Friday, December 20, 2013


The folks at make an interesting point:

There's going to be a Duck Dynasty marathon? Why, yes:
Despite the suspension, A&E still has several hours of "Duck Dynasty" programming over the next week. For Thursday night, there is three hours of shows the network is airing. On Sunday Dec. 22, A&E will be airing the popular show from 5 p.m. until 4 a.m. the next morning. On Monday Dec. 23, episodes will air from 7 p.m. until 4 a.m. the next morning. On Christmas Eve, "Duck Dynasty" will be aired from 6 p.m. until 9 p.m. And on Christmas Day, A&E will air "Duck Dynasty" episodes from 3:30 p.m. until 4 a.m. the next morning. All times are Eastern.
If you're a TV performer and a member of the union (AFTRA), it's my understanding that you get residuals for every re-airing of a show you appeared in. I assume this would apply to Phil Robertson.

When Paul Reubens (aka Pee-wee Herman) was arrested for masturbating in a porn theater in 1991, not long after Pee-wee's Playhouse had wrapped up its final season, CBS immediately pulled the last five reruns of the show from its schedule. So far, A&E isn't doing anything like that. So A&E clearly wants to find a way to keep the Duck folks generating money without alienating the people Robertson offended. A&E is covering its ass by putting Robertson on hiatus while hoping to keep minting that sweet, sweet Duck cash.

I'm not sure the Robertson clan will let that happen. An official family statement says that the rest of the family
cannot imagine the show going forward without our patriarch at the helm. We are in discussions with A&E to see what that means for the future of Duck Dynasty.
I'm sticking with my theory that this is bound up in the contract disagreements the Robertsons have had with A&E. Phil is challenging the suits. The suits slapped him down. The family is now challenging the suits. The outcome will seem to be all about this incident, but I don't believe that.


I regret I overlooked this assertion from Robertson in the GQ interview:
I never, with my eyes, saw the mistreatment of any black person. Not once. Where we lived was all farmers. The blacks worked for the farmers. I hoed cotton with them. I'm with the blacks, because we're white trash. We're going across the field .... They're singing and happy. I never heard one of them, one black person, say, 'I tell you what: These doggone white people' -- not a word! ... Pre-entitlement, pre-welfare, you say: Were they happy? They were godly; they were happy; no one was singing the blues.
That will be lost to history, and our collective memory of this will be of That Time a God-Fearing Man Was Crucified Just for Having a Biblical View of Gays. Robertson should be on the hot seat just for saying this.


Oh, and I see that Camille Paglia is one more person who thinks A&E is a branch of the government:
"I speak with authority here, because I was openly gay before the 'Stonewall rebellion,' when it cost you something to be so. And I personally feel as a libertarian that people have the right to free thought and free speech," Paglia, a professor at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, said on Laura Ingraham's radio show Thursday....

"To express yourself in a magazine in an interview -- this is the level of punitive PC, utterly fascist, utterly Stalinist, OK, that my liberal colleagues in the Democratic Party and on college campuses have supported and promoted over the last several decades," Paglia said.
Yes -- remember Stalin's terror-famine, when he temporarily deprived 10 million Ukrainian farmers of their right to appear on national radio broadcasts? This is just like that.

I'm sure Laura Ingraham didn't bring up the fact that Paglia has also argued that it's Stalinist to exclude the North American Man-Boy Love Association from gay pride marches:

Though I should note that Paglia's peculiar viewpoint on gay people and NAMBLA is that NAMBLA belongs in gay pride parades because pedophilia is an inherent part of homosexuality (for men, at least). Oh, and she thinks it's appalling that gay people are squandering their fabulousness and transgressiveness by fighting for gay-inclusive curricula and seeking to become teachers and Scout leaders. Paglia thinks all that is just wrong, or at least she did at the time of her book Vamps & Tramps:

Gay people shouldn't be teachers or scout leaders? Maybe Paglia and Phil Robertson would agree or more than you'd think.


Paglia brings up "PC" on college campuses. Charlie Pierce is worried about a different threat to speech on campus and in the workplace:
What good is a Bill of Rights if it protects us (increasingly thinly) against government, but subcontracts the job of abridging those rights to every other institution that affects our lives and well-being? As it happens, I had disciplinary action taken against me at the last newspaper I worked for because of things I had written on the Politics blog prior to coming to work here full time. When I asked my immediate supervisor why this happened, he replied, "My primary obligation is to the company." (I looked down to make sure I wasn't wearing a nametag with the word Wal Mart on it.) ...
He goes on to write about a policy statement from the Kansas Board of Regents that forbids faculty and staff from engaging in "improper use of social media," which includes any communication that, "when made pursuant to (i.e. in furtherance of) the employee's official duties, is contrary to the best interest of the university."

