their satisfaction with life and the lives of their relatives, parent/grandparents. You could tell them you’re doing research for a project. Phil Robertson’s comments are easily verifiable—and impeached by the people he put words in the mouth of.
As I mentioned before history doesn’t repeat but it does rhyme. So what was: “Dont mess with them white folks!” is now “Dont mess with them police!” Im sure there are cops out there that have NEVER met black male that was visibly annoyed about being pulled over for the shakiest of reasons. They were all smiles and yes/no sir. Same $hi@ different day, smaller subset of people, same results: You can get your ass beat or life taken if you cause trouble.
@Steven L. Taylor: As far as I know, lynching was practically unheard of in Louisiana by the 1920’s.
@Pharoah Narim: Well, you’re saying that you have something to tell Robertson about what life was like in 1950’s Louisana. I figured it’d be ridiculous to say that if he were there and you weren’t.
@Pinky: If you mean by the 1950s, I think you are correct that they had died down, but still not over. 1920s? No so much.
Still, we are talking about an era in which lynching were not gone.
Further, you are ignoring Jim Crow and segregation, among other factors.’
Are you really going to argue otherwise?
That is an absurd position. By that logic no one but a Jew who was at Auschwitz could say anything about the Holocaust.
@Steven L. Taylor: Professor Taylor, the real issue with fundamentalist Christianity for my viewpoint is its believe in the concepts of collective punishment and “corporate” sin if you will. It would be nice if they also embraced the NT idea of Jesus and the “corporate” sacrifice for sin but they don’t. So in their minds…the neighbors having gay sex or aborting fetuses, etc means the wrath of God comes on the entire nation for allowing the ‘sinners’ to practice sin amongst them.
This is the underpinnings of the apocalyptic feelings and extremism amongst them. With their world view, you can’t live and let live– you have to root out the evil doers. Its a miserable existence which many of them mitigate with feelings of arrogance and superiority stemming from being (in their minds) one of the few left that obey God in a perverse generation.
@Pinky: By your logic, how can Roberson say Blacks were happy? He isn’t black and I can guarantee you he never spend time in their homes breaking bread with them in 1950s Louisiana. He has no way of knowing that. All that he knows is that he was happy cause…at least he wasn’t black.
I’m saying that if you guys aren’t familiar with the history of 1950’s Louisiana, and he was actually there, I’m going to put more stock in what he has to say about it. I don’t know if he’s right, but if you’re wrong on the basics….
My oldest friends dad was a black man in Louisiana in the 50s. I’ve heard his stories first hand. Anyone that thinks it did not suck for black folks in that time and place is a fool, deluded, or both.
Well, what you know does not go very far. That’s far from the only lynching after 1920. But hey, its only some ni**gers, right?
Can you back that up? A quick search on my part found no lynchings in Louisiana in the 1920’s, two lin the 1930’s, one in the 1940’s, none in the 1950’s, and one in the 1960’s. You don’t need to give me multiple examples; just two more from the 1930’s would convince me that I’m missing some.
@Steven L. Taylor: I´m not talking about you….
You’re a fine one to talk about perpetual outrage considering how often you foam at the mouth about the president and the federal government…commenter, heal thyself…
You are trying to set up a binary moral position here: lack of lynchings = Louisiana no longer a bad place to be an African-American
That, for obvious reasons like Jim Crow, is a resounding fail.
Because let’s face it – this clown was born in 1946. There is no way that he missed the Colored Only signs and the separate water fountains and the absence of a single black person in his classrooms. For him to pretend that everything was happy hunky dorey because he never heard a black person complain is ludicrous.
While we’re on the subject, what does any of this warfare over the moral high ground have to do with the fact that this clown voluntarily gave an interview that blew his morals and conduct clause out of the water, ergo A&E was well defensible in activating that clause and pulling him off of the air?
The truth of the matter is that they owned a small, but successful, company which occupied a commanding position within a niche market. Outside of Louisiana, or duck hunting circles, they were not well known.
From the standpoint of a series offer, that makes them unknowns entering into a contract for a series which, at the time, was a fledgling project. Production companies doing reality TV series seek out people like this precisely because they are not in a position to exact compromises or make demands.
