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A&E Sidestepping

December 19, 2013

First, I will start with a disclosure: I am a “Duck Dynasty” fan and find the show to be amusing.

Last night while Twitter was being overrun with tweets either condemning Phil Robertson for his interview with GQ or condemning A&E for suspending him indefinitely for those views, no one seemed to catch a bit of hypocrisy going on. What hypocrisy? There was a “Duck Dynasty” mini-marathon on with Phil starring in each of them as the whole fight was going on.

I am not here to discuss the whole argument about Phil’s comments. The internet is alive with supporters and detractors. There is no need for me to add my voice to that vitriolic stew. But I am making a point here: A&E has one motive in this fight and it is their bottom line, their profit.

A&E spent the better part of the day determining how they were going to handle the firestorm. On one side is Phil Robertson, who is the patriarch of the family, of their largest cash cow show and the other side was an outcry from the LGBT community. I am sure they were quite befuddled on how to handle the situation. So what did they do? They indefinitely suspended Phil, whatever that means, and then continued to run a mini-marathon which included episodes which they had already recorded and included Phil. This should have grabbed everyone’s attention, but it seems to have gone unnoticed.

A&E is splitting hairs. They made their best effort to appease the LGBT community while still making their profits well on the backs of the Robertson family. Instead of each side of the argument looking at the decision and calling the move a smoke screen, the two sides miss the moment and continue to attack each other while A&E is still taking the cash to the bank. Then with the indefinite suspension instead of a firing they can feel free to bring Phil back on when the heat is off. After all, that seems to be the television way. Again, this points back to A&E focusing on their bottom line and not a firm position.

We must become a more critical and skeptical audience. Look past the headlines. Read the whole story. Call foul when someone claims one thing but their actions contradict their words. We must learn to respond to things with well thought criticism instead of reacting with our feelings. If we continue to act like this, the networks and media will continue to manipulate us. It’s high time we get wise to this and start thinking a harder about these things.

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From → Movies and TV

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