Unclear on the Concept

Mark of New Jersey

Mark is a Founding Editor of The League of Ordinary Gentlemen, the predecessor of Ordinary Times.

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68 Responses

  1. Speech that is critical of someone is expresses a socially conservative opinion is not free speech;…

    That doesn’t scan very well, please clarify.Report

  2. North says:

    Ah Sarah, if you didn’t exist the Democratic Party would have to invent you… except the Democratic Party doesn’t have the power to invent you, so it’s a lucky thing for us you already exist.Report

  3. Kolohe says:

    Why are you paying attention to what this person says? Why?! It’s this sort of post on the internets (even if just off the cuff) that keeps the former governor’s Q rating up and sustains her current career.Report

    • Troublesome Frog in reply to Kolohe says:

      My favorite Facebook response to a photo of somebody’s brunch plate: “Remember when you had to take a photo of your breakfast with film, have it developed, and then carry the photos to your neigbors and friends so they could see your breakfast? No? Neither do I.”

      Even if you’re the political equivalent of a photo of somebody’s poached eggs, the Internet makes it cheap and easy to stay famous.Report

  4. Jaybird says:

    What does Guy Fieri think about the negative income tax?Report

  5. NewDealer says:

    I think our tribal “culture war” has fully reached an absolutely absurd point:


    I don’t know whether Sarah Palin really believes what she said or not. Though First Amendment jurisprudence does seem to be a constant weak point on the right and they don’t seem to get that Freedom of Speech does not mean Freedom from consequences or criticism. It is all about tribal signalling though and Sarah Palin is signalling her side strongly.Report

    • Chris in reply to NewDealer says:

      I don’t even own pajamas, and I don’t have an oversized beard or hunt ducks. WHICH ONE AM I?! I feel so lost and alienated.Report

    • greginak in reply to NewDealer says:

      People actually have freaked out about a sporking STOCK PHOTO…….egads. Like Mr. Duck didn’t know his views would cause a reaction…oh please? Can he be that stupid, well okay listening to his command of facts( muslims don’t believe in jesus, Nazi Germany wasn’t christian, blacks were just fine with Jim Crow) he can be just that stupid. But every time you think something stupid in America has hit its low point, just wait a week.Report

    • Brandon Berg in reply to NewDealer says:

      Though First Amendment jurisprudence does seem to be a constant weak point on the right and they don’t seem to get that Freedom of Speech does not mean Freedom from consequences or criticism.

      Do you feel the same way about people who talk about employers “forcing” employees to do things, when the worst they can do is fire them?Report

  6. Gotta say that I don’t much care for the contemporary trend, of people having only as much free speech as their employers approve of.Report

    • Patrick in reply to The Sanity Inspector says:

      I wouldn’t exactly call this trend “contemporary”.Report

    • Let’s say I’m a Republican, and I have two employees. We’ll call them “Marco” and “Wilhelm” for purposes of discussion. Both Marco and Wilhelm are competent workers who comply with all of my workplace policies, and whose jobs require them to interact with both my customers and my vendors on a frequent basis.

      Marco is a very outspoken Democrat. Lots of Obama bumper stickers on his car. Still wears his “Yes We Can” T-shirt on casual day. Is known in the community for being a big booster of the local Democratic party.

      Me, being a Republican, I’m not all that fond of Obama, but I do recognize that a lot of other people are, and I’m aware that his political views are within the mainstream. But, it is really irritating to me that Marco is a big ol’ Democrat and I’m pretty sure I’d enjoy my workplace better if he weren’t there.

      Wilhelm, on the other hand, is the Leftenant Colonel of the local chapter of the American Nazi Party. When off-duty, Wilhelm wears antique German uniforms, sports the red armband with swastika, and writes amazingly offensive letters to the local newspaper containing all manner of racial slurs.

      Wilhelm’s conduct embarrasses me, and I’ve had customers and vendors who both say that they are uncomfortable dealing with him.

