Louisiana Governor Jindal Weighs In on Duck Dynasty Suspension, Shows Off His Ignorance

1470877_10152107320537489_1315997361_nIf there’s one thing this Phil Robertson and Duck Dynasty situation has shown me, it’s that people really just don’t understand the concept of “freedom of speech.”

Our Constitutionally-protected freedom of speech means that as private citizens, we’re free to express our opinions on almost anything we want without fear of legal persecution.

That being said, as an employee or representative of any particular company or group, we do face repercussions for what we say or do in our private lives.  What if some pro athlete decided to hold anti-Semitic rallies professing their admiration for Hitler?  You don’t think he/she would be suspended by their team and probably the league for which they played?

They wouldn’t be arrested because they would be free to express their views as a private citizen, but that doesn’t mean that as an employee their actions wouldn’t warrant repercussions from their employer.

Well, someone apparently needs to explain this simple concept to Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, because he doesn’t understand it.  He chimed in on this situation today, saying:

“Phil Robertson and his family are great citizens of the State of Louisiana. The politically correct crowd is tolerant of all viewpoints, except those they disagree with.  I don’t agree with quite a bit of stuff I read in magazine interviews or see on TV. In fact, come to think of it, I find a good bit of it offensive. But I also acknowledge that this is a free country and everyone is entitled to express their views.”

And he’s right — this is a free country and Mr. Robertson is free to express his views, which is why he stands zero chance at ending up in jail for his comments.  That’s what freedom of speech means.  It does not recuse him of any consequences publicly for things he says.

Also, let’s be clear here: It isn’t as if Mr. Robertson expressed a simple opinion about his negative views toward homosexuality.  Had he simply said something like, “Based on how I was raised, I simply disagree with homosexuality,” this probably wouldn’t have been that big of a deal.  I think it’s safe to say most people assumed he wasn’t a supporter of LGBT rights anyway.

But that’s not what he said.  He went on some ignorant rant about men and anal sex, connected it to bestiality, and then insinuated that homosexuality is full of promiscuity.  He basically embraced nearly every ignorant stereotype about homosexuality that’s out there.

So it isn’t just what his opinion about homosexuality happens to be, but how he chose to express it.

Again, is Mr. Robertson in jail right now?  Nope.  Because we have freedom of speech in this country.  That’s what freedom of speech means.  It doesn’t mean that you can say whatever you want without repercussions for your words.

What if he had said something like, “Well, I believe all women are good for nothing but being barefoot and pregnant.  They’re obviously a lesser gender that’s incapable of competing with their male counterparts.”  Would people still be rushing to his defense?  Sure, some probably would — but far less than what we’re seeing now.

Once again, this is not an attack on free speech, as Mr. Robertson has not been arrested for what he said.  His suspension is a consequence of what he said and the view by many that he’s a poor representative for A&E.  I’m almost certain that the contract he signed with them has a clause in it stipulating that as a public figure and representative of the company, he must abide by certain rules.  This is just common sense.

And when you represent a company, your “speech” will always carry consequences.  That doesn’t mean you don’t have the right to say what you want, you just better be prepared for what follows.

These are facts that the people freaking out over his suspension seem unable to understand — including Governor Jindal.

He’s free to say what he wants as a private citizen.  But as a celebrity and representative of A&E, his free speech carries employment consequences with it.

End of story.

Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.


Facebook comments

  • Micah

    Gonna have to disagree with you here. A&E overreacted in the name of political correctness.
    1) When people talk about free speech they aren’t talking about just government institutions -they are talking about institutions with power. If Google stopped linking to certain pages it found distasteful, this would be a free speech issue, regardless of whether or not someone is prosecuted. A major cable channel is an institution with power.
    2) He listed off a whole bunch of sins. Slander for example. He equated slander with homosexuality and heterosexual promiscuity., Sin is sin, goes the standard Christian dogma, and this is nothing new and shouldn’t surprise anybody.