They would have almost certainly been offered an industry standard deal, which is another way of saying a 6+1 contract with the usual restrictions and the typical payscale, $5k to $10 k per episode.
Networks like reality TV series for one primary reason: they are incredibly cheap to produce, and a good portion of the reason for that is that the hordes of potential players seeking the dream of stardom allows the production companies to lock them into contracts which ensure that they stay a cheap commodity for a long time. Gurney specializes in this sort of product, and there is no way that they would have inked a contract with what were, at the time, relative nobodies unless those contracts met Gurney’s goals.
It’s possible, but by no means certain, that they manged to get some degree of participation in the merchandising, but beyond that, they aren’t in much of a position to negotiate.
Will they be reduced to the position that they were in before the show aired? Doubtful, but the show being on the air remains an engine that drives their ancillary revenue streams. Take the show away, and those begin to decrease as the notoriety drops.
Jersey Shore, after all, generated some hefty merchandising and appearance revenue for its stars as well, and the ratings for the show were comparable (Season 4, for example, pulled around 9 million viewers on average).
Once the show was off the air? Well, I think you know what happened to the ancillary revenue after that …
My parents and their siblings are his age and grew up pretty much next door in Alabama. I have family in Mississippi, Northern Florida, and Louisiana. I grew up with these people and Mr Robertson’s view does not jibe with what I know from them. It bears no similarity whatsoever with what I have heard from the parents of my African American friends from the South.
I don’t doubt that what he subjectively experienced as a kid. As children it is very easy to not see things. Garrison Keillor does a great bit about this in his bit on hog slaughter. Our parents shelter us from the ugly side of life, but now he is a grown man and has presumably sheltered his own children from the ugly things in life. He should know better. That he now looks back on his childhood in the Jim Crow South and sees happy black folk content to pick cotton alongside white trash as equals, until liberals invented social welfare programs and made things so much worse for them all, demonstrates a truly profound ignorance of his personal history. That or he is spouting horse shit to support his personal prejudices.
By the way, neither does it comport with my direct experience twenty five years later. There weren’t any lynchings I was aware of, but there was a crystal clear privilege for white people and black people were less than entirely pleased about it. Then again, that was after social welfare programs had messed everything up.
@HarvardLaw92: While we’re on the subject, what does any of this warfare over the moral high ground have to do with the fact that this clown voluntarily gave an interview that blew his morals and conduct clause out of the water…
Just what did he say that “blew his morals and conduct clause out of the water?” He said he was a Christian, as he has many times before. He spoke of the Bible’s teachings on subjects when asked, and affirmed that he believes in them. Including the part where it’s not his place to judge or enforce God’s laws, but to love and pray for others.
There’s nothing outrageous in there, unless you’re looking for an excuse to be outraged. And those of the Cult of Perpetual Outrage can always find something to rationalize their irrational outrage.
@Andre Kenji: I didn’t think you were, but wanted to make sure I was clear. Misinterpretation is a hallmark of comment threads 😉
@Jenos Idanian #13: All he said was that he was a Christian? That’s odd. I know a lot of people who would refer to themselves as Christians without having to mention butt sex or how happy blacks were before they got uppity.
@Jenos Idanian #13:
Robertson compared homosexuality to bestiality.
Are you stupid or just an ass? You can’t see why average folks would be outraged at that? Seriously? Or are you just a troll?
@Pinky: You are correct that lynching certainly would not have been a common occurrence by the time Robertson was a child. Although the notion that mob violence against blacks was gone (or that the justice system worked for them) in the south in the 1950s is simply incorrect. Consider, among other things, the case of Emmet Till in neighboring Mississippi in 1955. The notion that nothing for Robertson to see or understand at the time is absurd (as Grewgills has also noted). Further, as many have noted, it isn’t as if we don’t have a pretty good knowledge these days of life in the deep south at the time.
I do think it is worth reading the newspaper excerpt here from the 1930s to see a rather prominent LA politician’s view on the subject.
