Updated: Media in Depth: What the duck, indeed!

Phil Robertson

Update:  From @ABC

The only accurate summary of the coverage on Phil Robertson’s unfortunate interview with GQ is: it’s all over the place. And it is not exactly what, or from where, you would expect.

As I was preparing this post, this post from Forbes about how Phil’s PR team let him down was released. I had a side splitting laugh at this one. As if Phil Robertson, or Duck Commander for that matter, would have a PR team to rival GLAAD or A&E. If so, a little advice for you guys, the right thing to do would have been to turn the interview down flat. And here is why…

First, Phil was totally set up by GQ
If you haven’t read the actual article from GQ, do! There is only one reason GQ would want to speak with Phil about his religious views. They knew what they were after, and they got it. If the PR team let Phil down, it was by giving GQ a full day of unfettered access. There were many great choices through which Phil could have born his soul, and this was the least desirable.

Anyone in PR probably knew immediately, within a few paragraphs, and even the author admits, this was a very long day of Phil talking. The author describes Phil’s conversation style in many ways, including proselytizing, and pulls a handful of extremely controversial quotes from what was hours of conversation.

If there is anything I have learned in this business – a reporter prints what he/she wants. If you talk long enough, they will get it. In case you missed it before – GQ went to Louisiana to get something. It may have taken most of a day, but they got it.

Pure hysteria ensued
Almost immediately after the the issue hit the newstands, GLAAD issued a press release condemning the comments – a few quotes pulled into the GQ interview – and acting as if his comments were just about them. Jeremy Hooper actually pointed out on the Kelly File that “none of us are free from consequences”. Interesting that these groups are only interested in consequences for those that oppose their lifestyle on Biblical principle. All others seem to get a pass.

As usual Huffington Post takes the cake
What may have been the most melodramatic, biased and hate inciting article of all came, of course, compliments of the Huffington Post. This is like a game of broken telephone. A few controversial quotes taken from hours of dialogue, or monologue, requoted even further out of context and peppered with biased opinion. Now that’s real journalism, huh?

Some fairness locally
But at least you can count on your local media, sometimes, to be somewhat fair and balanced about things. The local Shreveport paper put some perspective to the debate. And a North Carolina Fox affiliate obtained some perspective from Franklin Graham of what Phil may have been attempting to convey, in the hours that he spent with GQ.

That is, as long as your locale wasn’t LA. Regionally, local outlet seemed to be chasing the demographic closest to them. I guess you can’t blame them. It all boils down to business in the end.

Total lack of understanding – Jim Crow Controversy
Then the media really started to show their total lack of understand of southerners, Christians and especially the combination. Phil is being vilified because he actually remembers a time when black and white did not hate one another. Quite the contrary, out in the sticks, we actually got along, loved each other, and still do. What the elites in Washington, New York and LA do not understand, is that what Phil said, in some corners of the south, was actually true. By 1950 blacks and whites worked the fields together, did business together, and even broke bread together. No, this was not the case everywhere, and conditions were bad for many, but that doesn’t make Phil’s statement false. There is not an ounce of so-called ‘white privilege’ in Phil Robertson, and he has no reason to misrepresent his perception of life. He made no reference to Jim Crow, and just because the timing overlapped, it is inaccurate and biased for the media to apply that meaning to his words. But Phil’s truth does not fit the victim narrative, and that is vested interest if I’ve ever seen one.

The appropriate response – one very unlikely source
The most appropriate responses probably came from Greg Gutfeld and TMZ (the most unlikely of all). Their take? A&E knew exactly what they were getting, made tons of money off of it for four years, and to feign shock and outrage – or even just disappointment – now is at best disingenuous and at worse pandering.

And after all that…
Jan 21 – In what seems to be a Bizarre Back peddle one can only assume was the result of a pre-season, pre-marathon promotional push by A&E, attempting to ease out of the controversy and into the new season. And sources at A&E tell The Huffington Post that they expect the series and Phil to be back. Really? YAWN!