Duck You, And The Horse You Rode In On

Between 1971 to 1979, "All In The Family", on CBS, reigned supreme as the top rated teision sitcom. For the first five of those years, it was the Nielson top rated television program...The record of 5 consecutive years as the most watched television show in America stood until "American Idol" came along.....

Archie Bunker, the patriarchal everyman, was the 'lovable' bigot, who, on air, would express his prejudice and disdain for literally everything/everyone that wasn't white, Protestant, heterosexual, conservative, and Republican......

Now comes A&E's "Duck Dynasty" a hugely popular reality show featuring a family of duck hunters headed by Phil Roberston, a bigot who recently expressed his prejudice and disdain regarding African Americans and gay people during an interview for Esquire magazine....

His expressions and utterances got him suspended from the program which resulted in such a fire storm of push back and controversy that A&E reversed its decision, lifted the suspension and reinstated Robertston....

Another blogger here has delved into the question and merits of A&E's move to suspend Robertston and the push back re the comments he made during the magazine interview...Jonathan Wolfman and his commentors did an admirable job of dealing with the comments, the push back and A&E's initial response ....

My purpose here is to compare and contrast two programs that have/had popular appeal with what are ostensibly similar characteristics being displayed by the central characters...And, the impact of the depictions....

Archie Bunker, the erstwhile everyman bigot in "All in the Family", was the embodiment of the ignorance and stupidity that is at the foundation of the bigotry he espoused and the prejudice he clung to....His utterances and assertions were fraught with stereotypical fallacies, widely held falsehoods, and irrational beliefs....

Archie Bunker was characterized and depicted as simply being wrong and either too ignorant or to stupid to know any better...The push back was contained within the cotent of each epsode, expressed in some manner by one or more of the several members of the ensemble cast of supporting characters....

The message was clear: When Archie Bunker expressed racist, sexist, homophobic or religiously intolerant views, everybody knew he was wrong, even if he didn't...
His posture and perspective on such matters were given very little credibility, if any at all.....

Phil Robertston, the "Duck Dynasty" patriarch and central character, will receive no on air push back and the facts of his off screen support comes from politically connected quarters and his reinstatement will give him and his remarks unearned and undeserved credibility...

There are those who believe that he has a 1st Amendment right to freedom of speech regardless of the nature of his expressions and there are those who believe he has that right because, they believe such expressions and utterances to be correct....

By acting to suspend and then moving to reinstate Robertston due to business and political expediency, A&E's behavior might well result in a patently abhorrent point of view gaining credibility and acceptance...Their actions have already resulted in a broader range of exposure for the show....

In fact, the cliche regarding negative publicity being better than no publicity, will work to the benefit of those who stand to profit from the wider audience of people who are now curious about a program they would not have been aware of otherwise....

Views: 95

Comment by nerd cred on December 29, 2013 at 12:46pm

I never did understand what was so "lovable" about Archie Bunker. I thought he was an idiot. As my niece used to call her little brother, a pig and a fool. ("Joe, you are a pig and a fool," would say the 5 year-old Katie who now has a wife and a couple of kids, so that's sort of appropriate.)

Seems the same for this other guy, though I've never seen the show. And never will, I'm sure.

Of course they have the freedom to say what they want, a freedom the government can't and hasn't limited. As an American you're free as can be to be a pig and a fool. Loud and strong. And if Fox can be Faux nooze, A&E can employ this fool.

And Ron can say duck him and the horse he rode in on. And I being less nice can say fuck him, poor horse.

And there are people who will buy into it. And sunshine remains the best disinfectant. His type will go on and on and they will never entirely die off but they will lose power. We'll keep an eye on them.

Comment by Ron Powell on December 29, 2013 at 1:48pm
The fact that these programs/characters are/were exceedingly popular is quite telling and troubling re the mindset and mentality of a significant number of white Americans.

I can say white Americans because no program that would appeal to a similar percentage of black or brown people could appeal to enough white people to be a consistent ratings and marketing success over a several year stretch.....

The Cosby Show might be cited as the exception to this assertion. However, that show was actually more popular amongst white viewers than black viewers......

Perhaps this was so because the program didn't seem to be "real" enough to many black Americans.....

Thanks for the comment NC....
Comment by nerd cred on December 29, 2013 at 1:59pm

If it helps, remember it doesn't take that many viewers to make a "hit" these days and 2) some people watch to ridicule, I'm sure. Not everyone approves and agrees. But we will always have assholes. Just gotta keep an eye on them...

Comment by Ron Powell on December 29, 2013 at 2:45pm
Somewhere in this world, enough Duck Dynasty and even Archie Bunker paraphernalia is being sold to make keeping the stuff in stock profitable for some retailers....T shirts and CDs are not purchased for the purpose of ridiculing the product or the program....
Comment by Ron Powell on December 29, 2013 at 3:01pm
When the nit wits, dim wits, and half wits hook up with the wing nuts, nut jobs, and cork screws, it'll take more than the revenge of the nerds to keep them in check....They're already in control of the House of Representatives.....
Comment by Ron Powell on December 29, 2013 at 3:08pm
When the nit wits, dim wits, and half wits hook up with the wing nuts, zag nuts, nut jobgs, and cork screws, it'll take more than the revenge of the nerds to keep them in check....They're already in control of the House of Representatives.....
Comment by Arthur James on December 29, 2013 at 3:15pm

`

I go ride in the countryside.

I recall 69-70's jungle monsoon.

In USA I search fields for a:

`

Cute Pot Bellied Pig That oinks.

`

I buy Her Alpaca pink dyed soft

`

bunny slippers

I wear top hat

Ron Powell?

Wear tails

and play

piano?

Folk boggie

Capital 

Hill

big goon

ill` loon

ill ` quack

wacky`ill

wastrel` ill

debased` ill

depraves `ill

human ` waste

Comment by nerd cred on December 29, 2013 at 7:37pm

Ron, and the west is full of nuts with private armories, huge stashes of armaments, manufacturers growing richer and more powerful with each passing massacre and it's more and more impossible to control it legally. I can't honestly say we've nothing to fear but there is still good.

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