Friday, December 20, 2013

Duck Dynasty: Why is anyone surprised that a weird character on a "reality" TV show has politically incorrect opinions?

I've never watched Duck Dynasty and nothing I've seen or heard or read in the last day or two suggests that I would ever want to.

But let me ask this: Why is anyone surprised? Why is anyone outraged? A&E (which used to provide actually watchable TV programming, several years ago) found a weird-looking family that makes duck calls in the swampy backwoods of Louisiana and created a "reality" TV show about their weird lives, hunting, fishing and making duck calls. Phil Robertson, the gentleman pictured here, is the 67-year old "patriarch" of the clan. Have I gotten anything wrong so far?

Now take just one more glance at Mr. Robertson. Why would anyone think that Mr. Robertson's views would be compatible with those of the persons employed by the New York ad agencies who buy time on reality TV shows?

Each can hardly believe the other is a citizen of the same country.

Now another question: What would GQ, a magazine that purports to cater to men interested in style and fashion, want from an interview with the Duck Dynasty clan?

Isn't that one an easy one to answer? Drew Magery's article for the January issue of GQ, titled (at least online), "What the Duck?," may not have been intended as a hatchet job, but it was at least intended to give the smart, well-dressed metrosexual readers of GQ something to laugh at and people to make fun of. Men who buy a magazine that features articles like "Women are Judging Your Nails" are not interested in duck hunting or backwoods philosophy per se.

Mr. Magery addressed the controversy in a Wednesday post on Deadspin. He wrote, in part, "[W]henever I go deep into the heart of 'MERICA * * * I'm always careful not to be the sneering LIBRUL who ventures into red-state territory just to rip on all the people there. That would be unfair, predictable, and dickish." No, sir. Mr. Magery just writes what he sees -- and his audience does the ripping for him.

Mind you, I'm not defending Mr. Robertson. Granted, he has a right to his views, even though I may disagree with some or all of them. However, I completely understand and agree that the folks who run A&E have a right to "suspend" Mr. Robertson for offending the New Yorkers who buy ad time -- it's their network and they are privileged to do with it as they wish. Even if they daily make TV a far worse, far more vast wasteland than Newton Minow's worst nightmare prediction. I'm not even criticizing GQ. They came up with a scheme to get some free publicity and sell some magazines. That's the American way, right? And Mr. Magery got paid to write a story. Good for him.


The only one I think is open to criticism here is the the PR genius who told the Robertson family that doing this GQ story would be a good idea. He or she would best be advised to get out of town quickly: Don't those Robertsons all have guns and crossbows and such?

1 comment:

Fran said...

Please don't just Phil Robertson by his picture or what you have read in the multiple articles that have been written about him in the past few days. Having lived in the Monroe, LA area for several years, I can tell you that with a doubt it is one of the most religious, spiritual area I have ever experienced. And I wish I still lived in that type of place. Yes, the show can be silly but it ends up with a message and a prayer.

I appreciate you reading my rant. I just hate for people to form an opinion of something because of preconceived notions.

I would actually like for A&E to set them free. I feel sure other networks would love to be getting their weekly viewership numbers. Who knows? Maybe even you might watch....occasionally.