      Ought I to be legally permitted to:

      a) Fire either employee at my discretion?
      b) Fire only Wilhelm but be required to keep Marco on staff?
      c) Fire Wilhelm, but only if I also fire Marco?
      d) Not be permitted to fire either Marco or Wilhelm?

      When answering, don’t forget to at least consider that I, too, have First Amendment rights.Report

      • greginak in reply to Burt Likko says:

        Wilhelm also has his darn Scream all over the place so you can’t even get away from him outside of work.Report

      • Mad Rocket Scientist in reply to Burt Likko says:

        This is a good question. I was wondering how, in light of the whole wedding photographer/bakery & refusing service to gay couples issue tracks with A&E putting this guy on hiatus (effectively firing him, if not officially)? Especially given the whole family is very religious & conservative.

        Seems the issues are rather intertwined.Report

      • NewDealer in reply to Burt Likko says:

        Assuming the state did not have any lifestyle protection issues, you could terminate both of them.*

        Though the case for terminating Wilhelm is more clear cut and probably better from a PR prospective. A good chunk of the country and (probably) your clients are Democratic. Not a good chunk of either are Nazis and your clients and vendors clearly know about Wilhelm’s views and it makes them uncomfortable and they have told you so.

        *I know political beliefs are not protected but lifestyle protection statutes might offer some protection.Report

      • Burt Likko in reply to Burt Likko says:

        The law is that I can terminate either employee under these circumstances except in Washington and California. But also recall that I posed a normative question, not a descriptive one — in response to @the-sanity-inspector ‘s challenge about employers and the individual rights of employees.

        There are plenty of other examples of employers precluding upon what, if they were the government, would be fundamental rights. The government can’t just drug test you whenever it feels like. The government generally can’t make you promise to not say bad things about it in public. The government typically lacks power to restrict your ability to talk about things that you learned at work when in a social setting (holders of security clearances, however, are a notable exception to this). The government can’t make you conform to a dress code, or at least not much of one. But employers do all of these things, all the time, and very few people think this improper.Report

      • Kazzy in reply to Burt Likko says:

        You can fire both. So long as neither one claims their believes to be part of an organized religion. Then you’re fucked.Report

      • Mike Schilling in reply to Burt Likko says:

        The law is that I can terminate either employee under these circumstances except in Washington and California.

        That’s if they’re at-will employees. Suppose they have contracts. You can’t claim breach of contract because you find out later that Marco’s a big Obama guy. You can, at least potentially, if Wilhelm didn’t disclose that half your customers hate his guts.Report

      • You might consider setting production or sales targets for Marco and Wilhelm, which would require them to be able to make potential customers and vendors comfortable with them. If they consistently fail, then they fail, and out they go. A rather weaselly solution, but defensible, I’d say. Although admittedly it could be said that this is exactly what happens when a liberal boycott forces out a conservative celebrity.

        All this makes me envious of independent freeholders in former times:

        I believe a man is happier, and happy in a richer way, if he has “the freeborn mind.” But I doubt whether he can have this without economic independence, which the new society is abolishing. For economic independence allows an education not controlled by Government; and in adult life it is the man who needs, and asks, nothing of Government who can criticise its acts and snap his fingers at its ideology. Read Montaigne; that’s the voice of a man with his legs under his own table, eating the mutton and turnips raised on his own land. Who will talk like that when the State is everyone’s schoolmaster and employer? —C.S. Lewis

        Substitute “employer” for “government”, and there you have our present predicament.Report

  7. Patrick says:

    Usually the folks who object to power imbalances between an employee and an employer are…not… the folks who object to somebody getting suspended from a job because he happens to have controversial views… wait, no, that’s often those guys. It’s not those guys, it’s those other other guys.

