America can thank A&E for the 2013 holiday blitz surrounding “Duck Dynasty.” Seems everyone is heard repeating, “Hands off the duck men!”
The cultural left has tried for decades to silence middle America under the guise of political correctness. Finally, they get a show and a main character they can relate to — and the cultural left attacks it unmercifully. In this case the left has turned its venom on Phil Robertson. They say, “He can’t have audience of 14 million and say these things.”
The irony is that A&E, the network that produced “Growing Up Gotti,”stepped into the great American divide. The Robertson family represents values that are mirrored by millions of Americans. Can A&E get real with America and be honest?
A&E can cry ignorance all they want but the public is seeing through the noise. The “Duck Dynasty” fan base continues to cry foul on Twittter and Facebook. The fans even got Cracker Barrel to return Duck Dynasty merchandise to the shelf. A&E’s executives and producers had to have known about the Robertson’s faith. A&E’s publicists had to have known about the GQ interview and now we know that the interview happened over three months ago.
The Robertsons pray after every meal on the show and end the prayer with, “In Jesus’ name, Amen.” A&E tried editing out “in Jesus name” but found out the audience actually loved it. Hmm? A&E even produced many of their shows at the church.
How may countless hours have A&E producers spent with the Robertsons? Yet they act as if they didn’t know anything. Two of the last Christmas shows were done at the church.
The Robertsons have been upfront with their faith. Can A&E really claim ignorance when a simple Google search would have clearly explained their faith? The fact is, A&E figured out what America really wants and was afraid to say it: faith, family and yes — ducks.
Here are some reasons why Americans are in love with the Robertson family:
- The Robertsons represent simple values of faith, family, and a normalcy that many Americans long for after a long period of uncertainly. In fact, millions of Evangelical Americans are a built-in audience for A&E and the Robertsons’ simple message has skyrocketed them to the No. 1 phenomena cable show with over 14 million viewers. It is as if America was just waiting for something better than all the rest being offered in the media.
- Phil Robertson doesn’t preach to America — he lives it. He is comfortable in his own skin. Yes, there are some in America who aren’t comfortable with the word sin; however, it seems that many are. Finally there is someone on television who has stayed married to the woman he loves through good times and bad and is someone who just lives his life and is, “happy, happy, happy.”
- Phil Robertson never says, I am better than you. He has never said that he hates this group or that group. Phil lives a humble life and knows what it means to be poor. He has openly admitted to his own issues of living through the 60s with “Sex, Drugs and Alcohol.” In this YouTube video Phil Robertson and members of his family candidly discuss their own struggles of who they are today.
- Willie Robertson’s faith is a big part of his life and is seen in the show. Willie has not hidden his roots. Willie ends each show with a simple lesson of family and values just after Phil’s prayer of thanksgiving. In this YouTube video, Willie Robertson openly discusses the network and how his faith was formed speaking at Harding University.
- The Robertsons’ lives show how they love their neighbors. We see them in the show living in their community. Suddenly, the charges of racism are being hurled — maybe because the earlier charge didn’t “stick.” Many don’t even know that Willie and Corrie Robertson have an adopted son, “Lil Wil” who is African-American and is sometimes seen on the show. He was seen in the picture of the family response standing next to Si and Willie.
Jody Venkatesan is an expert in information systems processes and business applications, and has led IT projects to the Army, the Treasury, and for Homeland Security among others. He was a candidate for the Maryland state Senate in 2010.
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By Jody Venkatesan