    • michael sterling

      If a&e doesn’t like his views they have every right to fire him. He is in the public eye for a company representing their image, of course they aren’t going to want some homophobic old fart on their channel. He still has every right to say what he wants. Also, your Google analogy doesn’t work in this situation because Google would be directly stifling their opinion. In this case he is still free to express his views, he just needs to find another channel for his show that shares views from the dark ages. No one said he can’t say what he wants but if I owned a TV channel I wouldn’t want any characters of the shows to alienate an entire group of people.

    • Jonas

      Nope. You are incorrect. Google is a privately owned business and could, if wanted, censor all they wanted. Free speech pertains to GOVERNMENT intervention of speech. Period. End. Nothing else.
      Now “people” can talk, whine, cry, bloviate and stomp their feet about what is fair or not but this does not change the fact that free speech does not trump an employers freedom to hire and fire those who do not represent their business in a manner best fit for said business. As long as businesses do not violate anti discrimination laws they can fire as they see fit. There is no free speech laws that guarantees your right to be a blow hard without consequence from a private employer. IT ONLY PERTAINS TO GOVERNMENT RESTRICTIONS OF SPEECH.

      You’re welcome!

      • Micah

        ? I’m not talking about a narrowly defined legal thing, and this is not what other people are talking about. I know, Google is a person, blah blah. What’s at issue here is when something with power uses that power improperly to discourage public participation. This is why many of us liberals are against big money in politics, corporate personhood, etc. This is why there are anti-SLAPP statutes in many states. We cherish the right (not constitutional, but usually honored by most institutions) to say what we want and we cringe when we see institutions act against it. Would you really want Chase to freeze all of your credit cards if you said something mean about Mr. Dimon? No, and most people would disapprove of this.

      • Gary Menten

        Even if you work for a government organization, you can still be fired or demoted for saying stupid things in public.

      • Micah

        Or tried for treason

      • Gary Menten

        I’m pretty sure that being tried for treason would count as “being prosecuted.”

    • Greg

      Micah apparently you don’t understand how Google/Facebook etc. already filters the stuff you look at because of their computer generated view of you. If you walk into work tomorrow and start preaching your beliefs you’d be fired if the boss found them offensive.

      • Micah

        I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t get fired for that.

    • Gary Menten

      Wrong. The 1st Amendment doesn’t protect your job; just your right not to be prosecuted for expressing your beliefs.

      • Todd Gaylor

        The hospital over here where I live fired someone when they found out she was a Jehovah’s Witness and they were sued for it and lost a lot of money. Are you saying the court made a wrong decision in this case?

      • joe

        Not the same thing. Nice try.

      • Todd Gaylor

        I don’t know what you mean by nice try. What exactly is the difference? It’s a Catholic hospital and they didn’t like her going from door to door preaching and expressing her views. I’m just wondering what the difference is. That’s all.

    • johnbuoy

      His freedoms end where A&E’s begin. He did indeed sign a contract that required him not to make these kind of statements that would alienate their viewers- good business practice. To put it in a way YOU would understand, if a Faux News personality started speaking in support of our president, Faux News would summarily dismiss him. Since sponsors are listening to their customers, Rush Limbaugh is finding himself on the edge of obscurity. You can’t have it both ways.

    • Micah

      Wow – I guess my OWS/Move to Amend/ Wikileaks leanings are too extreme for this group of “progressives.” . I wasn’t expecting to argue with a bunch of Ayn Rand’s here, but I must have said the magic words. Maybe I’ll go see what Thom Hartmann has to say.

  • Dave

    You are an idiot. As far as I am concerned A&E just committed suicide.

    • michael sterling

      Please explain how someone is an idiot rather than post comments like this that make YOU seem like an idiot.

    • Jonas

      Clearly you did not comprehend a single sentence of this article. Yet you claim others are idiots. Rich I tell ya..RICH.

    • Seriously, you think they need that show to survive?

  • lkb

    Exactly! Thank you!!!

  • Heinrich Lehmann-Willenbrock


  • Jonas

    Who watches a show about old ,dumb, dirty butt hillbillies anyway?

    • rossbro

      Idiots watch the drivel.

