What Digby says:
Conservatives normally insist that the private sector can do anything it chooses, even hiring and firing on the basis of an owner's throwback religious or racist beliefs. But that's only as long as it doesn't "infringe" on the right of conservatives to be assholes. That's a sacred liberty which is derived directly from the Bible, Atlas Shrugged and the Declaration of Independence. (You can look it up!)
And a little more from Robertson (via CNN):
"I never, with my eyes, saw the mistreatment of any black person. Not once," he told GQ. "Where we lived was all farmers. The blacks worked for the farmers. I hoed cotton with them. I'm with the blacks, because we're white trash. We're going across the field. ... They're singing and happy. I never heard one of them, one black person, say, 'I tell you what: These doggone white people' -- not a word!
"Pre-entitlement, pre-welfare, you say: Were they happy? They were godly; they were happy; no one was singing the blues," GQ quoted Robertson as saying.
Some RWNJs started an on-line petition demanding Robertson's return:
"Homosexuals have their convictions and Christians respect them," the organizer of the petition wrote. "There is a difference between respecting someone rights to exercise free will and imposing on others what we believe. Phil has done nothing more than state what he believes in. Just because homosexuals do not agree, does not mean Mr. Robertson needs to be suspended."
Bible Spice, obviously, had to throw in her three cents (via Crooks & Liars):
Free speech is an endangered species. Those “intolerants” hatin’ and taking on the Duck Dynasty patriarch for voicing his personal opinion are taking on all of us.
As Amato points out, Palin only came out in favor of free speech when it was a RWNJ being criticized; muzzling a DFH librul is still okay, apparently.
As is often the case, Badtux nails it:
All of which was nowhere, until a reporter helpfully asked him about those beliefs and Phil came out and proved that he is a racist redneck white trash anti-gay bigot. But thing is, he never claimed to be anything else. Hell, A&E *hired* him because of that, so that their metrosexual white urban oh-so-politically-correct viewership could point and laugh at him and his family of inbred white trash.
So now A&E is going to fire his ass for being the person they hired? Man, that’s fucked up. He needed to be sat down and told just how bad his words made gay people and black people feel, and told he needed to apologize. He might even have listened, and decided, yeah, he didn’t understand why they felt bad about what he said, but if they were offended he was in the wrong and the right thing to do was apologize. As far as I can tell Phil Robertson isn’t an evil man, just a profoundly ignorant one. Ignorant can be fixed, evil can’t. But fired? Maybe if there was evidence that he actively discriminated against gay people and black people, maybe. But for being who he is and holding the same views he’s always held? For being exactly the same man that A&E hired? That’s pretty goddamned hypocritical, if you ask me, firing a man for the exact same reason that you hired his ignorant white trash ass.
I suspect, though, that BT may be off a little bit on his explanation of why A&E picked up Duck Dynasty. I think, in addition to the reason Badtux suggests, I suspect it's also a bit of the current redneckization of American culture, as we have so many "reality" shows showcasing the redneck lifestyle: Duck Dynasty, Full Throttle Saloon, Lizard Lick Towing (I'd move outa there in a heartbeat!)... all shows that try to convince us that the redneck lifestyle is a valid one. Unlike, say, being gay.
* The title is taken from some of John Sandford's Lucas Davenport novels (the Prey series), and is a favorite epithet of Davenport's. Not that Sandford -- or Lucas for that matter -- have approved my appropriating the phrase... I just think it gets my point across perfectly.