Pierce writes:
Does your job own your civil liberties when you're off the clock? Does it own your thoughts, expressed freely, when you're home? Are we saying that the government can't abridge your constitutional rights, but that The Brand can? If you answer instantly, "yes," think again about what you're saying, and about the kind of country in which you want to live.
It's a tough question. I'm not sure where the line should be drawn. I'll say this, though: If you categorically state that every employee in every job has an absolute right to face no job consequences for speech engaged in off the clock, then you accept that these guys should have faced no consequences from their employer, the City of New York:
Two firefighters and a police officer went to trial this week to fight for the jobs they lost after they participated in a controversial skit during a 1998 Labor Day Parade in Broad Channel.

The three men, dressed in blackface and Afro wigs, rode on a float that satirized the dragging death of James Byrd, an African-American, in Texas, the previous summer. A sign on the side of the float read "Black To The Future: Broad Channel 2098." The three men also threw pieces of fried chicken and watermelon slices to the crowd.
I should point out that, on free speech grounds, Al Sharpton defended them. One federal judge, in 2003, overturned their firings, but another federal judge upheld them in 2006. Your call as to whether that was appropriate.

I'm not sure any of this is relevant to Phil Robertson's case, however. He agreed to be interviewed by GQ in furtherance of the interests of Brand Duck, which -- at least for now -- are inextricably linked to the interests of Brand A&E. He was a professional entertainer doing a publicity interview. He was on the job.


aimai said...

I'm uncomfortable with the idea that the government can't fire a fireman or a policeman for engaging in public behavior which calls into question the probity and the impartiality of the public services which they are performing when they are "on duty." Especially because the line between on and off duty in these emergency/first responder fields is kind of blurry. Were they identified as officers? Were they armed? In the event of a dispute with a passerby were they going to claim official immunity or were they truly "off duty?"

In additiontThere has to be some kind of difference between publicly enacting the famous contemporary murder of an African American citizen by current political actors (white supremacists) and other kinds of protected speech. Maybe its hard to draw the line without infringing on speech we do want to protect, but I don't think it means the line isn't there.

Or maybe there has to be some other way of making sure that sociopaths don't serve in the police force that doesn't rely on a neighbor digging up the bodies before the police force takes notice-such as giving some kind of test beforehand or asking police officers to swear an oath to appear impartial in public on behalf of their job and letting them know that public behavior which rises to the level of the scandalous can be a reason for job discipline.

Victor said...

I'm not sure where the line should be drawn, either.

But in this case, and as per usual, when a Liberal utters something stupid, s/he is usually immediately dismissed - see:
Bashir, Martin
Baldwin, Alec.

Ditto with Democratic politicians - Wiener and Spitzer had to go, Vitter and a cast of dozens of Republicans, stayed in office.
IOKIYAR - unless there's a dead girl, or a live boy, found in bed with you.

Uncle Mike said...

I'm going to safely assume these redneck quackers are not members of any union, showbiz-oriented or otherwise...

Anonymous said...


I'm actually a fan of how we handled this sort of stuff when I was in the Navy. When your ass is in uniform what you see reflects on the Navy. No attending political rallies, no speaking to the press, no public comments, no nothing. The Navy decides what your ass says and that's that.

On your own time, what you say and do is up to you as long as it's not criminal under civilian law, within the UCMJ, and does not violate any clearances you have. However when deployed or on official travel, you are on the clock all the time and must shut the fuck up and not say anything that isn't approved.

As for liberals vs conservatives and why liberals take a dive and conservatives don't... blame liberals for that. We can't scream about tolerance, and then tolerate intolerance among our own. Our own various interest groups will demand the heads of those who offend those groups. The GOP doesn't have this internal issue. If we were willing to give all of our people a pass no matter what they said we wouldn't eat our own. But again, if we weren't eating our own alive we wouldn't be liberals.

Glennis said...

I'm just tickled with Robertson's revision of history regarding American popular music. To think that blacks in Jim Crow Louisiana weren't singing the blues!!

Philo Vaihinger said...

No job reprisals for speech off hours!

Defend speech and association as you would the privacy of the vote, an innovation whose point was exactly the same.

Interesting Paglia and Sharpton agree.

Philo Vaihinger said...

Aimai, conduct is much broader than speech and expression.

This is about speech and expression.

Should a Catholic school be able fire a teacher for joining an atheist club and speaking in public to oppose school vouchers?

Philo Vaihinger said...

Conservatives don't get fired for speech?

Derbyshire. Buchanan. Juan Williams (you knowewhy he's on this list).

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