  • Michelle

    I love how the right always complains about people’s free speech being violated and it’s all because of the liberals and it’s all Obama’s fault and then they get into their cars and listen to Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh LOL.

  • Billygabe

    These people crying over his being fired for something he said, were probably the same calling for msnbc to fire Bashir.

    • JamieHaman

      No doubt about that. Nor did we hear much about defending the Dixie Chicks either did we?
      And don’t forget those “meanies” who pick on Rush. smh

  • moe/larry & curly keys

    so……………….this white trash toothless(??) “Christian” scumbag is now a poster child for the saving grace of FOX “news”??? FOX “news” scum such as megyn Kelly reports this garbage instead of the creepy law breaking diplomat from INDIA who was ( rightfully) strip searched as she broke OUR LAWS? Or maybe CHINA doing a lunar landing? OR our “FED” trimming its stimulus outlook as OUR economy–and JOBS– are looking better than expected??? ( WOW: MY BAD: FOX “news” will NEVER report that as it makes OBAMAs administration look good) ,,,,,think about it: if some African or GAY person(s) said anything remotely akin to this low IQ inbred scumbags rant FOX “news” would want him crucified !!!! FUCK RELIGION,,,,all religions!!! and FUCK Christianity when it ( thru these savants) attacks anything that CHRISTIANITY ( of today; not REAL teachings of CHRIST) doesn’t like—- Im so sick of these stultified blockheads who CLAIM to know what JEEEEESUS would day

    • 1EdMeadows83

      I don’t care for Robertson or his “popular”? show but to imply that he is ignorant or un-educated is wrong. He has a Master’s degree in education.

      • moe/larry & curly keys

        then why the anti social rants and anti social lack of personal hygeiene?

      • 1EdMeadows83

        Because he makes money being that way. The great unwashed think he’s pretty cool.

      • Quebarbera!

        Oh great … you mean the idea is to produce more of the same undesirable type through this guy pretending to be a smelly, unwashed, bigoted, uneducated moron for the huge number of ignorant thick-heads out there? A sure way to convince the rest of the world that the US has truly gone down the toilet.

      • moe/larry & curly keys

        cannot argue with that—- amazing what type of trash inhabits America in southern locations

    • Granny

      Everyone has a right to their beliefs even if it is different than your ignorant ass!Apparently makes you feel real big by calling someone names which MR.Robertson did not do-So who is the ignorant scumbag?that would be you because someone didn’t believe in what YOU think they should!He stated what he believes and that is just fine-You are more about hate than he is!YOU are what is wrong with this country-hate and badmouthing people to make yourself feel big!

      • moe/larry & curly keys

        im tired of white trash who have no clue—ergo SHITBAGS. CHRIST never never never bemoaned homosexuality. those ( today) who CLAIM Christ is against homosexuality are shitbags,,,,,, care to double down on this U fucking cunt? (NOTE: I have an extensive lexiphanic vocab; yet I find using off color name calling towards crybabies gets me noticed more) “MR” Robertson is as disgusting socially as all scum who look and smell as he does. I do hate!!! I do hate!! I hate scum who hide being superstition ( see: religion) which is the singular worst ‘institution’ this planet ever has seen ( a close second is plastic surgery BOOOOB–JOBS)

      • glendamo

        Speaking of BOOBS are you speaking from your left boob or from her sister right leaning boob?

      • moe/larry & curly keys

        girlfriends chest——- I abuse both equally,,,,, too bad U haven’t got what it takes to acquire such !

      • Quebarbera!

        He didn’t state his ‘beliefs’; he spewed out an offensive and hateful rant meant to appeal to an equally offensive audience. Comparing homosexuality to bestiality indicates speaks not only of ignorance, but also fear and hatred … not beliefs!

  • Gary Menten

    If this clown were your press secretary or communications director and he expressed the same view to journalists, would you fire him or keep him on?

