Other Examples of Utterances Leading to Firings

More to add to my list from yesterday:

Via NPR:  NPR Ends Williams’ Contract After Muslim Remarks

Via CNN:  Comedian Gilbert Gottfried fired as voice of Aflac duck

And, of course, the most recent example via OTB:  What Happens Online Doesn’t Just Stay Online, Justine Sacco Edition

To expand a point I made yesterday:  there does not appear to be any ideological or anti-religious pattern in these firings.  The main commonalities include a) people whose jobs make them in some way a public face of a given company, and b) insensitivity to minority groups.

FILED UNDER: Media, Quick Takes, US Politics
Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter

Comments

  1. Tillman says:

    Them minorities, man. They may be, uhh, the minority, but they got cash like everybody else!

  2. JKB says:

    True, but the success of the Outrage Community may be coming to an end. People become inured to such whining until they stop listening.

    Or they may have picked to big a dog to fight with in Phil Robertson.

    Keep in mind, Robertson spoke in private, on his own property. It just happened to be he spoke to a little runt writer who thought he’d got gold for making people look at his little article. If anyone should be taken to task it is GQ who chose to put Robertson’s private words into the public sphere for their own profit.

  3. anjin-san says:

    Or they may have picked to big a dog to fight with in Phil Robertson.

    Comedy gold.

  4. matt bernius says:

    @JKB:

    Keep in mind, Robertson spoke in private, on his own property. It just happened to be he spoke to a little runt writer who thought he’d got gold for making people look at his little article. If anyone should be taken to task it is GQ who chose to put Robertson’s private words into the public sphere for their own profit.

    You really, *really* don’t understand the concept of interviews do you?

  5. anjin-san says:

    @ JKB

    Are you saying he was speaking off the record?

  6. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @JKB:

    Or they may have picked to big a dog to fight with in Phil Robertson.

    Get back under the porch little yip yap. If you think PR is a big dog, let me assure you, he ain’t.

  7. ernieyeball says:

    Since my TV doesn’t get any channels I kinda heard about the Ducks et. al. in passing before this furor.
    From what little I saw of promos for the show I was pretty sure I was not their target audience. Now that I have gleaned almost all the news I know about this matter from OTB, my prime source for the cultural and political events of the day, I’m certain I am not a fowl family follower.
    Still haven’t read or heard the offensive quote but I’m really not interested in listening to another fool run his mouth either.
    I’ve heard enough of that in 65 years.
    ——
    In Other Free Speech News…
    December 24th is the 10 year anniversary of the Lenny Bruce pardon. He got fired all the time!

    Lenny Bruce, the potty-mouthed wit who turned stand-up comedy into social commentary, was posthumously pardoned yesterday by Gov. George E. Pataki, 39 years after being convicted of obscenity for using bad words in a Greenwich Village nightclub act.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2003/12/24/nyregion/no-joke-37-years-after-death-lenny-bruce-receives-pardon.html?pagewanted=all&src=pm

  8. Tillman says:

    @JKB:

    If anyone should be taken to task it is GQ who chose to put Robertson’s private words into the public sphere for their own profit.

    Huh. There’s an interesting theory on culpability. Who to blame for the words, the dude who said the words, or the dude who wrote them down and showed them to his friend?

  9. Kari Q says:

    I’m surprised no one has mentioned the Smothers Brothers yet.

  10. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    Meanwhile, Alec “Faggots” Baldwin is still the face of Capital One…

  11. JKB says:

    @matt bernius:

    No, I’ve just read so many saying that he can say what he wants but he has no right to a public venue such as television. But he hasn’t said those things on the air. Had the columnist not repeated them, then they never would have been in the public where they are hurtful or whatever.

    And yes, I know the Intolerant are upset that someone who might be quoted in the media said something they don’t like.

    BTW, A&E is so upset about what Phil said, they can’t bring themselves to play anything but Duck Dynasty on their channel today.

  12. rudderpedals says:

    If you don’t know who the mark is, guess what?

  13. @JKB:

    A&E is so upset about what Phil said, they can’t bring themselves to play anything but Duck Dynasty on their channel today.

    Indeed. Which is why people squawking about poor Phil are missing the fact that of this is going to end up being a PR plus for Duck Dynasty and A&E.

  14. Tillman says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: I haven’t seen a single ad with Alec Baldwin as the “face” of Capital One lately. I’m seeing Samuel L. Jackson Capital One ads nowadays.

    Not that you’re incorrect, maybe he’s still the face and you’re just overestimating what being “the face” of a product entails.

  15. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Tillman: Fair enough, Baldwin’s but one of the faces. They also have the Vikings and Jimmy Fallon.

    But as of last month, they were sticking with him.

  16. JWH says:

    @JKB:

    Oh, please. Phil Robertson knew that Drew Magary is a reporter. He knew that Drew Magary was there to do a story for GQ. Robertson may affect a down-home redneck personality, but he is a) a successful businessman and b) a reality TV star with several years of experience. With this background, he should understand how reporters work.

