2016 presidential hopeful’s defense of Duck Dynasty star’s homophobic comments suggests a deep misunderstanding of what the Constitution says.
Here we go again.
The great thing about Duck Dynasty-style blowups is that they provide dumbasses a chance to trot their dumbassery out for public display. Take Louisiana governor (and prospective 2016 presidential candidate) Bobby Jindal, whose comments this morning suggest that he doesn’t understand Constitution even a little bit.
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal jumped to the defense of Phil Robertson, the star of the A&E megahit “Duck Dynasty” who was indefinitely suspended from the program Wednesday after making graphic statements about homosexuality.
In a statement, Jindal praised Robertson and his family as “great citizens” of his home state, where the lucrative show is filmed, and he slammed the “politically correct crowd” for criticizing his comments.
“I don’t agree with quite a bit of stuff I read in magazine interviews or see on TV. In fact, come to think of it, I find a good bit of it offensive,” Jindal said. “But I also acknowledge that this is a free country and everyone is entitled to express their views. In fact, I remember when TV networks believed in the First Amendment. It is a messed up situation when Miley Cyrus gets a laugh, and Phil Robertson gets suspended.” [emphasis added]
Look, I’d be thrilled to see and hear less Miley Cyrus (and by “less” I mean none at all). But we’ve covered this issue before and it’s clear that Jindal doesn’t read S&R. Also, he apparently slept through PoliSci 101. See, Governor, the Phil Robertson case is not about the First Amendment. At. All. Let’s review.
The First Amendment is a specific codification forbidding the government from restricting the exercise of free speech. As … in the Williams/ESPN case, there’s no 1A implication because there’s no government action, and the Constitution has nothing to say about corporate suppression of speech (or the suppression of speech by anybody except the government…)
I realize this is pretty nuanced stuff by Louisiana public education standards, but you, Governor, were a top-flight student. And now you’re, you know, a governor. And you may want to be president. I don’t think it’s unreasonable for us to expect from you at least a basic grasp of what the motherfucking Constitution says.
Sorry. That was uncalled for. The point is this:
…neither the basic principle of freedom of speech or the First Amendment says the following:
you have the right to be heard (you have the right to speak, but nobody has an obligation to listen – the right to hear or not to hear is the unwritten right upon which it’s all based)
you have the right not to be disagreed with (nope, just the opposite – freedom to speak exposes you to other people’s right to speak and subjects you to the judgment of the community)
other people have an obligation to provide you a forum in which to speak (nope – you have a right to speak, but you have no right to speak in my yard)
others have an obligation to sponsor or finance your speech (no – choosing to advertise or otherwise patronize your speech is a function of the other party’s freedom and they have the right to turn the faucet on and off as they wish and for whatever reasons they wish)
you have a right to be free from the consequences of your speech (no – if you offend the community, they have the right to end their association with you; they have the right to speak freely to your sponsors, if you have any, and to ask said sponsor to cease supporting you)
you have the right to be opposed only by those whose values mirror yours (duh, no – people have the right to oppose you for the noblest of reasons or the most despicable; if they opt for the latter, then they become subject to the rights of others within the community to speak and act against them)
I can’t stress this enough, Bobby – this is not complicated. So please, stop acting like a cynical, grandstanding, pandering GOP yokelmonger and act like you have some damned sense.