Sigh. Here we go again.

Because God forbid a company be able to fire an employee who makes statements that could affect their bottom line, right? Yet again, with feeling:

The Bill of Rights applies to the government, not to private corporations. Getting in trouble for your beliefs with your employer is an entirely different can of beans than getting in trouble with your government for said beliefs. If I lost my marbles tomorrow and went off and accused a sizable portion of my employer’s customer base of being baby-raping bastards, they would have every right to fire me for that. My comments would affect their bottom line, just as Phil Robertson’s comments could potentially affect A&E’s bottom line, and as a private business they have every right to do within reason whatever they perceive to be in their best interests. There are those who say that A&E is violating Robertson’s rights, but here’s the thing about that: Robertson is perfectly free to go find a paying gig somewhere else. A&E isn’t his employer anyway. He’s already quite wealthy with the money his family has made from their own business. And even if A&E were his employer, well, so what? They’re basically implying that he has a right to a job, which means it’s someone else’s obligation (in this case A&E’s) to provide him with one. And such a belief is — or should be, anyway — anathema to any freedom-loving American. I hate it as badly as any gun owner that Buffalo Wild Wings doesn’t allow concealed carry in their restaurant. But that’s their business. It’s their property and they have the right to administer it as they wish. And because it’s their property, I don’t bitch about my rights being violated. I just go have wings and beer somewhere that is more amenable to concealed carry.

Was it wrong for Clear Channel, Cumulus, et al to throw all their Dixie Chicks records out and not play them anymore, too? Or is it okay for people to get fired when it’s speech you don’t agree with?

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3 Responses to “Sigh. Here we go again.”

  1. 3boxesofbs Says:

    Pistolero,

    I agree, and I think most people do to, that A&E has the Right to fire Robertson but were Wrong to fire him. In part this is due to the apparent hypocrisy in A&E’s comments and actions. They say Phil’s views aren’t reflected in the show but the show is predicated on the Robertson family’s Christian values being a huge attraction.

    I also think there is starting to be a strong backlash against the double standard applied by employers and special interests groups. It is okay to say homosexuality is okay but it isn’t okay to say it is wrong? Wait a minute; if free speech is the issue; shouldn’t a company support free speech even when they don’t agree with it?

    They could have simply said “His views do not reflect A&E’s” and moved on. I know I’m getting tired of people telling me I have to be accepting of this or that, of this behavior or that group without being able to say “NO I DON’T ” in reply.

    If A&E or Clear Channel/Cummulus wants to fire someone; that is their privilege but it is also mine to say I won’t watch a channel until that person is re-hired or I’ll avoid watching it as long as that person / group is working for them. With the Dixie Chicks, I think there was a clear difference in context; they were being paid to sing. In Robertson’s case, he was being interviewed and being asked what he thought. The Dixie Chicks had said pretty much the same thing in interviews and it never drew ire, didn’t they?

    Doesn’t context matter, doesn’t location matter?

  2. southtexaspistolero Says:

    If A&E or Clear Channel/Cummulus wants to fire someone; that is their privilege but it is also mine to say I won’t watch a channel until that person is re-hired or I’ll avoid watching it as long as that person / group is working for them.

    You are exactly right, Bob. I never questioned that, but frankly I don’t really want to turn this into any kind of debate on homosexuality, as I think that gets away from the main point of this whole thing. (I will say, though, that comparing homosexuality and bestiality is way the hell out of line. The people who do that are basically comparing people to animals, and that is seriously not cool, IMO.)

    What I’m focusing on here is the whole “free speech” thing and people’s misunderstanding of it as well as the double standard displayed by some of the people involved here. Just how many people calling for A&E’s heads on a platter for allegedly violating PR’s rights went out and bought Gerber knives or multi-tools after the whole Zumbo thing? Should free speech have consequences or not? I don’t think a consistent position is really that much to ask for. Sure, context and location matter, although I don’t think they matter to as much of an extent as everyone decrying A&E’s actions would like to think.

    For the record, I didn’t necessarily agree with the Chicks being blacklisted from country radio, but Big Radio had the right to do it. Whether the Chicks had said the same thing in high-profile interviews before the incident in England, I don’t know, but if they had, they could have taken their lumps then too.) And to be honest, I’m not really taking a position on A&E’s actions, because quite frankly I don’t care; I’ve seen it posited elsewhere that they’re going to kill their ratings with this, but if that’s the case then that’s their prerogative. And even if I watched Duck Dynasty I wouldn’t think this was any kind of free speech violation.

    • 3boxesofbs Says:

      Pistolero,

      I don’t really want to turn this into any kind of debate on homosexuality,

      I don’t either and I think for many people is it more of a ideological issue (conservative/ libertarian versus liberal) than an issue of lifestyle. Phil clearly pointed out that he doesn’t discriminate — he was asked what is SIN and he answered.

      “Everything is blurred on what’s right and what’s wrong,” he says. “Sin becomes fine.”

      What, in your mind, is sinful?

      “Start with homosexual behavior and just morph out from there. Bestiality, sleeping around with this woman and that woman and that woman and those men,” he says. Then he paraphrases Corinthians: “Don’t be deceived. Neither the adulterers, the idolaters, the male prostitutes, the homosexual offenders, the greedy, the drunkards, the slanderers, the swindlers—they won’t inherit the kingdom of God. Don’t deceive yourself. It’s not right.”

      Read More http://www.gq.com/entertainment/television/201401/duck-dynasty-phil-robertson#ixzz2nwyNGEft

      I think many people are seeing him equating homosexuality with bestiality but I’m not sure that was the intent. The Intent was to talk about who would or would not inherit the kingdom of God — and his opinion was just that. Shouldn’t he have a right to say it?
      More importantly, given that A&E broadcasts the show (and makes bundles on it) because of his opinions, well known ones — should they be so quick to put him on ice?

      And even if I watched Duck Dynasty I wouldn’t think this was any kind of free speech violation.

      This is where I see a lot of confusion. There is free speech and there is 1st Amendment Protection of Free Speech. One is the freedom to say (and to suffer consequences for sure) something and one is keeping the government from regulating what we say.

      Companies can squelch the speech of their employees; – trade secrets, profit margin, etc — and should immediately terminate those who violate basic business provisions.
      Some of it is less obvious and this is where the double standard is most obvious and where people are pushing against A&E — how many LGBT shows or stars do they have who have spoken out for that lifestyle? Did they suffer because they offended Christians? I can’t think of a one.

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