    Ah, religion. The lynchpin. You turn those who claim to be the freest of marketeers into budding statists, and the most inclusive of statists into the snarkiest.Report

    • greginak in reply to Patrick says:

      Usually the power imbalances don’t involve multi-millionaire business owner/reality TV stars as the employee/oppressed worker.Report

    • Mad Rocket Scientist in reply to Patrick says:

      This would all be so much easier if everyone kept their religious opinions between themselves & their religious leader of choice.Report

    • Mark Thompson in reply to Patrick says:

      Just to be clear – I’m not a big fan of the trend of organizing boycotts or threats to boycott advertisers because of their sponsorship of shows featuring people with unpopular opinions. However, this doesn’t appear to be an instance where that happened – instead, a bunch of people who read the remarks stated their strong objections to those remarks, which is the epitome of free speech. This meant that A&E had a PR problem on their hands (they didn’t fire him by the way), to which they responded. What’s more, I don’t think this is an instance where it’s really the case that he was acting outside the scope of his employment – for starters, this isn’t even a true employer-employee relationship by most definitions; more importantly, though, the interview was at least arguably within the scope of his relationship with A&E, as he was essentially doing press for his show – it’s not like he’d be getting interviewed by GQ absent the fact that he has a popular show on A&E, and I’d wager that there’s a good chance A&E was involved with setting the interview up in the first place (though I could be wrong about that).

      All that said, I should also note that I think A&E’s announcement is an unwise business move – I tend to agree with Andrew Sullivan’s take on the matter. It’s just not a free speech problem in any way, shape, or form. To the contrary, it’s free speech in action, warts and all.Report

      • North in reply to Mark Thompson says:

        I’m with sully here too, and you Mark. You have to wonder what the fish the idiots at A&E marketing were smoking when they scheduled that GQ interview. It’s not like they were unaware of the Ducks un-PC proclivites, they’ve been vigerously filtering and white washing them from the get go (note: I don’t condemn them for that, they’re trying to broaden the Ducks appeal).Report

      • dhex in reply to Mark Thompson says:

        a&e may not have set up the interview – i’m willing to bet the duck people have their own in house guy/gal, who may or may not have been ignored when it came to the “you’re speaking to, at best, a dismissive audience” advice.Report

  8. Tim Kowal says:

    I’ve never understood the Palin Derangement Syndrome either way, myself. But I’m not convinced references to “free speech” are necessarily the same thing as invoking the First Amendment. And even if it is, I think people understand the First Amendment as much as a symbol as a legal doctrine — in fact, probably more the former than the latter.

    Anyway, the Robertson story caught me off-guard. I’d just recently seen Jonathan Chait’s admonition from 2010 against easy accusations of racism (“it’s an accusation of motive that’s necessarily difficult to prove, and should be reserved for the most obvious cases. And the gravity of the charge deserves more respect than its promiscuous use. So can we all try to cut back on the imputations of bigotry, and content ourselves to argue with — or, if necessary, insult — each other?” http://www.newrepublic.com/blog/jonathan-chait/my-rodney-king-moment) and Brandon Ambrosino’s more recent similar admonition about homophobia (“Calling someone “anti-gay” when his behavior is undeserving of that label doesn’t only end civil discussion – it degrades the foundation that undergirds a democratic, pluralistic society. http://m.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2013/12/being-against-gay-marriage-doesnt-make-you-a-homophobe/282333). And then this flapdoodle. As if anyone was surprised about this guy’s point of view — lease of all A&E. Grading on a curve — i.e., likelihood of something less than genteel having some relationship to the number of diseased ticks lurking in that bedraggled mass of dead hair hanging around his mouth — I was ready for something much worse.

    So no, not a First Amendment issue. Just perhaps a “where’s the beef” issue, or a double-standard issue.Report

    • Here’s my thing, though – freedom of speech does not mean freedom from criticism; to the contrary, robust freedom of speech, both legally and symbolically, requires that freedom to criticize speech is every bit as essential to the concept as the freedom for the original person to speak. And that’s all that has happened here, for the most part – people have criticized this guy for his speech. A&E hasn’t even actually fired him – they’ve just put him on hiatus at a time when they already finished filming the next season.

