Over the last few days, it seems like every other post I’ve seen on social media has been about the asinine statements made by the patriarch of the Duck Dynasty TV show, Phil Robertson. To be fair, we’ve done quite a number of articles (this is my second, and last) on it as well, in order to lend a little sense to the hysteria. But the way people blew up Facebook and Twitter over this non-story is mind-boggling.
This entire time I’ve been thinking to myself, “how completely idiotic is this whole blown out of proportion controversy? How could people be this upset about a freaking reality TV show?” An old white guy from heavily Baptist North Louisiana (one of the most conservative areas in the country) made a homophobic statement which was actually extremely tame compared to some of the comments I see made by Facebook users on our local TV stations, and suddenly America loses their damn minds? You knew this guy was very religious and conservative, yet you’re surprised he had backwards views on race and sexuality?
The guy is a cast member on a TV show about a bunch of fake rednecks who somehow manage to run a business while chopping watermelons with a samurai sword, going golfing, and playing around in the woods. Seriously, unless he publicly came out as a member of the KKK and endorsed it, none of this should be any surprise to anyone who has ever watched the show.
I’ll admit though that most of the outrage has been from the hard right, which has been a constant source of amusement for me since these are the same idiots who sent death threats to the Dixie Chicks for criticizing George Bush. And let’s not forget, they also constantly complain about “First Amendment rights” which they obviously have no understanding of. Not only has the far right gone nuts over the fact that an employer “suspended” someone on a silly reality show, but some of the smarter ones who know this is just a viral outrage have been cashing in. The Facebook page “Boycott A&E Until Phil Robertson Is Put Back On Duck Dynasty” has almost 1.7 million “likes.” The page promotes the website and career of its founder, Wayne Dupree.
The…whole… quacking… thing… is… a… manufactured …outrage. Let’s be honest – when Sarah Palin throws herself into the mix of a media story that has absolutely nothing to do with her, you can safely bet the whole thing is bogus. Even the conservative talk show host Andy Dean, who I listen to a couple of nights a week, admitted that it was a stupid controversy for all parties involved.
So why does the media cover it? Again, ratings and web traffic. Because nearly 1.7 million Americans are stupid enough to “like” a Facebook page that was created to in order to leverage a completely unhinged outrage over a f-ing reality show, to further the media career of a previously unknown conservative writer and his website. Because more Americans will “like and share” a Facebook image falsely claiming the Constitutional rights of a Louisiana redneck TV star were violated, than they will “like and share” this story about Utah’s historic step towards marriage equality, or this one about a Muslim imam saving a Jewish synagogue. Because as the saying goes, “No one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public.” And that’s a fact, Jack.
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