As GLAAD reels under perfectly deserved public backlash

As GLAAD reels under perfectly deserved public backlash December 23, 2013

…for their  totalitarian hatred of free speech and thought, now might be a good time to revisit Jonathan Rauch’s Kindly Inquisitors, which foresaw all this crap 20 years ago.

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  • jroberts548

    Other than engage in more speech, what has glaad done to make themselves totalitarian enemies of free speech? Have they sued or threatened to sue Phil? Have they arrested him? Have they forceably prevented even one person from hearing Phil’s message?

    You have no free speech rights to be free from criticism. You have no free speech right to a tv show. In fact, glaad has the same free speech rights to pressure A&E as Phil’s supporters.

    • vagranttoad123

      Ugh, liberals have so many caveats to constitutional rights. Sorry other people’s freedom doesn’t mean anything to you. Its pretty scary when people think you are only free to do want they want you too, and you think that is acceptable.

      • jroberts548

        At no point in this whole thing have anyone’s constitutional rights been affected. Phil, A&E, glaad, and the supporters of Phil have done nothing but exercise their rights to free speech.

        • dee

          A person is not free to exercise their right to speech if he is threatened with the loss of employment for stating his beliefs. Glaad exerts pressure, with the threat of financial punishment if an entity fails to fall into line, and that’s exactly what happened here. Glaad’s version of “tolerance” is exactly the opposite. It’s a determined effort to silence anything other than unqualified support and approval for its agenda.

          • jroberts548

            1.) The Robertsons are already wealthy. As long as people keep buying duck calls, Phil is free o say whatever he wants.

            2.) If people stopped watching the show because of what Phil said, and the robertsons lost their duck dynasty income (which is a pittance to them), that would also mean they weren’t free to say whatever they want without losing their jobs. Does that mean that people who don’t watch duck dynasty are infringing on Phil’s free speech rights?

            3.) there are a lot of tv shows. If you watch tv 24 hours a day, you would still watch only a tiny sliver of the amount of tv that’s out there. Some people are going to lose their jobs because you’re not watching what they say. Why are you trying to destroy their free speech rights?

            Your right to free speech doesn’t create in anyone else a duty to listen to you, nor does it give them a duty to pay you to speak.

            • dee

              Instead of off point hypotheticals, why don’t we talk about what actually happened?

              Robertson, in his personal capacity, was interviewed. During the interview he was asked about his personal beliefs about homosexuality. He answered in a manner inconsistent with glaad’s beliefs. Glaad, which is a powerful and influential entity in the entertainment industry and whose mission it is to advocate for GLBT in the entertainment industry and “change the culture” (see their website) responded to Robertson’s statements, which had nothing to do with his employment, by going to his employer. As a result, Robertson is terminated from his show.

              1. Whether glaad’s coercion and A & E’s capitulation violated Robertson’s exercise of his right to free speech does not depend on whether Robertson is wealthy or not. Being terminated from employment as a punishment for stating one’s beliefs is punitive.

              2. If glaad’s members had said, “pfftt, Robertson is an idiot” and stopped watching his show that would be no big deal. This is not people deciding to boycott a show because they are offended by the star’s beliefs or behavior. This is a concerted effort by a powerful entity to punish a man for stating his personal beliefs. This is an employer caving to that entitiy and setting a precedent that a person can be fired for non job related and constitutionally protected speech just because glaad disagrees with him.

              Saying that A & E and glaad were wrong to punish Robertson for stating his personal beliefs is in not even close to saying anyone has a duty to listen to him or to pay him to speak. If you honestly can’t distinguish the two, well, good luck to you.

              • jroberts548

                The point of Phil’s wealth is that with or without duck dynasty, Phil is perfectly free to say whatever he wants.

                I don’t care if people think A&E is wrong for firing him. I don’t have a dog in that fight – I don’t watch A&E, I don’t watch duck dynasty, and I don’t care how much money a millionaire makes on a reality tv show. What does matter is people saying, foolishly at best, that A&E has somehow hurt Phil robertson’s right to be on a tv show.

                Phil’s speech is constitutionally protected. You know what else is constitutionally protected? A&E’s right to choose who it puts on the air.phol has a constitutional right to say what he wants. He has no more right to a tv show than I do.

