These redneck duck assassins may have the number one reality show on cable TV, but the Robertson family has proven to be completely ignorant of what elite cultural arbiters demand of backwoods celebrities when they violate trendy cultural taboos.
Instead of abjectly apologizing and disowning the Bible and his beliefs when criticized by the militant homosexual lobby, Phil Robertson is unapologetic, unbowed and unafraid, which is not following the approved script.
For example: When Chick–fil–A President Dan Cathy commented, “We are very much supportive of the family – the Biblical definition of the family unit…and I pray God’s mercy on our generation that has such a prideful, arrogant attitude to think that we have the audacity to try to redefine what marriage is about,” a firestorm ensued as hysterical homosexuals cried “hate.”
Chick–fil–A customers then set a single–day sales record for the restaurant to show their support, but it made no impression on Cathy as he immediately went into bunker mode and canceled all remaining public appearances for the year. (Details here and here.)
A few months later the Rev. Louie Giglio was invited to give the benediction at Obama’s second inauguration. Obama supporters were suspicious since he was an evangelical Christian, heterosexual and male. Any one of which would be cause for concern, but all three set off alarm bells throughout the secular left.
Sure enough, lavender lobby researchers found a sermon from the mid–90’s where Giglio said, “We must lovingly but firmly respond to the aggressive agenda of not all, but many in the homosexual community…That movement is not a benevolent movement, it is a movement to seize by any means necessary the feeling and the mood of the day, to the point where the homosexual lifestyle becomes accepted as a norm in our society and is given full standing as any other lifestyle, as it relates to the family.”
Giglio’s statement was prophetic, orthodox and true. But truth does not grant immunity against attacks from the left. Courage — as Robertson proved — is a defense but evidently not one available to Giglio. Instead the reverend apologized and withdrew from the event saying, “Clearly, speaking on this issue has not been in the range of my priorities in the past 15 years. Instead, my aim is meant to call people to ultimate significance as we make much of Jesus Christ.” Whatever that’s supposed to mean. (Complete details here.)
By not following the docile, slightly–ashamed–of–his–outdated–views template, Robertson has broken the mold. He is not apologizing for repeating what the Apostle Paul writes in the New Testament.
Before we delve any deeper, I would like to point out the blow–up should never have happened. One of my specialties is crisis prevention — an option A&E evidently doesn’t offer its stars.
Phil Robertson had no business giving an in–depth interview to GQ magazine and the A&E network representative who was present should have known better. The superficial metrosexuals that comprise GQ’s subscriber base couldn’t distinguish a duck call from a whoopee cushion.
The only hunting they do is in fashion stores. What’s more, reporters for GQ and its ilk define mainstream media arrogance and cultural elitism. They hold the people who love Duck Dynasty in utter contempt.
The only conceivable method of getting GQ readers to watch the show would be if the cast of Downton Abby joined for an episode or the Robertsons pledged to go vegan. So why give a potentially dangerous interview to a publication that will do little if anything to increase the show’s ratings?
It makes more sense to limit interviews to reporters who can prove they have a Walmart credit card.
I’m not on the PR roster for Duck Commander, but here is a free list of publications to avoid in the future: Maxim, Playboy, Details, Out, The Advocate, Pink Magazine, Harpers, Cosmo and the GLEE employee newsletter. Rule of thumb: If the magazine has ads for Glad Wrap you’re probably safe, but if the ads are for GLAAD say no.
Another problem with the interview is that Phil is evidently a graduate of the Rep. Todd Akin Academy of Anatomical Description. His language was crude and overly explicit and I doubt he would use the same terms discussing the issue at his family’s dinner table, so why regale a nationwide audience with the same language?
Once the rectum was out of the bag, A&E had to weigh in with its 2 cents. The obvious move would have been to express dismay with Phil’s language — an amorphous term that could mean either particular words or particular sentiments — and explain that Duck Dynasty is a ‘reality show’ and although what Phil said does not express the A&E corporate position, they will not censor his views.
That way the network pours KY on troubled waters, keeps the most popular reality show in history on the air and none of the A&E staff members have to remove those quaint blue and yellow equal signs from their Prius’ bumpers.
But A&E corporate misjudged the Robertson family. The meek may inherit the earth, but they don’t build dynasties. Not only did Phil not apologize, backtrack or ask to be grand marshal of the next ‘pride parade’ on the calendar, the rest of the family said no Phil, no film.
Which is a fine kettle of fish indeed, but so far the damage was confined to A&E. Then the great minds at Cracker Barrel corporate decided they wanted to alienate their customer base, too. The chain of hillbilly restaurants announced it was removing “selected products which we were concerned might offend some of our guests” from all company gift shops. In effect any item with Phil’s photo on it was seized.
This is the commercial equivalent of volunteering to be collateral damage in a drone strike.
But what prompted the pile on? Was the San Francisco Cracker Barrel the subject of repeated attacks by cupcake–hurling alternate lifestyle advocates? Or maybe the Times Square Cracker Barrel feared a sit–in by demonstrators chanting, “Nobody Wants to Ate Your Hate!”
But that can’t be it. Cracker Barrel doesn’t have a single location in California or in New York City. The vast majority of Cracker Barrels are located south of the Mason Dixon line, a section of the country where Duck Dynasty is most popular. So Cracker corporate decided to offend the majority of its customers to keep from offending the odd homosexual who might wander into a restaurant while on his way to Key West.
The next day Cracker corp. apologized for being caught offending while trying not to offend. Then over the weekend A&E crumbled and grabbed the nearest available fig leaf. It reinstated Phil Robertson after issuing a classic in corporate pander–speak that implied the family’s acknowledgement of the coarse language used meant they were in complete agreement with the spineless appeasers at the network.
The novel outcome of the controversy provided an interesting contrast. When presented with a choice between God and mammon, the Robertsons opted for God. A&E on the other hand chose mammon over GLAAD.
The best part is during a time when Christians celebrate the birth of the Prince of Peace a family of orthodox believers took on a secular culture that celebrates sin and won, because the family was strong and united. Lets hope other high profile Christians take note.