The True Reality of Reality TV

Martha Graham once said “What people in the world think of you is really none of your business.”  That may be a little harsh but there is a stark reality to it.  Last week, Phil Robertson, one of the “actors” on the reality show “Duck Dynasty” was suspended by his network because of something he said about his beliefs regarding sin in a GQ interview.  Have we reached the point in our society where a man answers a direct question about his believes and will not come under fire?

Last week, GQ released the interview with Robertson where he says that, and I am paraphrasing here, that homosexuality is “sinful”.  It could be said that he compared homosexuality to bestiality.  I did not read it that way but I can see where it could get deciphered that way.  Soon after the comments went public the cable channel A&E suspended Robertson from his show.  A&E felt that the feelings of the public were more important than their star’s opinion.  If the outraged masses actually read the article that offended them so much they would have seen a man that was very religious.  His religious overtone was so much that he refers to himself as a “Bible-thumper”.

To be honest, I have never watched the show, probably never will.  It just doesn’t appeal to me.  The fact that it has been on for five seasons just proves to me the state of television.  But that is immaterial to what is going on.  The man is spewing his religious beliefs on the world and is reciting his literal meaning if the Bible.  Why is he doing it?  Because he can.  There 14 million weekly viewers that tune in and hang on every word this man says.

This is not a First Amendment issue.  The government is not censoring Robertson, his employer is.  I do find it very funny that the liberal media is dismissing Robertson’s freedom of speech and religion in this case, but when people were breaking laws, defecating in public and costing municipalities millions of dollars, it was a First Amendment triumph.  Time magazine went as far as naming “The Protestor” Person of the Year.  As unfortunate as it is, there are probably more people who agree with Robertson than the “Occupiers”.  But as I stated earlier, it’s not about the First Amendment.

I have no personal opinion about homosexuality other than I am not one.  Do I think it’s a sin? “He without sin, cast the first stone” My only view on it is that it does not affect my life one iota.  I have grown up with gay friends and have friends who have gay parents and it does not faze me in the least.  It’s a lifestyle I do not live and I respect those who live it.  The only thing I ask in return is to respect me as well, and that has never been a problem.

But this situation is not about if homosexuality is a sin or not, it has just been brought to the forefront to ignore the true issue.  The interviewer asked a loaded question and knew exactly the response he was going to get.  That is good journalism.  It is more troubling that the media made this a homosexual issue, because it is clearly not.  If this is truly homosexuality or hate issue then the network would have not have to do anything, the viewing public would have taken care of it.  If A&E was so distraught about moral fiber, then why are they running a “Duck Dynasty” Marathon on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day?  They do know that Robertson will be in those episodes, right?  It’s all about the dollars.  Robertson has the right to say what he said and A&E has the right to terminate him for it.  But they shouldn’t do it half way.  They shouldn’t take the moral high ground and then look at the bottom line and waver on it.  It is not sending a clear message.  Actually it is not sending a message at all.

As a society we are taking television too literally.  If these types of outrage about television were prevalent when I was growing up then “All in the Family” would not have gotten past the second episode.  “The Jefferson’s” would never be “movin on up” because of George’s references to white people as “honkies”.  What would have been made of Klinger on “M.A.S.H” who cross dressed to get sent home from Korea?  Yes people, he was referring to it as a sickness.  Add a “reality” factor it and it makes for un-watchable television.

Nobody should be surprised by what Robertson said.  If you are, then I suggest you pay attention to what you are watching.  In that same article he also stated that blacks were happier in the south during the 60’s.  He also stated that squirrel meat is the best kind of animal meat there is. This man is obviously an old school, Bible belt, Southern redneck, we should not be shocked for a second by anything he says.   For my homosexual friends I will leave you with this passage from Matthew 5:39 “But I say unto you, that ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.”

In closing I leave you with the words of Les Brown “Someone’s opinion of you does not have to become your reality”

If you don’t take it from me, ask my wife

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