Like the Ming Dynasty and Merovingian Dynasty before it, the powerful and once-stalwart Duck Dynasty may be toppled by a bunch of assholes. Specifically men’s assholes, the irrational and impious attraction to which clan patriarch Phil Robertson has no Jesus-piloted truck with and cannot even begin to fathom, much as he cannot understand why black people would have ever wanted to abolish Jim Crow. As the national debate rages on—between those who believe that Robertson’s comments fall under the guise of constitutionally protected free speech and even freedom of religion, and those who are made of brick and plaster, because they are walls who aren’t even getting into this shit again—Robertson remains suspended indefinitely from his hit A&E show. And the future of that show may be in jeopardy, now that the network has been forced to acknowledge publicly what it's always knowingly exploited privately.
That's because the Robertsons have contributed their own statement to this squawking discourse—appropriately, via their duck call website—that acknowledges that, “While some of Phil’s unfiltered comments to the reporter were coarse, his beliefs are grounded in the teachings of the Bible.” Furthermore, they say, “Phil would never incite or encourage hate” in his public damnation of whole swaths of people—which, like the leveling of Sodom and Gomorrah, or drowning the entire world in a cleansing flood, is just God’s way of showing His concern.
Indeed, for more examples of Robertson’s complete aversion to encouraging hate, just look at a speech he gave in 2010, in which he said homosexuals are “full of murder, envy, strife, hatred. They are insolent, arrogant, God-haters. They are heartless, they are faithless, they are senseless, they are ruthless. They invent ways of doing evil”—only, you know, because he loves them. (Or just look at the comments section and social media replies for any article on this story. Feel the love, for truly, it is all around.)
But even more than the disappointingly cold rejection of its patriarch’s solicitous embrace of those homosexual sinners (one in which both hands block the butthole), the Robertsons say they “are disappointed that Phil has been placed on hiatus for expressing his faith, which is his constitutionally protected right.” And yes, naturally, some will continue to quibble with the Robertsons’ (and Sarah Palin’s, and Bobby Jindal’s, and Rush Limbaugh’s, and Sean Hannity’s, etc.) interpretation of the Constitution as protecting citizens not only from the government impinging on that right, but also whatever TV network happens to employ them. And some will also continue to argue that this apparently implied right seems to be pretty selectively applied—considering, for example, Sarah Palin wasn’t demanding that a cable network protect “free speech” just two weeks ago, when Martin Bashir was fired.
Still, as in all aspects of their worldview, the Robertsons simply believe this to be true, and so they stand united in their faith. “As a family, we cannot imagine the show going forward without our patriarch at the helm,” the statement concludes. “We are in discussions with A&E to see what that means for the future of Duck Dynasty.”
Of course, it remains to be seen whether those discussions will take on any sort of real intensity over the holiday break, or whether the network and the Robertson family—who have, until now, enjoyed a successful symbiosis celebrating a more carefully selective form of ignorance—will simply ride this out, waiting for the usual torpor of the season to slowly overtake the American mind, until it’s too distracted with its shiny new gifts and laden with fat and sugar to think about that dumb duck hunting show anymore. Indeed, that would be nice for us, too. Oh look, Mom made cookies.
In the meantime, the American Association of Ducks has issued its own, equally significant statement to this reasonable discussion. “QUAACK QUAAAACK QUAAAAACK,” it said, reminding all of their constitutionally guaranteed right not to have a bunch of rednecks get rich and famous for slaughtering them.