It’s the quote that seems to have millions of duck calls crying out.
Incase you haven’t heard, Duck Dynasty patriarch Phil Robertson had an interview with GQ, where he has made what some people are calling “offensive and controversial quotes”.
The quotes are as follows:
When asked about what is sinful: "Start with homosexual behavior and just morph out from there — bestiality, sleeping around with this woman and that woman and that woman and those men."
When asked to elaborate (he paraphrased Corinthians): "Don’t be deceived. Neither the adulterers, the idolaters, the male prostitutes, the homosexual offenders, the greedy, the drunkards, the slanderers, the swindlers — they won’t inherit the kingdom of God," he warned. "Don’t deceive yourself. It’s not right."
Then he gave his honest opinion: "It seems to me, a vagina — as a man — would be more desirable than a man’s anus," he explained. "That’s just me. I’m just thinking, ‘There’s more there! She’s got more to offer.’ I mean, come on, dudes! You know what I’m saying? But hey, sin: It’s not logical, my man. It’s just not logical."
GLAAD jumped on the interview, calling for A&E to fire Robertson and condemn his opinions.
A&E spent no time, and have suspended the patriarch from future episodes of their ONLY hit show.
So how does this come back to journalism? Well, Mr. Phil Robertson has never been shy about his views. This is the same man who recently opened up on “I Am Second,” about his drug taking, alcohol abusing, womanizing days and how he was able to set himself straight through the Church and The Bible. This is the man who, on Duck Dynasty, tried to woo his wife into bed citing Scripture. This is the same man who has made KNOWN that he is a God-Fearing Christian and that he follows the Word of God.
Which is how I came to this conclusion: responsible journalism is quickly coming to an end.
I believe GQ baited Robertson with those questions, knowing that he would say exactly what he believes. That it would be controversial.
Knowing that it would be so controversial, it would sell magazines.
As anyone who has worked in the print industry knows, selling magazines is the main goal. As online news and blogs start taking their market share, glossies have been trying to count their losses and try new tactics in order to get copies off the shelf.
They’ve thrown away real stories, for shock value.
The biggest example of this comes back to Rolling Stone’s cover story of Tsarnev - with a close up picture that made him look more like a rock star than someone who killed four people and terrorized a city. Whether or not people agreed with the article, they flocked to get a copy of the “controversial” magazine.
Rolling Stone posted a record number of copies sold of that particular issue.
I, in no way, agree with Mr. Phil Roberston’s views, but many people do. Are they bad people for subscribing to a certain set of beliefs, and sticking to them? I don’t think so. My grandparents are staunch Roman Catholics, and I have heard the same thing from them many times - “Judge the Sin, Not the Sinner”.
Wait, isn’t that exactly what Mr. Robertson said momentarily after GLAAD condemned him?
"My mission today is to go forth and tell people about why I follow Christ and also what the Bible teaches, and part of that teaching is that women and men are meant to be together. However, I would never treat anyone with disrespect just because they are different from me. We are all created by the Almighty and like Him, I love all of humanity. We would all be better off if we loved God and loved each other."
But, the damage had already been done.
In a world where mainstream views seem to be the only views that can be talked about, Robertson had caught himself up in a media plan that he couldn’t even see coming.
While GQ profits from web hits and copies sold, Mr. Robertson might be left wondering what just happened. After all, he was answering the questions a sales person, disguised as a journalist, was asking him.
I would ask for the duck calls to ring out today, to mark the end of responsible journalism, and to ring in a new day - where selling magazines is more important that sharing a persons story. Where causing controversy is more important than educating and teaching each other about things we don’t know about.
An appropriate response should have been, to cite The Big Lebowski: "Yeah, well, you know, that’s just, like, your opinion, man."
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal also added his voice. “Phil Robertson and his family are great citizens of the State of Louisiana. The politically correct crowd is tolerant of all viewpoints, except those they disagree with. I don’t agree with quite a bit of stuff I read in magazine interviews or see on TV,” Jindal said in a statement reported on the Fox News website. “In fact, come to think of it, I find a good bit of it offensive. 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.” - http://tv.yahoo.com/news/duck-dynasty-star-suspended-anti-gay-comments-004857988.html?soc_src=mediacontentstory
Sunday, June 30th, marked the last day of the One Run for Boston relay. The relay had started 3 weeks ago in LA and had made its way through 14 states and was making it’s final way to Boston.
I had the amazing chance to have been part of this experience. Having been just a few blocks…
From my other blog… but I just wanted to share my experience with the rest of you over here, in case you aren’t following my other blog
This Sunday I will be participating in the New England Yogathon, put on by Yoga Reaches Out. Proceeds from this will go to benefit Boston Children’s Hospital (where children victims of the Boston Marathon bombings were taken and are recovering), Children’s Tumor Fund and other healing through yoga programs.
Let’s help each other heal. If you have a dollar or two and would like to donate, please follow the link. It would mean the world to me.
Spartan Race was really the turning point for me. It was hard, it forced me to confront failure head on and got me moving. That was the point of creating this blog -was to document my struggles and triumphs and hopefully get a couple more people to get off the couch.
Are you ready to get off the…
Just do it! If you are on the fence… jump off and go do this! I
Dear Ann Coulter of the Day: After Ann Coulter referred to President Obama as a retard in a tweet during Monday night’s presidential debate, Special Olympics athlete and global messenger John Franklin Stephens penned her this open letter:Dear Ann Coulter,
Come on Ms. Coulter, you aren’t dumb and you aren’t shallow. So why are you continually using a word like the R-word as an insult?