                Saying A&E was wrong isn’t the same as saying they have a duty to Phil. Saying they violated his rights is.

                • dee

                  Yes, but A & E was perfectly happy to have Robertson on their show, even after his statements, until glaad’s interference. Glaad interfered to silence an opposing opinion. You refuse to acknowledge glaad’s role in this and the effect of a public person losing their employment for stating his personal religious beliefs. The main problem here is the chilling effect on others’ rights to free speech and the fact that that is glaad’s intent – to change the culture by silencing the people who disagree with them.

                  A & E and glaad have a duty or responsibility not to penalize someone for exercising their right to non-employment related free speech. That is completely different than saying A & E has a duty to employ him.

          • Kirt Higdon

            Good point! There are many restrictions on free speech which fall outside the area of government action and the Constitution, but are restrictions nonetheless. Some of them are quite justified, especially within a given venue. It’s much more dangerous ground to assert that someone should be boycotted and deprived of employment because of opinions he asserts in any venue at all. The danger is not to the Duck Dynasty, nor are they the real target. The objective is to first shut up the average man in the street, who is much more vulnerable, and then gradually to coerce him into asserting the politically approved opinions.

            Kirt Higdon

        • entonces_99

          No one’s constitutional rights were affected by the Hollywood Blacklist either, but we generally agree that it was a bad thing, and yes, one that threatened freedom of thought and expression.

    • Dave G.

      Well, based on the traditional liberal definitions,of free speech and liberty from the early days of gay rights, everything. Based on old fundamentalist conservative definitions, nothing at all.

      • jroberts548

        Tu quoque.

        • Dave G.

          Nope. I’m merely saying that if you’re content with that definition, then there’s nothing at all to do with free speech. That’s what the old time conservatives maintained. Calling for Beatles boycotts was in no way a violation of free speech. The Liberalism that helped bring forth the gay rights movement? Well it maintained a different promise of what free speech was all about (though in honesty, it was a promise more often disregarded than adhered to, even back in the day).

          • jroberts548

            Beatles boycotts? Are you sore over getting called a fascist in 1964? Have you been nursing a grudge for fifty years? More importantly, do you think your generations-long grudge somehow takes away A&E’s or glaad’s free speech rights?

            The conservatives who believed that calling for Beatles boycotts didn’t touch on free speech were right (assuming these same people weren’t also calling people before huac). The long haired hippies who hurt your feelings were wrong. Unless you’re still talking to the same hippies fifty years later, I don’t see how it matters.

            • Dave G.

              No, wasn’t alive then. Just miffed over the ones who said for so many decades ‘hey, adopt our values and we promise an enlightened society of tolerance, diversity and complete freedom to express yourselves’ now being the ones saying ‘celebrate LGBT buster, or we’ll nail you for the homopbobic bigot you are and run you out of town on a rail!’

    • david

      I’m glad there is discourse about this and GLAAD has the right to do it, just like the conservative activists did when calling for Martin Bashir to get fired over his Sarah Palin comments. But I really wish both liberals and conservatives would stop calling for people to “disappear” from public life and get fired just because these people make controversial statements. Someone needs to do a documentary called “American The Butthurt” because some people get so outraged so quickly it makes me wonder about their maturity level.

    • LSUStatman

      OK, but if we give A&E the free right to regulate their associations with those they disagree, why is GLAAD more than happy to deny those same rights to bakers and florists who, while gladly making birthday cakes and generic flower arrangements for gays, refuse to work on same-sex marriages?

      After all, the logic of “A&E is exercising its First Amendment rights” must mean that those same rights of free speech and peaceable assembly apply to smaller, less connected businesses. (And forget any more complaints about Citizens United, too.)

      Sauce for the goose. . .

      • jroberts548

        You’re right. An honest man who supported the right of bakers and photographers not to participate in gay weddings would also support the right of A&E not to align itself with Phil Robertson, and vice-versa (with one or two minor caveats that probably don’t matter for our purposes). Most people on either side of the photographer or of Phil aren’t people taking honest, principled positions on free speech. They’re apparently either not too bright, motivated by pure tribalism, or dishonest.

