We’ve all heard the hype about “Duck Dynasty” star Phil Robertson expressing his views on homosexuality. While it may have been a bit crude, conservatives like to point out that freedom of speech is guaranteed in America. Therefore, they find it appalling that A&E let him go from their network. From Sarah Palin to Bobby Jindal, conservative after conservative are saying that it is wrong for the A&E Network to suspend Mr. Robertson.
While I agree that Robertson had the right to say what he did, I also feel like A&E has the right to suspend him or fire him if they feel like it is in the network’s best interest. Companies, especially TV networks, have to make sure that their shows get watched, and if a star expresses an unpopular opinion that may affect the ratings, the network should have the right to let them go.
Now, the problem is going to be if firing Phil Robertson backfires. Now, that’s when the network will have an interesting decision on their hands. They can either hire Robertson back on and face the backlash of the gay community or they can still suspend him and lose viewers. While no one knows what the outcome of a situation like that would be, the fact of the matter is that A&E has the constitutional right to do as they see fit.
That’s why conservatives cannot say A&E suspending Phil Robertson is violating his freedom of speech. They are a private company who can do what they want, and telling them they can’t is violating their FREEDOM to do as they please. Now, if the government censored Robertson’s comments, that’s a whole different story, but they didn’t. Therefore, using freedom of speech in this instance in an invalid argument because federal censorship of speech is different than a company censoring their employees actions when those actions will affect the gains and losses of that company.
So, going forward, feel free to express your outrage over Robertson’s suspension. Just don’t use freedom of speech as the basis of your argument. Doing so would take away the rights of companies to act freely, and it will show your ignorance of the Constitution. After all, those who know the Constitution know that Phil Robertson’s suspension and the right to free speech under the Constitution are like apples and oranges.
May God Bless America,
The Generation X Conservative