Upthread you basically proclaim yourself as some sort of BS detector on the race issue. Well, if that is what you want to accomplish, I suggest you read some history instead of parsing how many lynching it takes to warrant evidence of a problem. Further, if you really do understand the history of race, people should not have to remind you of what Jim Crow was and how it operated.
I will concede that the issue of lynchings, per se, was not likely something that all that present (perhaps it wasn’t at all) in young Phil Robertson’s life. However, that does not mitigate against the fact that there was plenty else to be of issue that makes his assertion that blacks were all happy until welfare came along wholly absurd.
I am honestly and sincerely curious: what part of the country do you live in? I ask because I know from personal experience it is easier to dismiss a lot of the past if one is, say, living in the West or on the West Coast.
@Jenos Idanian #13:
Cult of Perpetual Outrage?
You are, of course, referring to conservatives and their completely fabricated “War on Christmas,” right?
@Steven L. Taylor:
I think this is the real critical point. Emphasizing physical violence over the political and economic violence and disparity of the times misses the larger picture — since it conveniently ignores Jim Crow, segregation, and countless other factors going on at the time.
I also think some are missing two critical aspects of the comment. Here’s the first:
Color me shocked… SHOCKED! that Phil (a white person) never saw a black person complain about white people in front of him. It’s akin to a plantation owner proclaiming his slaves loved being slaves because they never complained about it to him.
This (intentionally or not) suggests that entitlement and welfare has shifted African Americans from being godly and happy (and taken in the larger context of the comment, hard working) to being something else.
Without a doubt this is all one man’s view. But again, he’s one man representing a TV show and a network in an interview.
@WynnW: Robertson compared homosexuality to bestiality.
No, he didn’t. He listed them among other things that the Bible says God disapproves of. Here’s the full quote:
He was asked what he considers sinful, and the gives the Bible’s definition of some sins. He didn’t say that he would punish those, or even want to see them punished. He’s quite explicit on that.
I’ve known quite a few people like that. The worst you can say about them is that the are a bit condescending. But nowhere near as condescending as leftist nanny-staters, who insist that we should not only allow them to substitute their judgment for our own, but we should be grateful that they’re taking that awful burden of thinking for ourselves off our shoulders.
And one final point: Robertson didn’t make some grandstand proclamation here. The GQ writer sought him out and asked him questions — which he answered forthrightly and honestly.
And without any hate or intolerance. His obligation towards those he sees as sinners? Mainly, to pray for them.
Contrast that with mainstream Islam’s attitude towards gays. According to them, it’s the duty of the Faithful to kill homosexuals — and Islam goes into great detail on approved ways of killing them. Among the approved methods: burning, pushing them off a high wall, pushing a wall on top of them, and stoning.
I’d wager that if Mr. Robertson came across some faithful Followers of Mohammed carrying out their religious duty thusly, he’d not only refuse to join them, but he’d treat them like he treats ducks during duck season.
More than that, certain sorts conservatives and Christians immediately latched on to Robertson as proof of their own victimization.
Never mind what he said about gays, blacks, and Shintos … it’s a war on Christian values, dontchaknow.
Right. Lumping gays in with terrorists is “a bit condescending”
Yea, nothing proves true manhood like killing a bird with a rifle.
@Steven L. Taylor: Robertson wasn’t talking about how things were generally in the 1950s, he was speaking of his own personal experiences and memories of his early childhood. And children are usually ignorant of the big picture.
I wonder what a diary written by a child of a mid-level Nazi official would talk about. It might be interesting, especially when taken in contrast with what we know about that era, but I seriously doubt that it would be a fair representation of life in Nazi Germany.
No, I was off on a tangent. Sloppy of me.
Well, you would have to be really good to kill a flying bird with a rifle.
@Jenos Idanian #13:
A child who never grew up?
@Jenos Idanian #13: Yes, but one ought not base one’s assessment of the world on how one viewed the world as a child. If one does that does not speak very highly of one’s judgment, now does it?
Beyond that, as noted above, there were plenty of overt signs of Jim Crow that Robertson had to have seen as a child.
And BTW: I have relatives from the deep south, ones older than Robertson, who rather blithely dismiss the racial history of the era. They are, unfortunately, pretty racists in their view of the world to this day.
