The controversy surrounding Phil Robertson‘s anti-gay comments to GQ that subsequently caused him to be suspended from his A&E series “Duck Dynasty” has seemingly reached it’s peak. But the common “freedom of speech” defense to Robertson’s comments has struck a chord with many, who argue that just because Robertson is able to say whatever he wants doesn’t mean A&E has to stand by him.
Jon Stewart took up the subject on “The Daily Show” and criticized Fox News (as he so often does) for the network’s hypocritical stance on the free speech issue. Though they’re quick to defend Robertson’s right to make comments they don’t find particularly out of line, the anchors do get riled up when some people and places decide to stop using the word “Christmas.”
“I think what the guy said is ignorant but I also have an inclination to support a world where saying ignorant s*** on television doesn’t get you kicked off that medium,” Stewart deadpans of both Robertson and Fox News. “I guess I stand with the free speech absolutists of Fox News who don’t believe we should pressure people to have to adhere to cultural norms of speech … mostly.”
Allowing Fox News segments to speak for him, Stewart underlines the hypocrisy that has been at the core of the defense of Phil Robertson. Like Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal who compares Robertson’s comments to Miley Cyrus’ antics over the past year, the argument seems to be that “free speech” protects people making as many comments as each individual person discussing the issue is comfortable with.
“This is a terrible day for Americans although admittedly a great day for ducks. So why did A&E a-and-axe him? Because this good Christian man spoke his mind in GQ about the gays,” Colbert says. “I’ll admit it’s not the eloquent speech you’d expect from a backwoods Louisiana duck murderer. But he does have a point; the vagina does have ‘more there.’ I mean, let’s face it, it’s a train wreck.”
As he jokes, the real organization suffering in this situation is A&E. “With this controversy, they may have just lost ‘Duck Dynasty’s’ massive black and gay audience,” Colbert quips.
Do you find that people are being hypocritical when discussing this controversy?