Yesterday A&E was dismayed to discover that Duck Dynasty patriarch Phil Robertson had espoused the sort of ignorance it had hoped would remain safely locked away somewhere, in the surely hours upon hours of unused footage left after producers cut around him espousing the fun kind of ignorance, which A&E has ridden to such ratings success. But in light of Robertson’s views on the unholy illogicality of gays and buttholes, of which A&E now realizes it was largely aware, the network has been forced to suspend Robertson indefinitely from the show. “We are extremely disappointed to have read Phil Robertson's comments in GQ, which are based on his own personal beliefs and are not reflected in the series Duck Dynasty,” said the network, which has prided itself on always taking care to ensure its hit show only reflects the kind of backwardness that doesn’t draw the condemnation of GLAAD.
Anyway, as you might have predicted the second a “real folk” TV star invoked Jesus, before implicitly linking homosexuality to bestiality and terrorism, Robertson’s suspension has already garnered a lot of vocal support from conservative and Christian groups, who have called upon other “real folk” to stand up for the rights of their fellow, salt-of-the-earth, reality TV show millionaire, which are being so unfairly trammeled by the cable network that will nevertheless continue to stoke his family’s fame and fortune. “Everyday people will not stand for this, they know bullying and violation of religious freedom when they see it,” reads one such petition launched by the Christian shopping guide Faith Driven Consumer, which definitely knows how to write inflated sales copy, in its unintentionally (?) insulting summation of what all these “real folk” really know.
“I don’t agree with quite a bit of stuff I read in magazine interviews or see on TV. In fact, come to think of it, I find a good bit of it offensive,” Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal said in an echoing of those “everyday people” sentiments, in an official statement from a sitting governor, on the production of a show called Duck Dynasty. “It is a messed up situation when Miley Cyrus gets a laugh, and Phil Robertson gets suspended," Jindal concluded, reminding us all of that time Miley Cyrus said and did her own shocking things, and the world just sort of laughed it off by spending several months shaming her across the whole of media.
Continuing to follow that playbook, Jindal also characterized Robertson’s suspension as a violation of the First Amendment, the constitutional guarantee that gives every citizen the right to say whatever he wants, without fear of the television network he stars on opting to no longer have him represent their carefully maintained brand. And naturally, that incantation of “free speech” caused Sarah Palin to magically appear, as she also rushed to defend the rights of her hunting-based reality TV peers with a Facebook post that read, “Free speech is an endangered species. Those ‘intolerants’ hatin’ and taking on the Duck Dynasty patriarch for voicing his personal opinion are taking on all of us.”
That call to action—phrased as it was with the dropped-G spelling of “hatin’,” the way real folk talk—has already rallied thousands of others to lend their voices in Palin’s Facebook comments, which may soon be the only bastion of free speech we’ll have left, when the networks try to take away all our TV shows for believin’ the Bible.