  17. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: You might be right there. Anyone who would back the network isn’t likely to watch the show; those who would support the duck guy would make a point of watching the show. The only way it can be resolved as a winner is for the network to back down; if the duck people compromise, then their supporters would feel betrayed.

    It got me to actually sit through an episode. One of the guys (the CEO, I think) was appalled at his 16-year-old’s new dress (strapless and kinda short), so he took her shopping for one that met with his approval — preferably with sleeves, a long skirt, and denim. 40 or so dresses (and about 200 eye-rolls from the girl) later, he finally accepted one. He said it was great.

    The mother had showed up, and pointed out that he’d just bought the first dress — the one that set him off.

  18. Franklin says:

    I’d never heard of Phil Robertson or Duck Dynasty before this incident. So I guess he was a big dog? Sorry, but I don’t think everybody with a reality show on cable TV is an important leader.

  19. JKB says:

    @JWH:

    That’s not the point. There are those saying he doesn’t have a right to a TV show to spout those ideas. But he didn’t use any public media to say those things. The reporter put them in public to promote “intolerance” toward gays. Yes, Phil knew he was a reporter but Phil didn’t make the reporter write up these “intolerant” answers. There was no requirement to publish these words.

  20. JWH says:

    @JKB: No, you’re the one who don’t get it. Phil Robertson gave an interview. Sounds like you think GQ should have been Robertson’s press agent, not a reporter.

    Bottom line: When a TV personality says incendiary stuff about gays to a reporter, that’s news. If the reporter doesn’t report that, then the reporter ought to turn in his pen and his whiskey.

  21. An Interested Party says:

    True, but the success of the Outrage Community may be coming to an end.

    Once again, who are you to complain about anything having to do with outrage? You’re just like Rush Limbaugh accusing Michael Moore of being fat…

  22. JKB says:

    @JWH:

    But apparently the offense is that this became public which is hurtful. So the offender is the one who purposely put it into public.

  23. Rafer Janders says:

    @JKB:

    This may be the single saddest, stupidest thing you’ve ever written.

    And there’s a lot to choose from there. But this one, man, this takes sad and stupid to a whole new level.

  24. KM says:

    @JKB:

    If anyone should be taken to task it is GQ who chose to put Robertson’s private words into the public sphere for their own profit.

    Sooo… the jist of your non-nonsensical blame-shifting is Don’t Tattle?
    Or perhaps Snitches Get Stitches?

  25. anjin-san says:

    @ @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Perhaps you can direct us to the many comments you no doubt made defending the Dixie Checks when their careers were severely damaged by conservative attacks on them for exercising their free speech rights.

  26. Nikki says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: I thought I saw Sam Jackson doing Capital One commercials…

  27. Nikki says:

    @JKB: That would be one P. Robertson unless you can prove that he didn’t know he was being interviewed by a magazine that intended to publish his comments.

  28. CB says:

    Keep in mind, Robertson spoke in private, on his own property.

    TO A NATIONAL PUBLICATION.

    CHRIST ALMIGHTY, MAKE THE STUPID STOP.

  29. @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Meanwhile, Alec “Faggots” Baldwin is still the face of Capital One…

    I would note that you continue to cling to the one example that you think makes your case, even in the face of a list of evidence counter to your position. This is a microcosm of a lot of your arguments.

  30. @JKB:

    Keep in mind, Robertson spoke in private, on his own property.

    The initials of significant here are GQ, not NSA.

    Like Jenos you are letting your partisan cheer-leading get in the way of reason. Because someone on your “team” is under attack, you have twisted yourself into a pretzel in which a reporter giving and interview (which Roberson clearly agreed to do, and because of his business interests) is some sort of weird violation of Robertson’s privacy.

    As you correctly note, however, the long term implications for A&E, DD and Robertson are probably rather small. I will be truly shocked if DD doesn’t live on (and if it doesn’t have huge rating next month).

  31. @Jenos Idanian #13: The show is functionally a sit-com with a reality veneer.

  32. JWH says:

    @JKB:

    But apparently the offense is that this became public which is hurtful. So the offender is the one who purposely put it into public.

    Let’s call this the JKB Doctrine, then: Anything uttered on private property, in front of a third party, is considered confidential and must not be disclosed.

  33. KM says:

    @JWH:

    Let’s call this the JKB Doctrine, then: Anything uttered on private property, in front of a third party, is considered confidential and must not be disclosed.

    And wouldn’t that lead to some interesting legal consequences if it were even remotely true. You could freely admit to murder or any other felony on your own property and no one would be able to call the cops! You could spill state secrets, plot assassinations and bank robberies, do all sorts of nefarious things but damnit since its your property, bystanders can’t say shit even if they invited you over for that express purpose!!

    Cue Evil Criminal Gloating and Monologuing in 3….2…1….

  34. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: The show is functionally a sit-com with a reality veneer.

    I kind of figured that. I don’t have a problem with that.