Friday, December 20, 2013

Much Ado About Nothing or The Duck Dynasty Debacle


I can't believe the amount of attention that this is getting. Actually, I can. So I'm going to give it more, but not much more. Here's the deal: the guy gave an interview where he said a lot of offensive things, not just about gay people. A&E has a really slick marketing department. They said "We are going to have egg on our face if we do nothing. So let's turn this into a major publicity stunt! We'll fire the guy, but instead of giving the boring obvious reason (he's a racist) we'll make it into a gay-rights, first-ammendment foofaraw! We will mobilize the entire Culture Wars machine to create publicity for our crappy little reality TV show. Huzzah!"
That is the whole story. Pay it no more mind.

10 comments:

  1. He's a racist???

    In the excerpts I saw, there was no sign of disdain for black people. Maybe his experience of contented black poeple under segregation disagrees with our beliefs about what must have been the universal experience at that time. Maybe he misinterprets the data of his personal experience. Maybe he even misremembers. But his testimony of his personal experience cannot be falsified by our presumptions about how it must have been for everybody at the time nor by our knowledge of the experience of others nor by our moral beliefs about segregation as an institution.

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    1. It was intended to be part of the theoretical A&E marketing guy's purported thoughts. Whether he's actually a racist or not is totally beside the point from a public relations perspective. His comments were sufficiently pro-segregation that A&E needed to distance themselves.

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  2. For what it's worth, here are a couple of links from "extreme left" organizations that shed some more light on this debacle. Basically, the man seemed ignorant on the effects of Jim Crow, he promoted crass stereotypes of gay men, and his defenders are themselves suspicious characters.

    http://mediamatters.org/research/2013/12/19/fox-news-employees-rush-to-defend-duck-dynasty/197353

    http://mediamatters.org/blog/2013/12/19/what-happens-when-megyn-kelly-promises-to-hold/197363

    http://www.rightwingwatch.org/content/defending-phil-robertson-calling-gays-be-put-death

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  3. I never thought I would type the words "Duck Dynasty". I am only dimly aware that such a... phenomenon... exists. Reality TV is stupid and so generates stupid headlines. Melinda, I blame you for bringing it into my consciousness, however briefly. I pout and stick my tongue out at you.

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  4. PS:

    http://crooksandliars.com/2013/12/duck-dynastys-robertson-homosexuals-are

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  5. How were his comments pro-segregation? His point was that the blacks he knew were happier before entitlements came on the scene (many scholars who are not racist have confirmed that entitlements have helped destroy the black community). Jim Crow is not even mentioned in the article. He said himself he was "white trash" working with godly black farmers. They were happy because they were godly and hard-working. He was recounting what he "had seen." He was not giving an historical account.

    Your friend, Leslie

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  6. If they could have made racism and homophobia both stick they'd have used both.

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  7. I think that you do capture a great sentiment how Christians should be responding. However, let me just say this, as a chaste gay young man who grew up in fundamentalist evangelical circles in the Midwest, I think that you underestimate the power of these comments and the effects on young people in these situations who get to see their entire family, neighbors, and churches respond with a zealous ferocity to destroy the "homosexual agenda". I say this knowing that the day I come out to my parents, it will both shock and devastate them. So basically, while this may be much ado about nothing, I think it is important to remember there are some really scared kids feeling really alone out there, potentially contemplating making really destructive decisions--be it suicide or a hormonally embroiled hook-up... and statements like these simply confirm what they have been hearing since they were 5. That they are yucky, tainted, screwed up in the head, that their lives aren't really worth anything anyway (which are lies from the pit of Hell)... So from my corner-- what Phil Robertson said is a really big deal. Because it stokes hate within the Christian Right- and ultimately their gay children are the ones who pay-- some mentally, some spiritually, and some physically for this man's coarse words. That is bad religion. Personally, I think it deserves our condemnation and that the Robertson family should become Catholic--if for no other reason that when they decide to comment on an issue that bears literally zero relevance to their lives--they have the intellectual base to not promote ignorance and hate with a complete absence of understanding or compassion. And Catholics themselves should brush up on seeing the face of Christ in their LGBT brothers and sisters rather than preferring to wall them off in the sinner's ghetto.

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  8. I think it was a deliberate move to direct public attention away from drones being dropped on wedding in Yemen. Everyone is up in arms over some guy from a reality show spouting his opinions and nobody pays attention to the terrorist attacks brought to you by Big Brother.

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    Replies
    1. The bigger issue here should be that we don't know what the interviewer asked Phil. Why hasn't anyone taken him (Magary) to task?Phil's comment or answer about the people he worked and saw everyday was only incendiary to someone looking to pick a fight. The rest of the comments about gays was biblical. His reference to body parts was correct, but crass in that we didn't need to read quite that much in order to know what he was getting at. Too colorful.

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