Indiscriminate charges of racism do more harm than good, as Martin Luther King well knew
John Fund writes: Would America be better off if the Outrage Industry went on a diet for New Year’s?
We just spent much of December quacking and arguing way too much about the views of Phil Robertson, one of the stars of the Duck Dynasty reality-TV series. Most of the attention focused on Robertson’s harsh, mean-spirited comments about gays and on the subsequent, short-lived decision of the cable network A&E to suspend him. But people saved plenty of ire for his comments, offered in an interview with GQ magazine, that when he grew up in Louisiana in the 1950s he never saw “the mistreatment of any black person” and that African Americans in that era didn’t have complaints about white people.
That’s an invitation to call Phil naïve, blind, or a liar. But such descriptions weren’t enough for Jesse Jackson, who said: “These statements uttered by Robertson are more offensive than the bus driver in Montgomery, Alabama, more than 59 years ago. At least the bus driver, who ordered Rosa Parks to surrender her seat to a white person, was following state law. Robertson’s statements were uttered freely and openly without cover of the law, within a context of what he seemed to believe was ‘white privilege.’” He wasn’t the only prominent liberal to go way over the top. MSNBC’s Michael Eric Dyson said Robertson and Duck Dynasty were “part of a majority-white supremacist culture.” Read the rest of this entry »
h/t The Greenroom
A government that creates the climate for bullying is the worst of the bullies
Mrs. Clinton required translation into the language of truth, as she generally does when her lips are moving. By the “rights” of “all people” to “worship” as “they choose,” she meant the sharia-based desire of Muslim supremacists to foreclose critical examination of Islam. Madame Secretary, you see, was speechifying before her friends at the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) — the bloc of 56 Muslim countries plus the Palestinian territories.
At that very moment in July 2011, Christians were under siege in Egypt, Syria, Sudan, Iraq, and Iran — being gradually purged from those Islamic countries just as they’d been purged from Turkey, which hosted Mrs. Clinton’s speech. As Christians from the Middle East to West Monroe, La., can tell you, the Left and its Obama vanguard are not remotely interested in their “rights . . . to worship the way they choose.”
Less than two weeks after his anti-gay remarks prompted an “indefinite hiatus” for the reality patriarch, and a strong fan backlash, the network says he will remain on the series.
Phil Robertson, the patriarch of A&E’s Duck Dynasty clan who was suspended from his hit reality series on Dec. 18 following some incendiary comments about gay people, won’t be put on hiatus after all.
The network and the Robertson family announced Friday that Phil will still be part of the series — and since he didn’t miss any filming, his temporary suspension will have no effect on the upcoming fifth season.
An A&E statement to The Hollywood Reporter read:
As a global media content company, A+E Networks’ core values are centered around creativity, inclusion and mutual respect. We believe it is a privilege for our brands to be invited into people’s home and we operate with a strong sense of integrity and deep commitment to these principals.
That is why we reacted so quickly and strongly to a recent interview with Phil Robertson. While Phil’s comments made in the interview reflect his personal views based on his own beliefs, and his own personal journey, he and his family have publicly stated they regret the “coarse language” he used and the mis-interpretation of his core beliefs based only on the article. He also made it clear he would “never incite or encourage hate.” We at A+E Networks expressed our disappointment with his statements in the article, and reiterate that they are not views we hold.
Ben Shapiro writes: 2013 was a year of myths falling apart. The myth of President Obama – a myth in which Obama was a messianic figuredescending to bequeath health care, equality, and brotherhood on mankind – imploded. The myth of an America embracing the leftist social agenda collapsed. And the greatest myth of all – the myth that America is ready to become Europe – crumbled to ash.
Here, then, are the top five imploded myths of the last year:
The 2012 election gave President Obama a mandate to cram through his signature program. In the aftermath of President Obama’s re-election, members of both the administration and the media trumpeted that Obama had received his long-sought mandate. Obamacare, Americans were told, was the law of the land. It could not be changed; it could not be stopped. Obamacare would be implemented, the country would rejoice, and Republicans would mourn the day they ever opposed the anointed one.
