When you consider the controversy surrounding Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson, you may question why he chose to do an interview with an attention-seeking, agenda-driven magazine like GQ in the first place. You may also question the language Robertson used to express his beliefs. But no one can question the right he had to share his opinions. That hasn’t stopped A&E, however from placing Robertson on “indefinite hiatus” because “his personal views in no way reflect those of A+E Networks.”
On radio this morning, Pat and Stu could not help but question A&E’s decision – citing the remarkable irony of the situation: The loudest voices of tolerance always come from the most intolerant people.
“You can't feel that way and express an actual opinion when somebody at GQ magazine or wherever asks you for your opinion on something without losing your job and your livelihood? You really can't do that anymore,” Pat asked. “I think it's pretty stunning. I think we're in a scary place.”
While Pat admitted that A&E, as a private company, has a right to handle the matter in whatever way it pleases, given what has happened recently to the likes of Paul Deen, it looks appears there is a strain of political correctness – protecting a certain segment of viewpoints – that has gone too far.
“It has gotten to the point where it's absolute insanity,” Pat said. “It's craziness where you can't say anything without being drummed out of society anymore.”
“I don't understand how anyone, especially on the left, could think that this makes sense,” Stu added. “Look, if this guy was trying to make every show about gay marriage… they would have the right to say, ‘Look, this is not what we want on the show.’ [But] that's not what they're doing on the show. This is a side interview.”
Feeling the pressure of LGBT groups like GLAAD and the Human Rights Campaign, A&E explained its decision to suspend Robertson in the following statement:
“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. His personal views in no way reflect those of A+E Networks, who have always been strong supporters and champions of the LGBT community. The network has placed Phil under hiatus from filming indefinitely.”
We have grown accustomed to hearing the cries for tolerance from the left – especially when it comes to gay rights. But in situations like these, intolerance seemingly abounds.
“We are supposed to be tolerant of other people. But the way the left and progressives define tolerance, well, it's not tolerant at all,” Stu said. “ When someone says something that you don't like, you're immediately intolerant of that and you're intolerant of them. Diversity: We are told that you have to allow diversity. People are different. It's all the colors of the rainbow coming together... unless you express an opinion that they don't like. Then that diversity is not okay.”
Marriage equality is a prime example of the hypocrisy. As Stu explained, marriage equality doesn't mean marriage equality in this country. Marriage equality would mean getting the government out of the bedroom completely and letting people make their own choices. But progressives are asking for the exact opposite. They prioritize certain types of relationships over others.
Over and over and over again… progressives [are] allowed to take language, words that mean things, and continually redefine them for their own needs,” Stu said. “You know, when everyone's defining what you say as ‘hate,’ well, then what are you going to get? You're going to get people who don't want to express their opinion because it's ‘hateful.’”
In the case of Robertson’s comments, he is facing off against a group of people who find his views intolerant. But, at the same time, they refuse to tolerate his opinion.
“And again, if it was a homosexual saying virtually the same thing… no one would call that hateful. They don't call that anti-hetero,” Pat explained. “Why is everything anti-gay, if you just happen to have a different point of view? That doesn't mean you're pro-hetero. Why can homosexuals just be pro-homosexual, and they're not anti-hetero. Nobody ever accuses them of that.”
Ultimately, Pat and Stu both agreed that while A&E has every right to suspend Robertson, Robertson has every right to express is opinion.
“This is again a free speech issue. It is not a constitutional issue per se. You're allowed to fire people if they say things you don't like,” Stu concluded. “[But] it is a free speech issue… What country wants [this] standard?”