  • Joel A. Edge

    So basically you’re saying your employer can fire you for saying something he doesn’t like….and he can fire you publicly? You believe it’s OK for your boss to weigh in on your opinions. Where exactly does that end? Can you be fired for a Romney sticker.?How about an Obama sticker? NRA sticker, type of car? Would it be OK for GM to fire everybody that drives a Toyota? You got a messed up idea of free speech.

    • 1EdMeadows83

      I would fire an employee with a Romney sticker on his car.

      • Larry

        Me too. I wouldn’t want anyone that stupid working for me….

    • quiet man

      Yep, you can be fired by your employer, if the speech in question negatively impacts them, you reveal corporate proprietary information, or, in the case of religious institutions, preach against their religious beliefs. Happens everyday. As a former government HR manager, I have seen employees fired for speaking publicly on a matter they were not authorized to discuss with the media or other outlets. If the matter is classified, they could go to jail.

      • Joel A. Edge

        That’s not an “opinion”.

      • justice4rall

        Why is it that Conservatives do not know what they support????? Conservatives believe in “Right to Work” policy. This policy states the employer can fire you for any reason they choose as long as it does not have anything to do with your age, sex, color or the practice of your religion. Conservatives are now losing their mind because the employer exercised his rights that they gave him. LOL . OMG , this is priceless!!!!!

    • Andrew Campbell

      In my state an employer can fire you for good cause, bad cause or no cause. Yes you can be fired for political speech.

      • Joel A. Edge

        And that’s wrong.

    • Navy67

      Do you remember the lady fired because her employers wife thought she was too attractive and the states courts backed the employers right to fire her.

      • Joel A. Edge

        And that’s wrong.

    • Navy67

      Do you remember the dental assistant in Iowa that was fired because her employers wife thought that she was too attractive and the state supreme court upheld her firing!

    • notevenfree

      In some states, you can be fired just for being gay. You don’t have to say anything about it, but if your engagement to a member of the same sex were published in the paper, your employer may use that as ‘just cause’ to terminate you.

      • Joel A. Edge

        And that’s wrong. You people seem to be making my case for me. If what you do doesn’t impact your work, then it’s wrong.

      • Shaun Cruz

        Of course it wrong, but it has nothing to do with “freedom of speech”

    • Larry

      Right Wingers do it all the time….. Have you all ready forgot the Pope Incident? Funny you A**H**** can say and do any thing you like, but let a Liberal say anything, and you all have a hissy and say he’ goin’ to Hell……..

    • SLA

      And you STILL don’t understand the whole “free speech” thing, do you? To quote the article, that you obviously did not read:

      “Our Constitutionally-protected freedom of speech means that as
      private citizens, we’re free to express our opinions on almost anything
      we want without fear of legal persecution.

      That being said, as an employee or representative of any particular
      company or group, we do face repercussions for what we say or do in our private lives.”

      “He’s free to say what he wants as a private citizen. But as a
      celebrity and representative of A&E, his free speech carries
      employment consequences with it.

      End of story.”

    • udicks

      im not say its ok, but welcome to the free market..

    • udicks

      this is the very rights ,that the right has been fighting for . now you dont seem to like it , really?..

  • Shane Patrick

    I thought conservatives believed that employers should be free to fire whomever they want? so, why is it any different when an employer fires someone for being a bigot?

    • Justin W Brown

      Because the most vocal conservatives tend to not think about the views they are force-fed very much. Think about it. If you thought about homosexuality and your Christian views at ALL, you would not think Jesus didn’t like them. In fact, if you thought about it at all, you would not think Jesus didn’t like ANYONE. Except bankers. Not all conservatives are that stupid, but there are enough of them out there that the Tea Party got, what, 40-something seats in the House of Representatives? They really have no clue how often they contradict themselves, just like they have no clue how often the Bible contradicts itself.

      • M. W.

        Name 1 contradiction in the Bible and I’ll prove you have never read it… either that or you can’t understand simple text.

      • udicks


      • 10thman

        Jesus of the bible didn’t have anything to say about abortion, either.

      • Guest

        you need another one?

      • Kyle Hamilton

        Out of curiosity, are you wearing cotton?