        • Alias Clio

          I agree with parts of your responses here, but I’m disturbed at the way you keep bringing up the particulars of this case rather than the principles involved. The fact that Phil Robertson is already rich, or that you don’t watch A&E, are not relevant to the issue of the way advocacy groups like GLAAD use their [questionable] moral authority to silence their opposition.

          You also seem to be confused about the *type* of moral authority GLAAD claims here. They have not precisely called for a boycott of A&E unless it fires Mr Robertson: a boycott is a democratic protest against a commercial or public institution, and I would no more object to that than I would object to southerners protesting the Dixie Chicks’ stance on the Iraq war by refusing to purchase their CDs or attend their concerts. But GLAAD is not interested in such democratic means of winning battles. Instead, it seeks to achieve its goals by judicial fiat, or in this case by pressuring Mr Robertson’s employers rather than by trying to win over public opinion. That is why GLAAD is wrong; that is why their method is hurting free speech, while merely organizing boycotts is a perfectly legitimate way of exerting pressure.

          • jroberts548

            Did glaad sue A&E? Did they threaten to sue? Do they have any sort of plausible argument that would give them standing or a claim against A&E? What, concretely, did glaad do to A&E that’s the same as “judicial fiat”? Or do you just literally not know what judges are?

            • Alias Clio

              Sigh. I used an inexact comparison, that’s all, or rather one that was applicable on one front and not another. I intended it to draw attention to the top-down, undemocratic way that organizations like GLAAD tend to operate. I still think that this is a reasonable and even compelling point against GLAAD’s tactics.

              GLAAD is attempting to use its very considerable lobbying power to compel Mr Robertson to leave the public square by demanding that his employers get rid of him. If this tactic were aimed at you by someone who disliked *your* opinions and wanted you fired for them, would you be so blind to its bullying aspect?

              What GLAAD’s power consists of I do not know, but it certainly seems able to strike fear into the heart of any organization which runs afoul of it. I suspect that, following the example of people like Dan Savage, they simply harass, dig up dirt on, attempt to embarrass, and generally make life miserable for such groups or individuals.

              • jroberts548

                If it were directed at me, I would view it as bullying. Hopefully, I would sill be honest enough not to stupidly believe that my rights had been violated.

                • said she

                  Bullied out of a job, and you’re rights aren’t violated?

                  • jroberts548

                    America has at will employment. I have no right to a job, and my employer has no duty not to fire me. If you can be fired for any reason or no reason, someone who gets you fired hasn’t harmed your rights.

              • McB

                GLAAD is an organization of multi-media fascist hit men/women. Phil was honest. I don’t agree with what he said but GLAAD is totally ruthless. One more dishonest, unethical hit group. You and I will be next…….

        • Nordog6561

          GLAAD is practicing the rhetorical version of “Shoot one, teach 100.”

          Not everyone has the wherewithal as the Robinson family.

          Most of us are like the woman who contributed to the Prop 8 initiative in California only to lose her job at El Coyote Restaurant in L.A. because the Lavender Mob descended on the place.

          Anyone who doesn’t think this whole thing is part of a large effort to marginalize and ultimately vilify Christians who hold that homosexual acts are illicit isn’t really paying attention imo.

          • jroberts548

            When glaad moves beyond the rhetorical version to something that actually infringes someone’s rights, let me know.

            • Nordog6561

              >>When glaad moves beyond the rhetorical version to somehow that actually infringes someone’s rights, let me know.<<

              Will do.

              When you see a mob intimidating someone and you disapprove, let me know.

              • jroberts548

                I disapprove of mob intimidation. You can disapprove of something without bringing rights into it for no reason.

                • Nordog6561

                  >>I disapprove of mob intimidation.<> You can disapprove of something without bringing rights into it for no reason. <<

                  Well, in this little back and forth between the two of us, it is you that brought up the issue of rights, "for no reason" I would guess you would say.

                  Still, are you claiming that individuals and groups have no right to be protected from mob intimidation?

                  If so, exactly by virtue of what do you disapprove of mob intimidation?

                  I'm also curious if your insistence that rights are not involved because the mob in question is not the government. As if only the government can violate rights.

                  You do realize that one need not be the government to violate rights, don't you?

                  • jroberts548

                    The whole discussion is about free speech rights. