This, a Thousand Times This
Ken White explains perfectly why it is a disservice to the concept of free speech to attempt to case the Duck Dynasty brouhaha as a free speech issue, even if other values suggest that the reaction (and, for that matter, the reaction to the reaction) was absurd. He also makes a number of other essential points that bear keeping in mind, not least of which is this:
Some of the people applauding A&E are people who last week were furious at the concept that companies have First Amendment rights. Some of the people trying to conflate A&E and the government are people who last week were vigorously arguing that companies should not have to insure birth control if it offends their religious sensibilities.
And also this:
The fact that a viewpoint is contained in your holy book does not insulate it from criticism.
And most importantly, this:
You have no right to be free of offense. You also have no right to be free of people telling you that you are offensive. You only have a right to govern how you will react.