      Now, whether or not A&E should be acting surprised about this is another story altogether, but that’s not even symbolically a free speech issue.

      There are few things in my mind more disrespectful of the concept of freedom of speech than the notion that critical speech is tyranny, which is what too many conservatives increasingly seem to believe. I cited to Palin here because her playing of the victim card is particularly egregious – amongst many other events in her history on this issue, she had no problem with Martin Bashir being forced out (rightly) for his outrageous comments about her, but when something similar happens to a conservative, it’s an assault on the concept of free speech.

      Free speech flows both ways, and to treat it as if it only protects speech you agree with is to undermine it.Report

      • I did not get the impression that anyone was “critical” of Robertson’s speech, only that they found it “offensive.” The distinction is frequently overlooked, but it is important. Rick Warren captured it well: “Our culture has accepted two huge lies. The first is that if you disagree with someone’s lifestyle, you must fear or hate them. The second is that to love someone means you agree with everything they believe or do. Both are nonsense. You don’t have to compromise convictions to be compassionate.” Robertson’s remarks seemed to be offered in that spirit when he prefaced them by saying: “You put in your article that the Robertson family really believes strongly that if the human race loved each other and they loved God, we would just be better off. We ought to just be repentant, turn to God, and let’s get on with it, and everything will turn around.”

        The rest of his theology, well, again, I don’t see the issue as people “criticizing” it as much as simply declaring it’s out of bounds. As Variety approvingly put it, “when it comes to entertainment, low tolerance is turning into no tolerance.” http://variety.com/2013/tv/news/duck-dynastys-phil-robertson-suspension-why-ae-has-played-its-cards-right-1200974512. This seems to be another Marcusian example of how liberals fail to see what Stanley Fish called “the dark side of their favorite virtue.”

        Robert George’s maiden tweet recently was this: “The worst thing about political correctness is not that it shuts down speech–bad as that is. It is that it shuts down thought.” That’s the “tyranny” here, even if not of the governmental sort.Report

      • Kazzy in reply to Mark Thompson says:

        FWIW, @tim-kowal , if you (via Warren) are referring to homosexuality as a lifestyle… well, most gays and lesbians disagree with that. It isn’t a lifestyle. Living in the country? That’s a lifestyle. Being a jet setter? That is a lifestyle. Sexual orientation is a core part of an individual’s identity. Homosexuality is no more a lifestyle than heterosexuality is.Report

      • greginak in reply to Mark Thompson says:

        Tim i’m not seeing where you describe the difference between criticism and people saying something is offensive. It seems like saying something is bigoted and offensive are criticisms. There have been plenty of other criticisms like things people have said about Mr. Duck including he is ignorant of other religions ( saying that muslims don’t believe in Jesus, nazi germany wasn’t Christian), at the least he is missing important information relating to those factoids of his.

        Are you suggesting people shouldn’t criticize him or say think he is wrong? That seems to be what you are hinting at.Report

      • It’s easy to be offended. “I’m offended by your comment.” Done. Is that a criticism? If you think so, my comments are way too long.Report

      • greginak in reply to Mark Thompson says:

        But isn’t that just parsing words to determine…ummm…. the correctness of a criticism? Yeah if all someone says is “I’m offended” that isn’t exactly the most detailed, scathing criticism. How many people went far more than just that though, saying they were offended by homophobic bigotry or something like that. I think saying someone is homophobic is a criticism. All the criticisms i’ve read of him dug into the mountain of stuff he threw out there.Report

      • They “dug into the mountain” and came out saying “I’m offended,” is the impression I got. But I haven’t read more than a handful of the reactions, so I’m not saying that no one actually criticized the statements as opposed to merely taking offense. Still, my impression thus far is that the weight of the reaction is “taking offense” and not substantive “criticism.”

        As for adding “…because it’s anti-gay/bigoted/whatever” to the statement of offense adds nothing. Ambrosino again:

        “If my primary ethical obligation to my neighbor is to allow and affirm his moral agency, so long as it does not lead him to commit acts of violence, then what happens when I take away his right to peacefully disagree with me? We shouldn’t have to resort to trumped up charges of bigotry to explain why opponents of gay marriage are wrong. Calling someone “anti-gay” when his behavior is undeserving of that label doesn’t only end civil discussion – it degrades the foundation that undergirds a democratic, pluralistic society. Though gay rights’ opponents have at times villified us, I hope that we’re able to rise above those tactics.”Report

      • Morat20 in reply to Mark Thompson says:


        I suggest you give the people who said “I am offended” the benefit of the doubt — that is, assume they have a reason to feel offended, they just didn’t bother going into details because (1) they felt it was obvious or (2) didn’t feel like it or (3) don’t really care to go into details or (4) because they’re not actually talking to the guy who said it, because he was on TV or simply because (5) it’s quicker to say.

        Thus, you can correctly assume that “I’m offended” actually means “What you have just said is not just wrong, but wrong in a way that I feel somewhat strongly about, for reasons I’m not bothering to go into at the moment”.

        I’m sure, in the world, there are people and statements that are somehow offensive to someone who also feels that statement is correct. Offhand, I can’t think of any. Maybe some Nazi or rape jokes — wherein it’s offensive because you’re mocking grief or injury, but that’s pretty easy to criticize so probably not.

        Feeling an offensive statement is wrong is, as far as I can tell, part and parcel of finding it offensive. “Offensive” is a subset of “wrong”, as far as I can tell.Report

      • greginak in reply to Mark Thompson says:

        Tim, to a great degree you are relying on a strawman or at least only aiming at weakest responses which doesn’t say much for your argument. Plenty of people have gone at length about many criticisms of Mr. Duck. I’ve mentioned a few above. I could add that any white guy from the South his age who says he never say a black man mistreated or unhappy about Jim Crow either never opened his eyes and ears or never wanted to. Frankly even if people want to change their FB status to Offended, Vexed, Perturbed and 110% full of umbrage that is just free speech. Nobody has to like or read it.

        Oh yeah…please…where is the tyranny here? You complain about hyperbole and peole going overboard then you are accusing someone of tyranny and not thinking just because they said stuff you didn’t like.Report

      • Mike Schilling in reply to Mark Thompson says:

        We just love ’em, give ’em the good news about Jesus—whether they’re homosexuals, drunks, terrorists.

        One of these things is different from the others. That’s worth pointing out.Report

      • Kazzy in reply to Mark Thompson says:

        Baked into a lot of the pushback to the pushback is the idea that the original pushback is somehow illegitimate… Either the result of people being oversensitive and/or overreacting OR the negative respinse being somehow manufactured by mysterious forces. Either way, it seems to reject the idea of debating honestly.Report

      • The severe reflexive response is illegitimate, as are the reflexive accusations of racism and homophobia, for the reasons I’ve explained. Again, being offended does not establish bigotry. As fellow human beings, we ought to try to be sensitive to one another — and indeed the Robertson family did acknowledge afterward that the “unfiltered” statements were “coarse” and they reiterated their commitment to expressing God’s love to all people — but on the other hand, “I’m offended” is, intellectually speaking, on par with “I’m sleepy” or “I’m hungry.” Aside from just not expressing a point of view, there’s not a ton someone can do to prevent others from feeling a certain way. The trouble is that A&E & the left’s response doesn’t seem to mind at all if that’s the takeaway here: Just don’t express the point of view — “low tolerance is turning into no tolerance.” This seems to betray a still-extant undercurrent of Marcusian leftist thinking, the “dark side” of liberals’ favorite virtue.