Then the Obamacare rollout proceeded to run off the rails in catastrophic fashion. With Obama’s re-election won, the media no longer felt the obligation to cover up Obamacare’s disastrous crippling of the health care system. Suddenly, Obama’s statements about keeping your health insurance plan became the “lie of the year” rather than a mere “half-truth.” Suddenly, Obama’s brilliant team of implementers, headed by the Chief Implementer himself, became a group of half-wits stumbling around attempting to put back together millions of lines of broken code.
That didn’t mean that the media started covering Obamacare in fair fashion. The media turned Senator Ted Cruz’s (R-TX) plan to fund the entire government except for Obamacare into obstructionism, while Obama’s bullheaded insistence on pushing forward a failing rollout was hailed as strength. World War II veterans barred from their memorials by President Obama out of pure vindictiveness were portrayed by Jon Stewart as buffoons.
Nonetheless, the overall impression of the Obama mandate is that it no longer exists, if it ever did.
Americans hate social conservatism. The 2012 election, we were told, was a referendum on the Republican “war on women.” If Republicans had avoided the stumbling blocks of same-sex marriage and abortion, they would have put Mitt Romney in the White House.
2013 proved how wrong that notion was.
The left attempted to turn late-term abortion advocate Wendy Davis into a national hero; instead, her quixotic quest to become governor of Texas is stumbling badly. When the left attempted to turn Duck Dynasty’s Phil Robertson into a homophobic bully, Americans finally fought back and let the left know that citing the Bible isn’t homophobia or bullying. Conservatives can learn from 2012, and they have: abortion should be discussed in terms of the extremism of the left, and same-sex marriage must be discussed in the context of religious freedom.
Racial divisions have been palliated thanks to President Obama. President Obama’s media supporters suggested that his lack of support in 2012 was due in large part to a rising tide of racism. In the aftermath of his re-election, Americans were once again treated to the idea that America’s changing demographics and its black president meant that the emerging American minorities-majority would usher in an era of racial tolerance.
Twitter is blocking links to a website set up in support of “Duck Dynasty” star Phil Robertson, who was suspended by the A&E network last week following an interview in which he was critical of homosexuality.
The petition, which is directed at A&E and has gathered nearly 200,000 signatures after four days online, says “I am asking your network to immediately reinstate Mr. Robertson to Duck Dynasty, and to formally apologize to him, his family, and the millions of viewers who tune in every week, stand by him, and share his worldview.”
“Mr. Robertson’s comments in GQ Magazine are simply reflective of a Biblical view of sexuality, marriage, and family — a view that has stood the test of time for thousands of years and continues to be held by the majority of Americans and today’s world as a whole,” reads the petition.
But Twitter isn’t allowing its users to circulate the petition.
“Oops! A URL in your Tweet appears to link to a page that has spammy or unsafe content,” is the message returned to users who attempt to tweet links to IStandWithPhil.com.
Appearing on Fox News Sunday, Will marvelously said, “[T]he new biggest American entitlement is the entitlement to go through life without being offended”
Betsy Woodruff writes: If you’d kept a curious but unattentive eye on social (and national) media for the past few days, you’d think some grievous, enormous, inconceivable terror had descended on our country. You’d think Americans had finally, for the first time, looked evil in the face. You’d think another Kennedy got assassinated. But you would be wrong. Our country is facing the equivalent of nationwide simultaneous cardiac arrest because some guy who for some reason got inexplicably famous for shooting ducks said something his bosses found distasteful about the sex appeal of men’s anuses.
It makes absolutely zero sense to me, but a huge number of Americans love reality TV shows. However, a huge number of Americans are also conservative Christians who don’t love, for example, fist-pumping, anal bleaching, and illegitimate-child-bearing. The Venn diagram of these two groups has a lot of overlap, which is problematic for those in the intersection. Enter Duck Dynasty, a magically lucrative institution that simultaneously 1) is a reality show and 2) features conservative Christians. It was a money-printing machine for A&E until — who could have predicted? — one of its redneck stars did something one may have expected a redneck to do and our nation faced its greatest peril since, say, the Cold War. Has Western civilization ever confronted such an existential imperilment as the suspension of man-on-man-sex-eschewing Phil Robertson? A pretty big sector of the Internet submits that it has not.