I’m a 30 year old man with Down syndrome who has struggled with the public’s perception that an intellectual disability means that I am dumb and shallow. I am not either of those things, but I do process information more slowly than the rest of you. In fact it has taken me all day to figure out how to respond to your use of the R-word last night.
I thought first of asking whether you meant to describe the President as someone who was bullied as a child by people like you, but rose above it to find a way to succeed in life as many of my fellow Special Olympians have.
Then I wondered if you meant to describe him as someone who has to struggle to be thoughtful about everything he says, as everyone else races from one snarkey sound bite to the next.
Finally, I wondered if you meant to degrade him as someone who is likely to receive bad health care, live in low grade housing with very little income and still manages to see life as a wonderful gift.
Because, Ms. Coulter, that is who we are – and much, much more.
After I saw your tweet, I realized you just wanted to belittle the President by linking him to people like me. You assumed that people would understand and accept that being linked to someone like me is an insult and you assumed you could get away with it and still appear on TV.
I have to wonder if you considered other hateful words but recoiled from the backlash.
Well, Ms. Coulter, you, and society, need to learn that being compared to people like me should be considered a badge of honor.
No one overcomes more than we do and still loves life so much.
Come join us someday at Special Olympics. See if you can walk away with your heart unchanged.
A friend you haven’t made yet, John Franklin Stephens Global Messenger Special Olympics Virginia
Libya has been to hell and back and has been thrust in front of the scrutinizing eyes of the international media again. Last year, it was because of the Arab Spring, which successfully toppled Ghadaffi. The world stood behind Libya.
Now, we shame them.
We shame them, because of some rich mans hate.
In case you haven’t heard already, Mr. Sam Bacile created this horribly offensive movie, depicting the Prophet Mohammed. Two strikes. However, the sickening part of this, is that he KNEW what he was doing. According to NPR, he was warned that making this video would most likely incite violence. Ignoring that advice, because he wanted to “show people the truth about Mohammed and Islam”, he went ahead and apparently got $5 million dollars to make a feature film that looks like it was created in a high school auditorium with a green screen.
Riots happened in Egypt yesterday. Today, the American ambassador to Libya was killed.
What really strikes me though, as more information comes out, is a quote that Mr. Bacile gave to the Wall Street Journal before he went into hiding.
"Islam is the cancer".
No, Mr. Bacile. Islam is not the cancer. Hate is.
The blind hate that makes you disregard basic human dignity and respect. It is taking all that I have to not rip you to shreds in this post. Why? Because I believe that everyone has the right to voice their opinion - regardless of whether I think it’s true or not. Everyone has the right to their own religion, their own political view point, the right to chose who they love, and most importantly, the right to live freely regardless of any of the aforementioned things.
You violated that.
As an American, you and I both have these liberties protected, so much so that our own countrymen have been fighting and dying for over a decade. Is this how you thank those who have given their lives protecting your right to free speech? By spreading hate?
Come out of hiding Mr. Bacile, because while you might have the right to your own opinion, you must understand that every action has a reaction. You need to take responsibility for your actions.
Hate is the cancer that has spread everywhere. It grows in various pockets around the globe, and it spreads in various ways - through religion, politics and gossip. Once this cancer grows, it grows at an alarming rate, without regard to boarders, time zones or education level.
It’s nearly impossible to stop. But there is a small glimmer of hope for a cure.
Why? Libyan’s are out on the street this evening, holding up signs saying “This is not representative of Libya or Islam” and “Thugs and Killers don’t represent Benghazi or Islam”. The world needs to give itself a big hug.
Yes, we don’t always get along and yes, we believe in different things, but one thing is always constant - we are all humans. No one wants to live in a world full of fear every day. It’s exhausting. We’ve been doing it for so long, that we think that this is the way the world has to be. But it doesn’t have to be.
So, Mr. Bacile. Please show your face. I want to know - why do you want to be scared every day of your life, because of your deep hate for Islam? You are entitled to your own beliefs and can practice freely in the U.S., but I also have the right to ask you “Why”.
I want to live in peace. I don’t want to live in a world of hate. But that’s just a dream I guess, until the Bacile’s of the world stop spreading blind hatred of those who are different from them.
Bacile had a $5 million budget and was warned his film portraying the prophet could incite violence.
UPDATE: The Hollywood Reporter has some important context about that $5 million figure thrown out by Bacile:
“Though Bacile claims he spent $5 million on the movie — a figure that would put the film’s on par with the Toronto festival entrant Julianne Moore-starrer What Maisie Knew — the 13 minutes of footage available online look unprofessional. Furthermore, Bacile has virtually no footprint in the Hollywood community. The writer-director-producer has no agent listed on IMDBPro and no credits on any film or TV production.”
What’s safe to say, now, is that we should look at those claims with a great deal of skepticism.
Islam is not the cancer - hate is.
Mr. Sam Bacile, I could stoop down to your level and insult you. But no. I’m not, because I am a member of the global community who wants to see peace. The US has spent more than a decade overseas fighting for your right to free speech and religion - and this is how you thank them? By spreading hate?
You knew what you were doing. You chose to do it. You are free to express your opinions. Just remember, there are consequences for everything. You can’t go into hiding. Too many have fought and died to protect your right to express your hateful words.
I could go on and rip you and your religion to shreds, but I won’t. Why? Because I’m an Arab American. I want peace. I want people to finally realize that it’s ok for people to have difference view points/religions/political leanings. Just don’t spread hate - because in the end, what makes you any better than anyone else?