Do you see the connection there?
@Jenos Idanian #13:
And again, your bias just shines through in amazing ways. Let’s talk all about Islam and ignore all of the well documented punishments for homosexual behavior in Leviticus, like 20:13
Yet somehow, now all Jews are roving the world killing gays. And the many, fundamentalist Christians who (selectively) apply Leviticus are not killing gays either. BTW, countless Muslims world-wide get through their day without massacring gays either.
You also seem to have missed things like the Christian leaning government of Uganda proposing a death-penalty for Homosexuality.
Comparative religions are not your strong suit sir.
BTW, what do you define, oh religious scholar, as “mainstream Islam”…
@Jenos Idanian #13:
It is more than a bit condescending if one is one of the persons being treated like a second class citizen.
@Jenos Idanian #13:
I think you need to look up the definition to the word “mainstream”–this may help you either reassess your position or reformulate your statement.
@Steven L. Taylor:
Beyond that, many of us tend to, once we grow up, critically reexamine our childhood memories.
I great up in a relatively “integrated” area (at least an “integrated” school district). But the older I get, looking back on the past, the less-integrated I realize the experience was.
@Steven L. Taylor: Robertson isn’t saying that it didn’t happen, just that he doesn’t remember seeing any signs of it.
Would you prefer that he reminisce about how much he enjoyed growing tobacco, or perhaps recalling about how he was deeply bothered by church burnings that never happened?
He’s not as sensitive and as nuanced and as politically correct as you would like him to be. And worse, he’s not interested in changing to be more like you wish him to be.
Just Embrace Diversity and celebrate the differences.
@Steven L. Taylor:
R-i-g-h-t. Totally see that happening.
Here’s the expected definition: Mainstream Islam is Islam as practiced in the most populated Islamic nations (except of course Indonesia and Turkey since both tend to screw up my biases).
Western practices of Islam need not apply — since we all know that in their hearts they are just waiting for the proper moment to jihad.
@ john personna
Skill is involved for sure. Manhood no. I find killing animals for sport with firearms to be extremely repugnant. Just my personal view.
@Matt Bernius: Indeed all around.
@Jenos Idanian #13: You are utterly ignoring the overall assertion he is making in the quote in question and its implication. This does not, however, surprise me.
(A “rifle” has a specific meaning. It’s kind of interesting to the engineering mind. Scribing a bore to rotate a single projectile was first done in the 15th century. It took about 400 years for the invention to spread into wide use. 400 years. While we go from cell-phone to ubiquity in 30 years. Anyway, “rifle” is not synonymous with long-gun, and is not used duck-hunting.)
(And I have no problem with vegans who oppose hunting. They are have a consistent philosophical position.)
I have a friend who’s mother was in the Hitler Youth as a girl. When she was a child, she thought Naziism was pretty bitchin’. As an adult, she was horrified and shamed by what happened in Nazi Germany. Apparently the duck guy did not gain much insight as he grew older.
@Joe Carter: Hey, he might beat Florack’s 103 down-vote record!
Well done, Doug. Usually its your anti-gun safety posts that brings out all this attention.
@Jenos Idanian #13:
You evidently didn’t read my comment above about what morals and conduct clauses look like. I’d suggest reading back, and doing that, before asking stupid questions that have already been answered.
@Jenos Idanian #13:
If that child of a mid level Nazi official talked about how he never saw the Jews or Gypsies or homosexuals complain and that they were happy as ducks until the Allies came along and spoiled it for them, then I would say they were profoundly ignorant of their personal history.
Children are often blind to the ugliness around them. When we grow up, we realize the world is a different place than what we saw as children.
Do you know who also found shooting animals with high powered firearms repugnant?? Actually, I think der Fuhrer had a point. Manhood in this setting connotes physical courage. Now tackling a lion or a shark with a spear=manhood, by that definition. Shooting a duck with rifle, not so much. That takes about the same amount of bravery as stepping on ants. No one considers that “manly”.
I have a lot of in-laws in Texas that disagree with you.
And while I personally oppose all sport hunting, I do think that hunting that does not involve firearms is a much more honest exercise, especially when the hunter eats what he kills.