There are perfectly understandable reasons to be upset about Robertson’s suspension. But I, for one, am thrilled about it. I only wish A&E had gone further and suspended everyone on that stupid show, and also suspended everyone on all their other reality shows, and that all the other channels on TV that have reality shows had suspended all their stars too. Barring that, I wish great success to the Liberty Patriots who are boycotting A&E over Robertson’s suspension, and I hope all other Americans, regardless of their patriot status, will join the A&E boycott, and that the A&E boycott will spread to include all the other channels that show this kind of nonsense, and that we can finally just get rid of it all for good, forever and ever amen. I want everyone suspended. I want every channel boycotted. I want every show shuttered, and permanently. I want to watch it burn.
President Obama admitted during his big end-of-year press conference, “We screwed it up.” This was in reference to the rollout of the Affordable Care Act, considered his signature achievement in office.
Meanwhile, Duck Dynasty has (regrettably) been in the news for three whole days now, and whether it had something to do with that or was just an innocent mistake, someone at CNN clearly misheard what the president said and this is what ended up on CNN’s Political Ticker instead.
So… does this mean CNN screwed the duck too?
The outrage over a “reality” star’s comment smacks of artificiality
Jonah Goldberg writes: So rednecks need to be politically correct now?
Wait, before the National Association of Rednecked Persons attacks me, let me be clear that I don’t mean “redneck” as an insult. Indeed, Redneck Pride has been on the rise ever since Jeff Foxworthy got rich informing people they “might be a redneck.”
(Some clues: if your school fight song was “Dueling Banjos”; if you’ve ever raked leaves in your kitchen; if your boat hasn’t left your driveway for 15 years; if birds are attracted to your beard, etc.)
But the gold standard is Duck Dynasty, which follows the Robertsons, a family that struck it rich selling duck calls. It’s like a real-life version of The Beverly Hillbillies. All of the men look like they stepped out of the Hatfield–McCoy conflict to smoke a corncob pipe.
What all of these — and countless other — reality shows have in common is their shock value. And guess what? Sometimes the shock is manufactured. If the cameras weren’t on, the silicone life forms on the various Real Housewives shows probably wouldn’t be throwing wine in each other’s faces as much as they do. TLC’s awful reality show Here Comes Honey Boo Boo tries its hardest to turn an uncouth Southern white family with a children’s beauty-pageant fixation into the sort of genetic and cultural horror show that sparked the progressives to advocate eugenics. And everyone everywhere mugs for the camera.
Why is our go-to political strategy for beating our opponents to silence them? Why do we dismiss, rather than engage them?
“It seems like, to me, a vagina—as a man—would be more desirable than a man’s anus. That’s just me. I’m just thinking: There’s more there! She’s got more to offer. I mean, come on, dudes! You know what I’m saying? But hey, sin: It’s not logical, my man. It’s just not logical.”
As you can imagine, everyone had an opinion about this statement, including GLAAD and Phil’s check-signer, A&E, who suspended the star indefinitely.
One of the conservative tweeters I follow—one of those Christians convinced that Obama is going to have him killed for his faith—lives for stuff like this. He quickly took to the Twitterverse and posted a side-by-side image of Pope Francis and Phil, with the following caption: “Both preach truth on homosexual sin. One is TIME’s Person of the Year. The other JUST GOT FIRED.”
The point is worth considering. Even though Phil used crass, juvenile language to articulate his point, what he was getting at was his belief that homosexual “desire” is unnatural, and inherently disordered. This opinion isn’t unique to Phil. It’s actually shared by a majority of his fans.
It’s also shared, to some extent, by the Pope. Yes, that Pope—the one on the cover not just of TIME but also of The Advocate.