        Anyway, here’s feminist Camille Paglia’s response:

        “I speak with authority here because I was openly gay before the ‘Stonewall Rebellion,’ when it cost you something to be so,” she said. “And I personally feel as a libertarian that people have the right to free thought and free speech. In a democratic country, people have the right to be homophobic as they have the right to support homosexuality — as I 100 percent do. If people are basing their views against gays on the Bible, again they have a right to religious freedom there … 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. It’s the whole legacy of the free speech 1960’s that have been lost by my own party.”


      • Chris in reply to Mark Thompson says:

        One of the problems with overreacting to everything is that when something real happens, a lot of people on the right side of the political spectrum can just complain about people being “PC,” and dismiss legitimate reactions in doing so. “PC” is as toxic as “bigot.”Report

      • greginak in reply to Mark Thompson says:

        Got it Tim. The “wrong” kind of response in incorrect and evidence of tyranny, stalinism, lack of thought and everything else terrible. Again you are taking the weakest possible disagreements and using them as a stand in for all criticisms of Mr. Duck. Every darn thing is tyranny or terrible to a certain section of conservatives. It seems like PC just means criticizing a conservative at this point.Report

      • Mike Schilling in reply to Mark Thompson says:

        Quoting Camille Paglia is an appeal to an all-encompassing lack of authority. Seriously. It’s like if we were talking about the Catholic Church’s charitable efforts and I quoted Christopher Hitches.Report

      • Patrick in reply to Mark Thompson says:

        The severe reflexive response is illegitimate, as are the reflexive accusations of racism and homophobia, for the reasons I’ve explained.

        *A* severe reflexive response would be illegitimate, I agree.

        *The* response has been, in various quarters, severe, reflexive, punitive, reflective, judgmental, laudatory, defensive, and a score of other adjectives.

        On both sides, to be sure.

        I think Phil Robertson is someone who holds both some racist and some homophobic views, from my parsing of what the guy has said. And yes, I read the interview.

        But that doesn’t make him someone who acts on either of those things, necessarily. For all I know his racism and homophobia are both tempered by his Christian charity. Well, good on his Christian charity for that. It doesn’t make him, consequentially, a bad person.

        It also doesn’t defend him from the accusations of being either a racist or a homophobe, unless we’re going to get into the weeds about what it actually means to be either of those things, or we want to argue against people who conflate racists and/or homophobes with “irreconcilably bad people”.Report

  9. Kazzy says:

    I heard Mark Levin on the radio tonight. Summarizing, he said that the left was “totalitarian” because it made “organized efforts”. He went on to say that Martin Bashir stepped down but that was because of “market forces”.

    I’m not sure he understands what any of the quoted phrases mean.Report

  10. Chris says:

    To some extent I agree with Tim. I think we’re too quick to censure and punish these days, in the age of the internet outrage machine, for any offense, and this is not limited to “political correctness.” Everyone jumps on anything they dislike and, if they can, use it to harm those with whom they disagree, even if the only disagreement they have is one particular instance. It’s really, really disgusting. Social pressure is the primary means by which we can change the way people think about certain things, particularly things like race, gender, and sexual orientation, and it’s important that we have tools for exerting that pressure. Using that pressure too often and too broadly ultimately weakens its efficacy. There will be a backlash — I see it already starting — and it is not going to be pretty, unless we reign ourselves in and stop treating every remark as an offense that warrants abuse throughout the internet and ultimately very serious real life consequences that far exceed the seriousness of the original act.

    I’m not sure what to think of the Duck Dynasty dude. His comments on homosexuality don’t strike me as offensive, just backwards. Backwards as they might be, though, they’re extremely common. He expressed pretty much the conservative Evangelical and fundamentalist Christian (and not just Christian) view of homosexuality, and he did so in a way that didn’t seem hateful, just, as I said, backwards. I’m glad his perspective is going the way of the dinosaurs, but I’m not sure they justify the “hiatus” or the vitriol he’s receiving. Hell, I’d bet there are a lot of people on television who feel the way he does, and all this does is make them hide it. I worry that might not be a good thing.