Shooting animals strictly for sport? Barbaric.
I’ve seen traditional techniques, catching ducks with nets, but I’m not sure the duck cares that much that it wasn’t a gun. He’s going to suffer a bad few minutes.
Just as a farm-raised bird is going to suffer a few bad minutes as it is hung from its feet and fed into the decapitation machine.
I actually think the wild bird has a better life, and certainly a better chance to get away.
(Personally, I think a lot of people who have ordered the deaths of hundreds, or thousands, of caged birds over their lives just seek to emotionally distance themselves from those who dispatch a few directly.)
Hunting that doesn’t involve firearms usually means more pain and suffering for the animal.
The only hunting I do, is the occasional spear fishing. I wouldn’t say it is particularly manly, but I enjoy it and enjoy the meal after.
Exactly. It would be a better world if everyone saw where their food came from and if more people, at least once, killed and cleaned the animals they eat.
If you’re too squeamish to kill a cow, don’t eat a burger.
Depends on how you define “manly”. If you define as providing food for yourself and for your family, then I agree with your Texas relatives. If you define “manly” as “brave”, then my point stands. To me , if the animal doesn’t have a chance to “get” you, it’s not really “bravery”-and “bravery” tends to be what the gun guys mean when they talk about “manhood”.
There is at least some cold and wet to be suffered. That might be a little more manly than over-dressing (in a North Face parka) for the walk from the car to the supermarket.
(I haven’t been duck hunting, but I’ve heard the word “miserable” used more than once.)
Unless you are talking of hunting for food, people usually find the idea of hunting to be abhorrent.
Our forefathers hunted because the animals were sources of all sorts of natural products. They didn’t have the range of synthetics we do now. It used to be that seal intestines were the best thing to make a parka. Now we have Gore-Tex.
I guess it’s interesting that food is the last natural product not so displaced, though there are attempts.
Anyway … there is deep history here. With actual need, and what a few million years of the hunting culture?
If you define “manly” down to “enduring discomfort”, then a woman pulling a 12 hour shift at a meat packing plant may be more “manly” than your average duck hunter…
I don’t disagree, which is why I never compared the hunters to meat processing workers. I compared them to blithe consumers.
And I think you should admit that the hunter who goes out to endure something to bring back fish or fowl not only is bringing back food for his friends and family, but also connecting to the thousands of generations who did that in the past.
I think hunting ritual can get out of hand, and there are people who don’t nearly deserve to be called hunters, they just kill things. (I certainly don’t get people who shoot giraffes.)
But this is about buying a broken down bird in a supermarket vs breaking down a bird.
Well, you could be quail hunting with Dick Cheney. Even if those quail don’t have one chance to get you, Dick might.
On a mostly irrelevant note, his comments also demonstrate ignorance of musical history.
The Blues has been around since at least the early 1900s and more likely the late 1800s, so it predates both Robertson and the entitlement programs he is babbling about.
I doubt these guys have any Robert Johnson on their playlists. I certainly would not be surprised to learn that they think white boys invented rock & roll.
You know, conservatives excoriated the Dixie Chicks for asserting their first amendment rights and expressing their opinions. Their careers took a big hit.
And I don’t remember a lot of conservatives going to bat for them and defending their right to speak.
Any time that you hear a conservative use the phrase “freedom of speech”, you should immediately replace it in your mind with “freedom to agree with me”.
It avoids a lot of confusion.
@anjin-san: Yet you eat animals raised cruelly in factory farms which are then killed for your consumption… How much of a disconnect is there when you think that factory farm raising is better then the wild.
BTW they use shotguns and in a lot if not most states it’s illegal to shoot ducks with rifles. They also eat everything they shoot so they aren’t just killing for sport but also for food.
@john personna: Rifles are considered long guns and have been stated as such in laws.
I know people who hunt with dogs and kill hogs with bayonets/knives but in my view that’s just cruel. Better to have a quick death caught unaware then a long protracted fight for survival followed by a slow death…
I also don’t think I’m “manly” or whatever because I hunt for food. It’s not about some epic struggle worthy of poem and praise. I’m just looking for some cheap protein to supplement my otherwise fairly boring diet.
I have been a vegetarian since the Reagan years, and I am active in working to oppose factory farming and any form of cruelty towards animals. Around my place, we have a catch and release policy for insects that make their way into the house.
Compassion, in which all ethics must take root, can only attain its full breadth and Compassion, in which all ethics must take root, can only attain its full breadth and depth if it embraces all living creatures and does not limit itself to mankind.
@anjin-san: Alright I apologize for jumping to conclusions on that. I commend your consistency in living that life. I usually have a catch and release policy but living in Texas some of the animals are a bit too dangerous to do so.
@michael reynolds: You summed this whole fuc@@@g thing up perfectly!
@michael reynolds: I agree with you on many things (except for a few points I’ll list below).
What disgusts me are the weak arguments that gay groups and other pro-human rights people are making. Why not start with how illogical people are for supporting a guy who lumped gays and drunks in with terrorists? I mean, isn’t that a huge break in any rational common sense?
Ok – next. I have a HUGE issue with people (especially whites) who lump all ‘white males’ into the group that has caused such huge social injustices because that itself demonstrates absence of truth and perpetuates racism and bad feelings.
It’s my real life experience that allows me to say that independent of skin color, human beings demonstrate a real knack for always being opportunists. That is to say from the Africans that hunted alongside those “evil white males” OTHER Africans to capture and sell into slavery, or a (few, but still having existed) black slave owner in early America, human beings are incredibly open to dehumanizing and engaging in exploitation of others REGARDLESS OF RACE!!!!! Say nothing about the ‘brown men’ that engaged in the slave trade. Apparently they receive a pass.
Now, as far as white males creating the dominate culture in America – Oh, really? How about ‘duh’? Is it fair to say, Michael, that in other cultures…say Islamic based cultures, Japanese, Chinese, African (no matter the country), Brazilian, that the DOMINANT ethnic group instilled its views of society norms??? Are they ‘evil *insert racial group here* males’ too? Or are you limited by self-hatred and/or historical knowledge and a greater world view? Are you forgetting that those same ‘evil white males’ also dismantled slavery in the United States? Hordes of those white males faced personal harm and violence against them and their own families…all to live up to a greater good of a people perfectly ‘ok’ to hate in those times.
Next time you get on a kick of self-loathing of your skin color, I would suggest you think about the impact of lumping all whites into that group. You should know way way better according to your other enlightened posts.
A cat is a mammal, not all mammals are cats.
And if you want to follow it back, do you know anyone who hunts ducks with rifles?
(The internet, where any minor point of fact can become the subject of “debate.”)
@Destardi: I feel as if your comment missed the mark by several days. If you’d made it into the first 100 comments of the thread, it might have seen the attention it deserved.
@john personna: Are you seriously trying to change the definition of long guns too? It was bad enough with you trying to pull this crap with assault rifles..
Here’s an example of the ATF calling rifles long guns.
Notice long gun not long gun and rifle….
I’m not even aware of a state that doesn’t call a rifle a long gun in the law.
This is entirely off topic, but… I don’t believe he is saying that a rifle is not a long gun. What he is saying is that while both rifles and shotguns are long guns, shotguns are not rifles (not all mammals are cats = not all long guns are rifles). He was originally replying to someone that said something about shooting ducks with rifles. Duck hunting is generally done with shot guns, not rifles.
@Grewgills: I stated earlier that rifles are not used for duck hunting. Shotguns and cheaply built plastic light guns are the bane of ducks.
Then I don’t understand what you two are disagreeing about. JP didn’t say anything different.
@Grewgills: Over the years I have noticed that when non-gun people use a term about guns that gun people find inaccurate it becomes not dissimilar from when a non-Trekkie makes an inaccurate comment about Vulcan culture or when a lay person incorrectly compares Santa’s elves to those who dwell in Mirkwood. 🙂
(And Matt, please note that the above comment is meant to be lighthearted.)
BTW: if there is any doubt that the DD brouhaha is a good proxy for major cultural divides in the US, one need only read this thread to disabuse oneself of said doubt.
Ah, but you see, Matt was prepared for me to be wrong.