Duck Dynasty has jackasses shooting off their mouths

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I got the gist of the “Duck Dynasty” thing after my first and only viewing: bunch of rural jackasses who somehow struck it rich get brought into our living rooms to be laughed at by the rest of us aristocrats.

Well, all right. When the archetype first appeared on television via the “Beverly Hillbillies” it was also enormously popular, but also taken as an illustration of how TV was living down to its condemnation by FCC Chairman Newton Minow as a “vast wasteland.”

In any event, A&E knew what it was doing when it put these people on the air, so its show of indignation in “suspending” one of them for speaking out against gays and the aspirations of African-Americans falls a little flat.

What’s truly ghastly, however, is the reaction of a couple of political figures. Sarah Palin’s opinion isn’t worth the 11 words I’ve just written to dismiss it.

But Bobby Jindal still holds office as the governor of Louisiana. That raises the question: Has it become acceptable again for an American politician to embrace unashamed bigotry?

In the old days, news that public funds (via the Louisiana state film and television incentive program) had helped finance racism and gay-bashing of the variety espoused by Phil Robertson, the outspoken duck dynast, would have presented a moral dilemma and created a political embarrassment for a governor.

Most self-respecting political leaders would have run away from association with such views; that’s the essence, after all, of the “leadership” part of the equation.

Not for Jindal. His only public statement on the matter thus far has praised Robertson as a member of a family of “great citizens of the state of Louisiana.” He defends Robertson’s views on the “it’s a free country” principle, which as a debating point generally gets dropped by most people before the fourth grade. “Everyone is entitled to express their views,” he says.

In Jindal’s seven-sentence statement, not a word of defense for gay people so crudely mocked by Robertson. Not a word to remind us that the life of black sharecroppers in Louisiana’s Jim Crow era was not “godly” or “happy.”

In January of this year, Jindal lectured his fellow Republicans on the need to “stop being the stupid party.” Remember?

He talked about how the Republican brand had been damaged by its candidates’ “offensive and bizarre comments.” That was supposed to represent the launch of a new GOP outreach to communities that had been excluded by Republican doctrine, including the gay and minority communities.

But that was 11 months ago. Now, according to Jindal, Republicans are supposed to embrace offensive and bizarre comments. The party’s transformation into a marginal and regional movement thus continues. Jindal has made himself the biggest jackass in the story, and his career as a national political figure the thing to be laughed at.

Michael Hiltzik is a columnist for the Los Angeles Times.

Comments

namvet60 3 months, 3 weeks ago

After seeing who wrote this article I immediately understood. This was written by a true Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, Progressive Liberal out to make the country realize that there are just a select few can get away with blatant ignorance or any comments. This article is so wrong for the U-B, but I believe they put them in just to pacify the liberal believers!

Where are some of the blatant bigot comments on air at CNN, MSNBC and ABC?? Where were they exposed in the U-B?

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MyFamNews 3 months, 2 weeks ago

Namvet; You are certainly correct that there are blatant and offensive remarks being made with regularity in our public forums. What is interesting about the rest of your comment is the fact that apparently it is okay with you as long as those making those remarks are people that you support. If they don't agree with you, they are Progressive Liberals and not worthy of a considered opinion on any subject.

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namvet60 3 months, 2 weeks ago

MyFamNews - being a conservative that is a very astute observation on your part.

But, could you please enlighten me? I don't recall reading such a hate-filled article with such over the top hypocrisy, blasphemy and just tasteless rhetoric about any Progressive entities?

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namvet60 3 months, 2 weeks ago

MyFamNews - I'm sure proud to be a conservative!!!!

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MyFamNews 3 months, 1 week ago

namvet; I don't know what you read, but there is certainly no shortage of hypocrisy, blasphemy and tasteless rhetoric available on any conservative blog or newsletter. And none of them, believe, as you do, that Progressive Liberals have anything of importance to say. Thus relegating those with whom you disagree to some low life worthy of whatever nasty names you want to call.

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namvet60 3 months, 1 week ago

MyFamNews - Read the next comment by your Liberal Associate Paco and I rest my case!

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paco1234 3 months, 2 weeks ago

The GOP is doing it again. By letting Phil Robertson define the GOP's cultural values the GOP is shrinking its tent, and while at it the leadership is allowing certain members to piss inside the tent...and many of them are just loving it? Just look at the cheap, pure garbage rethoric Duck Dynasty programs offers to the American people. Everything is retrograde and primitive. Can you imagine these scumbags glorifying Jim Crow? I really belive Phil Robertson is gay in camo...just look at the way he rubs the guns of others! My gay friends are much, much dicrete and refined than that!

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campbell_rd 3 months, 2 weeks ago

I find it quite odd that a speaker talking about God and Country be hated so much. Perhaps Mr Robertson is a bit blunt to some, but the reaction by articles such as this one show the true bigotry in the country today. Please listen to the entire interview with GQ, not the quick sound bites played by the media.

The only real bigotry I have seen lately is coming from the people like Mr Hiltzik, who "hate" opposing view points. Always playing the "race" card and "hating" anyone who openly against the mighty homosexual and radical minority (including race baiters). I believe it is still a free country and I for one Love God and Country. I served several years in the military in order to allow hateful authors like this one, which he is entitled to his opinion. However jaded it may be.

His quote: "In the old days, news that public funds (via the Louisiana state film and television incentive program) had helped finance racism and gay-bashing of the variety espoused by Phil Robertson, the outspoken duck dynast, would have presented a moral dilemma and created a political embarrassment for a governor."

This is such a misleading statement (lie) that it makes me cringe. I admit that many, many years ago racism was allowed, but today it's one way racism. Only with blacks can they claim racism. In the old days gay meant "happy", there were no homosexuals on TV and public funds were spent on morally good shows, but those days are gone!

Also why is he singling out Governor Jindal and Ms Palin? Oh I forgot only Republicans are evil, hateful people. I think not! At least that's on Christian veteran's opinion.

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