    His comments on segregation are a little bit more difficult for me to swallow. I don’t see hate in them, at least as they’re presented in the GQ article (we lose all of the context of that particular conversation, unfortunately). Instead, I see ignorance and myopia. Those things can be dangerous, where race is concerned, but if he’s not advocating for the return of racial segregation, I’m not sure his comments warrant the level of outrage they’re receiving.

    None of this is what Palin’s getting at, though. But ignorance and myopia are pretty much her calling cards.Report

  11. Kazzy says:

    Let me start by saying I don’t consume a ton of news media. I sometimes listen to conservative talk radio (Hannity or Levin), watch “The Daily Show”, listen to NPR, and click through the NYT homepage to get to a few specific bloggers or columns. I have a relatively small group of friends on Facebook that skews pretty heavily liberal, with a handful of those the type that would post articles about such things. Otherwise, this place is where I get most of my current events from.

    That said, the only — ONLY — place I heard this issue discussed was on conservative talk radio. I didn’t see anything on FB, as I did with Chik-Fil-A and caught nary a mention elsewhere. I only even knew that the DD guy said something because Hannity has been blathering about it all week… and even there I never actually heard what was said… just that liberals were being evil again. So while I’m not a card carry member of the liberal zeitgeist, I’m close enough to know if this was some huge liberal bugaboo. Nothing in my experience indicated it was.Report

  12. Jaybird says:

    If the show gets cancelled because of this, it’ll mean something. (Still trying to figure out what, though…)

    We’ll have a major corporation cancelling a wildly popular television show (is it a #1 show? Let’s call it a #1 show) because of controversy and finding the resultant good will worth more in the short/long run than the advertising dollars.

    When was the last time that that happened? The Smothers Brothers?Report

    • If good will turns out to be worth more than petty voyeurism, I’ll call it a win.Report

    • greginak in reply to Jaybird says:

      Does Baldwin or Bashir having their shows canceled for saying stupid nasty thing count? Seems like it should. How about Phil Donahue having his show canceled for his criticism of Bush’s War? Seems like that counts also.

      I’d also note apparently they already have a season in the can so any suspension isn’t all that relevant since they aren’t taping. I’m guessing the new season will have great ratings so Mr. Duck and the Ducklings and The All Hitler Network will do just fine money and ratings wise.

      There seems to be plenty of room to criticize AE since they pretty likely knew what his views were but tried to minimize them on the show to avoid controversy then act surprised later.Report

      • Jaybird in reply to greginak says:

        Were those shows wildly popular?

        It seems to me that it’s relatively easy to cancel a ratings loser when a host gets all controversial and much more difficult to cancel a wildly popular show that will bring in all sorts of money in advertising dollars.

        Is this a distinction without much of a difference?Report

      • greginak in reply to greginak says:

        I also remember hearing the old Lou Grant show got cancelled because of Ed Asner’s protesting St. Ronnie’s wars of freedom in latin america.

        Alec Baldwin is pretty popular as an actor so canning him was high profile.Report

    • Chris in reply to Jaybird says:

      Given how profitable this show is, and it is extremely profitable (the merchandising alone has netted A&E more than a hundred million, if I remember the number I saw a couple weeks ago correctly), I can’t imagine this will be the end of it. At this point, they could probably just advertise Duck Dynasty merchandise and make money on the show. And like Greg says, I bet this only boosts the already really high ratings and sales.Report

      • Jaybird in reply to Chris says:

        I should have added: If it doesn’t get cancelled, it won’t mean much of anything at all. There is, after all, no shortage of scandalous actors who, while on top of the world, are more than happy to live and breathe the maxim about bad publicity not existing and remaining exactly where they are.Report

    • Kolohe in reply to Jaybird says:

      It appears that based on the family’s statements, it is more likely that the family will quit doing the show than A&E will canx it.Report

  13. NewDealer says:

    Now for the department for really horrible and strained comparisons which the GOP seems to excel at: