Call me prophetic, but it’s reaching the point where I can read liberals like a comic book. A number of weeks ago, it was suggested by some of my more rural acquaintances, that I tune into Duck Dynasty, a reality TV show brought to you by A&E. For those of you not familiar with the Duck Dynasty phenomenon, the series follows the daily meanderings of the Robertson family, a rural Louisianaclan known for their exceptionally shaggy facial hair, preference for all things camouflage, conservative Christian values, willingness to hunt and eat virtually any critter that walks flies or crawls, and most importantly their successfulfamily business. They are the founders of Duck Commander, a line of duck calls and now a media and cultural empire with merchandising worth in excess of some 400 million dollars. The family patriarch, Phil Robertson is a 67 year-old former substance abuser, a man of few words, who created the Duck Commander duck call in 1972, repented, found God, and lives with his wife, Miss K on the family’s original property in the Louisiana woods. His oldest son is a pastor, with the remaining boys, most notably Willy, Jase, and Jep, running the family business and being prominently featured in the television show. Phil’s brother Si, a Vietnam vet and at the ripe old age of “I don’t give a damn” is also featured as the village idiot, whether he actually is, or if it is an act, is not alwaysentirely clear. The amusement is derived from thesuperimposition of their back woods appearance, lifestyles and values with the running of a family business empire and all the material trappings that come with success. Big houses in the suburbs, attractive salon-ready wives, yuppie children, and all the toys. Granted, like all reality TV, it appears to be largely staged, particularly the portrayal of the manufacturing end of the business with the suggestion that only 5 or 6 guys of questionable intelligence are fabricating the product, when in fact they spend the vast majority of their TV time refusing to work, hunting, going on unrelated errands, and generally goofing off. It all makes for mindless, preposterous, yet engaging, entertaining television. America just cannot get enough of the voyeuristic appeal of reality TV.
Back to my prophesy. After my first viewing, I was struckby four deadly sins that would make the Robertsons prime targets for the liberal cultural snipers. One: they are conservative. Conservative values and most likely conservative political leanings. Two: they are religious. They close all their shows with the family gathered around the dinner table where they bow their heads in prayer. Three: Guns. Lots of Guns. And they shoot those guns.At animals. And lastly, number four: They are wealthy. They are the 1%. And they got to be the 1% by, see above, being conservative, religious, and shooting animals. You could not possibly find a better recipe for becoming a liberal target. Remember, conservatives are all bad people, religion is for the simple minded, guns should all be banned and the 1% have ruined America. Or so goes the liberal chant. Even our President has publicly condemned at least two of these deadly sins. You all recall the infamous “clinging to guns and religion” diatribe. Toss in redistribution, income inequality, and a few Harry Reid “party of no” rants and it amazes me that the Robertsonshave not been declared public enemy number one.
Enter GQ. Some of you may recall Gentleman’s Quartlerlyback when it was relevant. It used to be the gentleman’s reference for sartorial splendor, the “how to” manual for dressing and looking your best, fashion and grooming articles interspersed with the occasional interview with someone to be admired in the business world or entertainment. My, how times have changed. GQ has now morphed into Cosmo for men. Skinny, androgenous, models glare at you in impossibly tight, trendy and pricey designer clothing. Hollywood rules, fawning liberal references ooze from the articles, and sex is the order of the day. Even their reference for suit fitting suggests buying a suit a size smaller than usual and hemming your straight leg, cuffless, flat front pants higher to “show some sock”. How many American men are following this kind of fashion advice, or are even built to do so, as they head to the office? The typically liberal, hypocritical juxtaposition of progressive media social values in print accompanied rather incongruously by 20-something models in $3000 suits and $1200 shoes when the only segment of society that can possibly afford to buy them is the hated, andgenerally despised 1%. Hated and despised unless you’re Hollywood….or a politician.
In any event, GQ chose to interview the aforementionedPhil Robertson. Please. Where exactly did you think this was headed? Sooner or later the interviewer gets around to what is apparently the only issue that seems to concern America today: Gays. Not a nuclear Iran, not North Korea threatening to attack the South, not Putin walking all over Obama in dealing with Syria, not Obama’s back room deal with Iran leaving Israel to ponder its future in the middle-East. Not even the stagnant economy or Obamacare. Gays. Now having watched Duck Dynasty a couple of times, I could have told you what Phil’s answer would have been. He is a strict Bible-thumper and what the interviewer received was a strict interpretation of the Bible’s take on homosexuality. Sin. Period. End of discussion.
Phil expressed his opinion and referenced his source, pure and simple. A&E responded in politically correct fashion by hailing themselves as champions of gay rights and promptly placing Phil on hiatus. The family responded by saying that Phil is their patriarch and the show cannot go on without him. All of this theater and complete bluster, of course, because 9 of the 10 episodes for next season were already in the can. Now everyone is getting all wrapped up in First Amendment rights to free speech on one side and the gay rights activists are responding with horror,indignation and outrage on the other. Now, wait a second.Nobody is suppressing Phil’s right to free speech and the gay folks can be fabulously outraged all they want. And for that matter, A&E can choose to cancel the show and fire Phil if they so desire and they certainly have the right to do so. Or perhaps the Robertsons can just walk away from the whole debacle as well, providing they can exercise that right within the context of their contract. All of the parties involved are well within their rights to express their opinions and apparently we have no shortage of that in this instance. Even the consistently volatile Charley Sheen has tossed his opinion into the ring. Now there is a touchstone for societal values and morality. But what truly annoys me is that this is nothing more than a set-up, an example of “gotcha” journalism to further a liberal agenda. What should have happened? Should Phil have lied to the interviewer, gone against his Biblical teachings, and spewed the politically correct party line to protect his brand and thus worship the almighty buck? Should Phil have done the political two-step, backtracked, issued an apology and claimed to have had an epiphany regarding homosexuality, and promptly donated twenty grand to GLAAD? Absolutely not, and I wouldn’t have expected him to do so. Politically correct or not, he expressed his opinion. He is neither right nor wrong. It is his opinion and, frankly, it remains the same opinion of a majority of religious leaders all over the world. If Phil were to condone a homosexual lifestyle, he would have gone against his religion, his personal moral compass, and his family values, all to preserve what? His popularity with his fan base? I doubt that the core Duck Dynasty viewer, or the purchasers of Duck Commander merchandise even have homosexuality on their radar. To lie about one’s personal feelings on any issue just to appeal to a wide swath of the public for reasons of popularity, standing, power, or wealth makes you less of a man and more of a….. politician. And we surely don’t need anymore of those.
But I predict that A&E will bend to the lure of the dollar. Apparently Phil has already been reinstated for January. So much for the hiatus. And let’s not be too surprised bythis stance. If you’re looking for a moral compass, you’re not going to find one at A&E. A perusal of their programming puts Duck Dynasty as one of their most family friendly offerings. I for one will not be sitting down with the kids for an episode of Rodeo Girls, The Bates Motel, The Killer Speaks, or Bonnie and Clyde, a slate of programming glorifying murder, promiscuity, crime, rape and incest, some of which is portrayed in excruciating detail. Well done, A&E.
So, liberal left and those infected with political correctness, face the facts. Phil is in the driver’s seat on this one. Happy, happy, happy. He has money, he has popularity, he has faith and he just can’t fathom why a man would find another man sexually attractive. Imagine that.