      • 10thman

        I have to stick up for my friend God, who is savagely maligned by the bible, which to a critically thinking person could not be the ‘inerrant word of God’. A loving God would never command his/her/its followers to slay anyone for any reason or command murderous victors to spare women and children in order to rape them. That one passage proves the bible is not the inerrant word of God. A loving God would never say it’s ok to sell your daughter into slavery ever for any reason or price. Conclusive proof. A loving God would not have you commit violence against your children for talking back. These example (and plenty more) totally disprove the human claim of the bible being inerrant. The bible is the work of men of certain agenda, not the work of a loving God. More logical proof consists in the fact that for the people of other planets and galaxies, biblical references cannot have any meaning.

      • 10thman

        “…if you thought about it at all, you would not think Jesus didn’t like ANYONE. Except bankers.”


  • Julie

    Remember Paula Deen’s fiasco? Remember Charlie’s Sheen’s rants? They both got fired for things they said. That’s the risk you take when you are a public figure on the payroll of an entity (like a television network) and you make your controversial views public. Duh.

  • facepalmagain

    If I was an employee working at Chic-ful-a or Hobby Lobby and was out in public promoting the legal rights of women to determine their rights for an abortion or the rights of the LGBT community I am sure there would be repercussions. More so if I am wearing their company uniform.

    Every job I have had before being hired had me sign papers that within that stack of “boilerplate” stuff was always a clause about one being a representative of the company. An as said representative one had certain standards to uphold and if you violated said standards that could involve fines, suspension and/or termination. One needs to read that hiring packet before signing it. An more so now that more states are adopting “Right to work” legislation.

    • Jen

      Yep, working in a Right to Work State. All the paperwork said that they could terminate my employment at any time for any reason.

  • dogwaffle

    they’ll bring him back…just like that dogtard the bounty *uckhead

  • Salvatore Damiano

    Eh, I greatly dislike the offensive assault speak of the democratic party in general. Nothing like insulting and attacking a group of people because their beliefs disagree with your beliefs. Because the (insert democratic group) are the good people (I was going to use the word “guys” but I didn’t need you all busting a nut over a commonplace phrase I used while truly not have any misogynistic views) it’s ok though right? Here is an article attacking them both under the premise that the author and it’s readers are more intellectually apt and/or morally perceptive to human equality.

    Pretty much what I got out of the article:
    “He’s just an ignorant conservative homophobic idiot or some shit. Quit being so stupid mister republican governor and white trash conservative.”

    The entire article just oozes self righteous douche bag. For the American party that is supposed to be about human decency on all fronts, you all post around here with a serious lack pride in your beliefs. Practice what you preach must fall on a lot of deaf ears for team blue.

    Don’t worry, I think the republican party is willfully ignorant and hateful for no other reason than to be hateful. I’m not taking sides on this one, just my two cents (go ahead and slander my opinion for no reason because you disagree).

    Ready, hate posts go!

    • joe

      I got a headache just trying to read this.

      • Salvatore Damiano

        In summary, democrats act morally superior with policy but in practice degrade, belittle, attack, and insult anyone who does not feel the way they do.

        The author of this article is a douche bag, it’s poorly written and has a subtext of condescension.

      • Salvatore Damiano

        That’s because you’re stupid.


        1. You democrats are acting like complete tools.
        2. Your actions against his ignorance are deplorable at best.
        3. Your pride in moral perception and ethical treatment is a hypocrisy
        4. Apparently anti-bullying, equality, treating each other with dignity, anti-punishment, acceptance, education, tolerance, and every other human decency value you all argue is only applicable to people who share views with you or who you want to fight for.
        5. Anyone who doesn’t have the same views as you is a worthless piece of shit and doesn’t deserve the same treatment you all demand and push for.

        It’s cool though, tell me again how the republicans are deplorable human beings but it’s completely ok for you to post this and similar articles.

  • ConservativeBiker

    Is A & E guilty of Discrimination? Whats your opinion?

    Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII), which prohibits
    employment discrimination based on race, color, RELIGION, sex, or
    national origin. SEC. 2000e-2. [Section 703]

    (a) Employer practices

    It shall be an unlawful employment practice for an employer –

    (1) to fail or refuse to hire or to discharge any individual, or
    otherwise to discriminate against any individual with respect to his
    compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment, because of
    such individual’s race, color, RELIGION, sex, or national origin.

    That’s a pretty clear picture of what discrimination is (according to
    the language of the act). Phil Robertson’s comment revolve around his a)
    belief in natural sexual relationships, and b) his religious beliefs.
    A&E suspended him for sharing his beliefs, which appears to be a
    violation of the civil rights act of 1964.

    Where is the left on this one? Where are the calls for investigation into A&E?

    Inquiring minds want to know.

    • Pipercat

      Hey Moonbaby, stick to hogs and leave the law to the professionals….

    • Lady Yui

      He wasn’t fired for being a Christian. He was fired for being an @sshole. In order for him to be able to make a legitimate claim that he was fired for being a Christian, he would need to be able to demonstrate that A&E discriminates against Christians, and he can’t….because they don’t. A&E doesn’t have a problem with Christians, A&E has a problem with bigots.

    • 2Smart2bGOP

      His Christianity was not the issue; they pay for the show that presents him as representative of the network. I’m quite sure that the contract he signed stipulated that he observe certain restrictions on his behavior as their representative. He has the right to say whatever he wants to; no one will arrest him or even tell him that he can’t say it. But he does not have the right to have a reality show. He represents A&E at THEIR discretion, not his own. Again, he was not fired for being a Christian; he was fired for making comments based on bigotry, and A&E rightly chose to disassociate themselves from that bigotry.

  • Richard Smith

    the best thing that can happen is A & E is to junk this show and have cable or the dish dump FOX news

  • Stashu26

    Well perhaps he can find gainful employment at Chic-Fil-A which shares his views.

  • darylc

    Spot on! If he had simply stated his opinion and belief, nobody – probably A&E included, would care. Instead, as you rightly point out, he just had to go down the same road Rick Santorum did, bestiality, that is where the train went off the rails.

  • Wuggs

    If a super model decided to put a tat of a gummy bear above her navel, she certainly can do that, but Vicky’s Secret probably won’t put her in their catalog again.

    Odd thing about A&E and DD, probably most of the DD audience have exactly the same feeling as Phil. So they are pissing them off to placate the people who watch other shows on their network.

  • Misty Peaks

    Its all about advertising revenue folks. And it applies to any view which pisses of a substantial section of the (paying) audience. Conservative hate talk shows are immune : anyone like to guess why?

  • jason

    “His suspension is a consequence of what he said and the view by many that he’s a poor representative for A&E. ”

    As poor of a representation as the shows Hoarders or Intervention. Where we gawk at mental illnesses and drug addicts for entertainment? Riiiiiight.

  • Shit My Dad Says

    The first ament men doesn’t protect assholes from criticism. The right to act like an asshole and be called an asshole is the same f–king right.

    • Shit My Dad Says

      Amendment* autocorrect hates me some days.

  • Come on Dude

    Please be aware that A&E will have consequences because the people that are upset are the viewers and purchasers of products. A&E may be proud of themselves… But they will not enjoy the ratings. Since the family will either perform poorly due to legal obligations, or walk away.
    Nice work. They are probably mad because he did not say it on their show.
    Producers at certain times would not let him say Jesus in his prayers. Really? “Oh that would make people upset.” SMH.

  • Annngeo

    Bashir was on-the-air, directly working for CNN. Phil was giving a private interview, as is common in the entertainment industry, and stated he was giving HIS OPINION of a common political talking point. He was not an agent of A&E in this situation. However, A&E can fire him for whatever reason they choose (as is common in the industry). The looser will be A&E because they just gave Phil a huge platform, and many other networks are making offers to the Robertson’s at this moment. Indeed, the intolerance of A&E and many radicals within the “gay-movement” has just been high-lighted.

  • PNUT1

    Jindal is a very smart guy pretending to be a dumbass in order to appeal to his constituency. He is a cynic and a con man .