As I followed the recent “Duck Dynasty” uproar, it occurred to me how simple it would be to duck it – and other similar squabbles: If you don’t like something or someone on television, turn the channel.
If you don’t care for Phil Robertson, his particular notions or his scraggly beard, turn him off. Don’t watch the TV show that features him proselytizing sometimes.
I’m fairly sure Robertson won’t climb through your window, duct tape you to your recliner, and force you to listen to him spout off.
The same goes for the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals organization and all the other animal-rights activists who keep bellyaching about the Robertsons shooting ducks.
If you don’t want to shoot a duck, stay out of the duck blind.
But of course that’s not good enough for the perpetually-offended. Their idea of tolerance is to tolerate only what they agree with.
Some critics called Robertson and his bearded boys “ignorant rednecks,” apparently unaware that they hold master’s degrees and are self-made millionaires. I suppose ignorance, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder.
Understand, I don’t agree with some of the more extreme views Robertson expressed during the GQ Magazine interview that got him in hot water. However, I was surprised that his bosses at the A&E channel seemed shocked.
Did they somehow mistake Robertson for Miley Cyrus, and expect to see him twerking ducks and swinging naked from a wrecking ball?
Has anyone ever confused the Robertsons with the Kardashians?
I suspect that most of the 10 million faithful “Duck Dynasty” viewers have long been aware of his conservative sentiments. He has never made a secret of – or apology for – his fundamentalist beliefs and traditional social attitudes.
Each of the episodes concludes with Robertson offering a prayer as his family gathers around with heads bowed.
I was equally surprised to see Cracker Barrel, which is based in Lebanon, Tenn., plunge head-first into the national controversy like a retriever going after a downed mallard.
Officials announced they were pulling some “Duck Dynasty” merchandise from the stores, then, like A&E, backed down in the face of a public backlash.
The wise thing for Cracker Barrel would have been to keep its beak out of the squabble because any side it took would be the wrong side for some.
The “Duck Dynasty” stuff was already on the shelves. Let their customers choose whether they want to buy it.
I’ve never met any of the “Duck Dynasty” cast, but hunting buddy Barry Stricklin had Robertson and son Willie as guests on a Nashville radio show he co-hosted.
Stricklin said he has never met more delightful, insightful and down-to-earth folks.
After the early-morning show, Stricklin and fellow host Mike Ridings invited the two men to breakfast at any restaurant of their choice. Instead of some fancy big-city eatery, they chose Waffle House.
And they said a prayer over their scrambled eggs.
The Robertsons don’t tie their religion to the Nielsen ratings.
The “Duck Dynasty” show is, of course, totally scripted. But the characters are genuine, and that’s why I have always been a fan.
Is it corny? Sure, it is.
But, it’s also funny. Most of us have wacky hunting and fishing buddies like the Robertsons.
Beneath the cornball humor and staged antics runs a more serious underlying theme about the bonds of faith and family.
If people don’t care for the message or the messenger, there is an off button on the remote control. It will solve their problem.