A Facebook page dedicated to defense of Phil Robertson of “Duck Dynasty” has received well over 400,000 likes since it was launched just 14 hours ago. The page was created late on Wednesday evening, after news broke that A&E was suspending Robertson over his comments on homosexuality.
Within 10 minutes, the “Boycott A&E Until Phil Robertson Is Put Back on Duck Dynasty” page had 100 likes; in 30 minutes, the page had 1,200 likes. It grew exponentially from there; in three and a half hours, the page had 162,000 likes. The page states: “This page is to show support for the freedom of speech of Americans. Unless Phil is reinstated to the show, we refuse to watch the A&E Channel!”
**UPDATE** The Facebook page has now received over 510,000 likes.
So what did he say that was so bad? Here’s an excerpt, via E!:
“‘Start with homosexual behavior and just morph out from there. Bestiality, sleeping around with this woman and that woman and that woman and those men,’ he tells the magazine. Paraphrasing Corinthians, he says, ‘Don’t be deceived. Neither the adulterers, the idolaters, the male prostitutes, the homosexual offenders, the greedy, the drunkards, the slanderers, the swindlers—they won’t inherit the kingdom of God. Don’t deceive yourself. It’s not right.’”
… “It seems like, to me, a vagina—as a man—would be more desirable than a man’s anus. That’s just me. I’m just thinking: There’s more there! She’s got more to offer. I mean, come on, dudes! You know what I’m saying? But hey, sin: It’s not logical, my man. It’s just not logical.”
… ”We never, ever judge someone on who’s going to heaven, hell. That’s the Almighty’s job. We just love ‘em, give ‘em the good news about Jesus—whether they’re homosexuals, drunks, terrorists. We let God sort ‘em out later, you see what I’m saying?”
Much of the criticism coming from conservatives (regarding A&E’s decision) has focused on the fact that a). Robertson was merely stating an orthodox Christian position, and b). that this is just his opinion — and he’s entitled to it (and besides, why are people so offended these days?).
But I’ll make another observation: This may be an attack on “unsophisticated” country folks as much as it is an attack on orthodox Christianity.
When you consider the more effete, cosmopolitan America that “Pajama Boy” represents, you’ll get a sense for why the Duck Dynasty folks are out of touch with today’s acceptable norms. There is a huge schism between red state America and blue state America, and these two stories seem to symbolize the yawning chasm.
Nick Gillespie observes: Make no mistake about it: the on-going “extended speech” by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) has absolutely nothing to do with defunding the Affordable Care Act—or even delaying it for one goddamn day.
As the long list of Senate Republicans who declined to back a full-blown, fill-your-hands-you-son-of-a-bitch filibuster over Obamacare could tell you, it’s a done deal that the president’s consistently unpopular health-care law is going forward even if the government shuts down. Come next week, the enrollment period is going to start, and come January 1, 2014, the plan will kick into gear despite every reason to believe it will be a clusterfudge of epic proportions.
So what exactly was Cruz doing up there, hogging the limelight on C-SPAN’s low-wattage webstream for a couple of hours, if he wasn’t serious about stopping Obamacare? He was playing his part in a pretty goddamned brilliant strategy to win the future not for himself but for the Republican Party. Read the rest of this entry »
WEST MONROE, La. (CBS Houston) — A New York City hotel kicks out one of the stars of “Duck Dynasty” after an employee thought he was a homeless man.
Appearing along with his family on “Live with Kelly and Michael” Wednesday morning, Jase Robertson described the incident.
“The first thing that happened to me at the hotel was I got escorted out,” Robertson said, joking that it was a “facial-profiling deal.”
Robertson said that the hotel employee simply didn’t know who he was.
“I asked where the bathroom was and he said, ‘Right this way, sir.’ He was very nice,” Robertson explained. “He walked me outside, pointed down the road and said, ‘Good luck.’”
Robertson continued, “So I circled back around and my wife said, ‘What happened?’ and I just said I just got kicked out.”