Truly, I don't. I don't watch Duck Dynasty. As a whole, I watch very little television. In the last month I think I've watched more than I have in a year. I watched the Carrie Underwood Sound of Music Special that was... "meh" at worst, "okay" at best. And I watched the last two episodes of the last season of the Sing-Off. Notice a theme here? Music perhaps? That is where my attentions normally lay, and to be honest I feel guilty when planted in front of the television unless I feel crappy like I have the last 3 days. So, I have never taken in an episode of Duck Dynasty. Due to this, I don't have much of a formed opinion of it. So let's start there, my limited opinion, and flesh it out a bit.
From what I've seen of the commercials, Duck Dynasty revolves around a family who not only likes to look like a camo-geared version of ZZ Top, but made millions off of duck hunting paraphernalia. And that's all I have. Now, let's discuss the assumptions I can make on such a family. They are a back woods loving, most likely republican and Christian fundamentalist crew. Now, I stated backwoods. Not backwards. I am going to point out that for people that live in certain rural areas, there is a certain type of independence that typically forms. An often republican conservatism ideal of "leave me alone, I pay my taxes now let me do as I wish on my land" that forms with such an independence from many social/city services. I'm not saying it's wrong in the least, and I can see why it forms. Perhaps I understand the necessity for it to form having grown up in Alaska. I don't know, but I do know it happens, it exists and it's the way it is. It's not wrong, and in many ways it is needed for them to function well on their own.
So, with all that said, let's look at the actual "scandal". The patriarch made some comments that were down right infuriating to many. The network that carries the show suspended said patriarch and a whole bunch of people are now using either what he said, or the networks reaction as a soapbox to beat the other side of the argument with. Yeah, I'm tired of it being called a scandal because this sounds an awful lot like day to day affairs in Washington DC these days.
Now, with my limited knowledge of the whole affair outlined, let's discuss my view. We live in America. With that we assume our right to free speech. Papa DD (Patriarch to Duck Dynasty-Papa DD is much easier to type), has that very same right as you or I. He can say whatever he wants. Those may be his beliefs, or they may not. He may have intended to be so insulting, or perhaps he thought everyone would agree with him. Who knows, but he does have the right to say them. He should not be persecuted by the government by saying them, and as far as I can tell, besides the Governor of Louisiana and Sarah Palin praising him and trying to use his words as a pedestal, he has not been persecuted thusly.
While we're on rights though, let's discuss A & E's rights as a business and media outlet. Granted, I think Duck Dynasty and many of their other programs are a far cry from the arts, but many people find them entertaining so they have nailed 50% of their purpose if you were to go by their name, which is better than most politicians fulfillment of their pre-election promises so I'll give them a break here. A & E has the right to portray themselves and their values as they feel appropriate to their targeted audience. If they feel that a member of their broadcast network says something in a public forum that reflects on them in a negative fashion, they have the right to act in such a way to show that these are not their own views, but those of that sole member. And if they so choose to remove that member from their network, than that is their right. To simplify it, they are the employer and Papa DD is the employee. If I was an employee who stated something woefully inflammatory that reflected poorly upon my employer, I would expect termination. That is the world we live in these days. The world of easy access to mass media outlets such as Facebook and Twitter. Yes, you can make your comments and not expect the government to persecute you unless such comments are threatening towards others or yourself. However, your employer as a private entity can discontinue a professional relationship with you.
And this right here is why I am somewhat careful about what I post right here on my own blog. I'm not even sure if I have ever come out and said, this is the blog of a gay man. Those that know me know that I am. If you read much of my blog, you see I live with "The Guy" and it would appear that with all the animals we have a pretty domestic relationship and you can infer from there. On that note, I rarely discuss my work. I think I mentioned I worked for the local hospital in a single post here when that employee/employer relationship came to an end. And even then it was a very short and to the point post. I don't discuss my work here, in fact you probably have no idea what I do for a living. Well, minus those readers who I am real world friends who do know where and what I do for my cash... I meant that to sound kind of naughty but believe me, it isn't. I as a blogger, am amazingly private about some things. I assume most blog readers can figure out the basics without me shouting them out. If you go online to actually read, I assume you can do a little in-between-the-lines reading as well. As in my day to day life, I am comfortable with who I am without the need to wear pride paraphernalia so all on the street know who and what I am. Then on some things, I as person, have little to no shame and will tell people things they would rather not know. But as I write them I strive to be selective in the facts, pictures, and names I share so that I don't over share on other people, businesses, or employers who have the right to choose when they are presented on any social media form.
So with all that said, let's return to the Papa DD / A & E matter and my opinion. And that opinion is that both parties have the rights to do and say what they did, regardless of whatever the final outcome is. They as individuals and a corporation have the right to portray themselves as they see fit. And all the others that are using the whole mess as a soap box, need to find an issue that really matters to stand up on. And while they're at it, stop running their mouths off for the attention and dig and do something on the issue.
Now that's enough about my personal views. Anyone know a good joke? No good jokes? Then I'm going to make you cry. Instead of watching TV, I opt to watch things that move me like this.