The Absurdity of A&E’s Duck Dynasty Actions


1. A&E had a media rep during the GQ interview. The media rep’s job is to prevent his subject from being asked questions or make statements that will make him look bad. Curiously enough, the A&E rep did not decide to cut in at the right time. I’m not saying that he should have stepped in from my perspective, but from the perspective of a cable net looking to protect a valuable property that would have been the exact moment to step in.

So either the rep was incompetent or he deliberately allowed this to happen.


2. A&E’s “punishment” of Phil Robertson was meaningless. It put him on hiatus while the show was on hiatus. This is a little like suspending a teacher over the summer. It did it to cover its ass from the gay lobby backlash. Instead it ended up on the receiving end of a backlash that it completely did not expect from the family and from conservative viewers.

The network’s priorities were taking place in a bubble in which the opinion of GLAAD on Duck Dynasty mattered more than its viewers.


3. Phil Robertson is now “back”, officially, even though it’s quite clear that he was never really away. A&E had no intention of tampering with its moneymaker. But if things had gone according to plan, it would have made that announcement quietly after a statement from Phil Robertson about learning to like gay people.

Instead A&E is forced to concede defeat and GLAAD is now angrier than ever. A&E’s statement is ridiculously contorted, blaming GQ while appearing to place some responsibility, sort of, on Phil, and promising pro-gay programming and PSAs as a payoff. And probably money.


4. A&E screwed this up at the interview stage. Or it solicited exactly this reaction. It got a huge amount of publicity from Duck Dynasty’s core audience. And that is likely to lead to a viewership increase.

It’s entirely possible that A&E wanted all this to happen and that it got exactly what it wanted, milking a culture war for cold hard cash.

  • Elizabeth Cape Cod

    answer – A wet index finger in the wind.
    question- Define the liberal’s moral compass.

    • Joe Durant

      I for one cannot wait for your generation to die. It’s people like you, who slap ridiculous labels on things or expect the world to bow down and kowtow to ‘tradition’ or ‘that’s just the way things have always been’ that are the real problem.

      Liberals said, “Hey, maybe blacks should be considered people” and everyone else said “Nooo that’s ridiculous, society would crumble, they’ve always been slaves” and look what happened. Liberals said “Women should have the same rights as men,” and everyone else said “Nooo society would take a nosedive, they need to be at home baking and caring for children like they’ve always been, not out voting or holding jobs” and look what happened.

      Liberals said, “Gay couples should have the same rights as married couples” and everyone else said, “Are you nuts? Society would take a turn for the worse! I mean, it’s just unnatural.”

      You’re on the wrong side of history, sweetheart. I can’t even hate you for it, I just feel sad for you, and everyone else like you that thinks a ‘liberal’ or ‘someone who believes that government should be active in supporting social or political change’ is some sort of scum that needs to be wiped off the bottom of your shoe. Or that they lack ‘morals’.

      My moral compass is just fine. I don’t need a Bible or a bunch of traditions to tell me what’s right or wrong. I have enough strength of character on my own to know that people like Phil Robertson and you are clearly in the wrong, and that everyone deserves the freedom to make their own life choices and not be persecuted for something as simple as loving another human being.

      You’re a sad, pathetic person.

      • Elizabeth Cape Cod

        You missed the entire meaning of my comment. My comment is not even about gays. It’s about A&E’s outrage one minute – when it looked like public opinion dictated outrage…and then A&E’s ‘tolerance’ the next, when the public supported the Ducks.
        Their moral compass is dictated by which way the wind blows..

      • Daniel Greenfield

        As I recall, liberals said, “We need the slave trade to help maintain our connections to European culture.”

  • darnellecheri

    “It’s entirely possible that A&E wanted all this to happen and that it got exactly what it wanted, milking a culture war for cold hard cash.”
    Exactement! And the handful of conservative news sites and journalists (no disrespect intended) making such a point of protest about an entertainment show. It all smells of contract leverage and power-play. To think that there are many other points of protest that are so worthy of energetic airplay, i.e., the oppressed and persecuted Christians around the world, the assault of our government on our constitutional rights, the abuse of this administration’s concentration of power, etc. Nothing new under our American sun, I suppose.

    • Daniel Greenfield

      We can and should tackle more than one issue. Conservative sites are making a valid point when they talk about it.

      But A&E might have calculated on using it all for publicity.

  • camp7

    A&E played the cards. When public sentiment ‘called card’ they folded. It doesn’t make them a rookie player, it’s all about the game. It’s a shared pot.

    When there’s money showing, liberals always come to the table.

  • Lee

    I would like to see a reporter do the research to find out WHO at A&E made this decision ? This is the person who should be suspended !

  • knowshistory

    not really absurd. until recently there has been no penalty for a company dumping anyone that “offended” any of the many aggressive tentacles of the democratic party. “activists” of many variety have had their way routinely, cowardly employers dump the offender, and everyone is happy, except the victim. how was a&e, insulated in their liberal thinkalikeism from the reality of their audience, to know that there would be a huge backlash? to do that they would have had to have the wisdom to, for instance, predict that things fall DOWN. or that the sun will rise in the east. who could have known?


    The christian-reich only believes that free speech is a one way street.

    They have weekly boycott demands by the American Family Association aka (One million moms), one of the nation’s largest Christian advocacy groups, are totally OK with the Tea People. Because when Christianist groups call for nationwide boycotts of television shows and their advertisers, that is a righteous use of the free market in order to preserve morality, marriage, family, and the American way. But when GAY groups use or threaten the use of a boycott, THAT is homofascist intimidation, intolerance, bullying, a stifling of religious liberty, and an attempt to deny the freedom of speech. Just so we’re clear.

    • Daniel Greenfield

      Christian Reich? Did you mean Robert Reich?

  • Joe Durant

    It’s absolutely absurd how many Americans have no idea what ‘free speech’ even means. How embarrassing.

    Free speech, part of the First Amendment, means you have the freedom of expression without persecution BY YOUR GOVERNMENT.

    Free speech does not exist in the workplace. It does not exist among private citizens, among private companies. It is not a magic shield that allows you to say whatever you want without consequence. Since Phil Robertson is not being persecuted by his government for being a backwater racist bigoted hick, the words ‘Phil Robertson’ and ‘free speech’ should not be in the same conversation. Just to clear that up.

    • Daniel Greenfield

      Did you read the article before you decided to rant? Probably wouldn’t have made a difference. Godwin on.