Jan
16
2014

Quote of the Day, Dude, That’s Kind Of What The First Amendment* MEANS edition.

Somebody at a network, still kind of upset over that entire Duck Dynasty thing:

“Does this now mean stars can say whatever offensive things they want under the guise of freedom of speech, without repercussion?”

If they’re saying it in their private capacity**? …Pretty much, yeah. In fact, they do it anyway: it’s just that the offensive things they say are directed at the Phil Robertson side of the political spectrum.  What’s bugging the anonymous sources at the network is apparently that they now  have to extend the privilege to those sorts of people, too.

Seriously, get back to me when somebody sits Harvey Weinstein down and explains to him that he can’t wildly and ineffectually threaten several million law-abiding potential movie goers simply because Harvey Weinstein is frightened of guns.  Not that anybody ever will – and neither should they, either.

Moe Lane

*The prime irony here is that a lot of people justified A&E’s original decision to suspend Phil Robertson as being a situation where the First Amendment didn’t apply. Which apparently means that it’s OK to ignore it, not really OK to tolerate it… maybe the media industry just hates the First? That’d explain a lot, actually.

**Saying stuff in their public capacity is another story.

11 Comments

  • Cameron says:

    People are STILL whining about this? Unbelievable.

    • acat says:

      Dude. People are still whining about the Bay of Pigs. Get used to it, people have long memories and very strange ideas of acceptable social interactions.
      .
      Mew

  • acat says:

    Quibble – the First guarantees you can talk smack, it doesn’t guarantee freedom from repercussion *except from the government*.
    .
    Mew

    • Kyle Haight says:

      Yeah, what acat said. The First Amendment blocks the government from punishing or suppressing speech. Private entities choosing to disassociate themselves from others on the basis of their speech is not a constitutional issue. A&E would have had every legal right to fire whatsisname — just as others would have been free to stop watching them in response.

      The blending of government and private actions under the single concept “repercussion” is a deliberate attempt to confuse the issue by equating individual moral judgment with government oppression.

      • acat says:

        This particular incident, the “suspension” coinciding perfectly with a contractual “no work, duck season” period, the Christmas shopping season, and reports that merchandise sales were *way* up still suggest, to this cat, that this was a planned event.
        .
        That said, Phil has the right to speak his mind, A&E has the right to decide to carry their show or not, and the government has no right to step in. That appears to be the extent to which the First applies here.
        .
        Note that this would be different if A&E were a broadcast network like ABC.
        .
        Mew

        • Ed Driscoll says:

          “Note that this would be different if A&E were a broadcast network like ABC.”

          I’m not sure if I understand how that makes the situation any different.

          • acat says:

            Needs ya one of them FCC licenses to operate over the airwaves..
            .
            Given the current regime in DC, I’d expect ABC would have had “hints” about future problems if they caved like A&E, eh?
            .
            Cable operators are much less constrained.
            .
            Mew

          • Ed Driscoll says:

            Acat,

            Ahh, OK. You’re saying that it would be more likely that Donahue would be dumped and not rehired at an OTA network; that makes sense.

          • acat says:

            More that there are more levers that can be used to shut down a broadcast show than one on cable, and that the long march through the institutions put those levers out of conservative reach a while back.
            .
            Mew

  • Crawford says:

    Meanwhile, when Merryl Streep (I believe) repeats Soviet agit-prop as if it were something she has personal knowledge of, we’re supposed to ignore it and “appreciate her acting”. When lunatic pols like Grayson and Ellison make the basest slanders against everyone who doesn’t kiss their toes, we’re supposed to coo and shudder with glee over their “honesty”.
    .

  • […] listened to their I-Pods instead? Yesterday, the always-sharp and entertaining Moe Lane described what Big Media just now realized about the 1st Amendment to the US […]

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