29 December 2013

Duck dye nasty

Just after Christmas, A&E decided to put profits over people and reinstated Phil Robertson of Duck Dynasty.  Despite some squid ink about "promoting tolerance", this is clearly a defeat, and the knuckle-dragging anti-gay crowd is duly crowing.  Still, there are some positives to keep in mind.

This is the loss of a pretty small battle in a war which our side is overwhelmingly winning.  Eighteen US states and more than a dozen foreign countries now have legal gay marriage, and at times it has seemed like almost every week brings a new addition to the list.  Support for gay equality across the board is higher in this country than ever before, and still rising rapidly.  The only big recent setbacks were new anti-gay laws in Uganda and Russia, and those are so brutal in their implications that even some fundies aren't quite comfortable publicly embracing them.  At a recent Christian Right conference in Washington DC, the mood was mostly one of profound alarm at the way things are going.

As for the Battle of the Duck itself, gay and black Americans, and others who care about their dignity and rights, have seen an individual who made utterly repugnant statements about them being embraced and championed by a wide range of conservative politicians, media personalities, and others, including Republican Presidential hopefuls.  It's a reminder, for any who needed it, of the key fact that the right wing is the enemy.  That reminder will sit there, a stinking heap of ugly and all-too-revealing recorded statements, ready for Democrats to dump out again in public as we approach next year's mid-term election, in which motivation of voters on our side will be crucial for turnout.  The RNC's hopes of fooling Americans outside their fundie base with fatuous and hypocritical "outreach" have taken yet another hit.


Blogger Ahab said...

I have to share this commentary in my next "commentary tidbits" post, just so you know.

:: furtively shoves link in pocket ::

Let's hope that black, LGBTQ, and progressive voters remember these candidates' misguided support of Robertson when voting time comes.

29 December, 2013 09:44  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Ahab: Thanks. Let's hope the Democratic party remembers that it's their job to remind everyone when the time comes.

29 December, 2013 09:51  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I feel this "controversy" is every bit as stupid as the "War on Christmas". He has a right to say any thing he wants. I have the right to think what he said is stupid. Look at talk radio. They write it off as entertainment. Reality TV is entertainment. Damn shame that so many are blinded by bread and circuses. Oh wait, if you are poor or unemployed-no bread for you.

29 December, 2013 11:07  
Blogger Green Eagle said...

Phil Robertson was never "suspended" from Duck Dynasty. The whole next season of the show is already in the can, and the next season's shooting will probably not start until the spring. Nothing was happening here but an attempt by the network to defuse things until the controversy died down. If you think they were going to do a thing to hurt their biggest grossing show, you don't know much about the TV business.

They just didn't quite get how primed the right wing noise machine is to instantly turn any perceived slight into a huge furor, so they "brought him back," i.e. ended their pretend suspension now instead of a couple of weeks from now.

In TV, it's always about the money. You'll never go wrong if you remember that.

29 December, 2013 11:38  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Anon: The important point is that others have the right to point out that he's being a jackass and refuse to associate with him (the local Albertsons near where I live used to have a display of Duck Dynasty stuff, but they took it away a few days into the controversy). Free speech doesn't mean freedom from being criticized for what one says.

Green: He was suspended, whether or not you think A&E was sincere about it, and no one knows whether he would have stayed suspended if the support from the wingnuts had been less vociferous. Robertson's remarks about happy blacks under Jim Crow, much more than what he said about gays, were beyond the limit of what would normally be survivable. And it remains to be seen whether A&E will ultimately lose more than it gains by keeping the Ducks.

In any case, I'm more interested in the political repercussions, as discussed in the last paragraph of the post.

29 December, 2013 14:57  
Blogger Shaw Kenawe said...

"This is the loss of a pretty small battle in a war which our side is overwhelmingly winning."

This is the ONLY thing that matters.

Let them believe they've won some sort of victory in having A&E resume a program with millionaire fake teevee rednecks spewing rancid conservative bigotry.

Insulting and pissing off the gay community AND the African-American community is excruciatingly stupid. But would we expect anything less than this sort of self-satisfied idiocy from those short-sighted dolts?

30 December, 2013 11:09  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Shaw: Exactly -- keep the focus on the big picture. All the the right-wingers are doing with "victories" like this is solidifying their identification with a shrinking population of cranky pearl-clutchers. We'll take the future.

30 December, 2013 11:52  
Blogger Green Eagle said...

Infidel, you can't "suspend" someone when a show is on hiatus. At the end of filming everyone is laid off- that's why so many TV production people can get unemployment compensation until the next season starts. You are then rehired for the next season.

Believe me- I've been through this over and over again.

31 December, 2013 19:44  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Hairsplitting. We don't know whether they would have reinstated him if the fans hadn't reacted so vociferously. For that matter, there's more embarrassing stuff coming out about him now that people are looking more closely.

01 January, 2014 12:05  

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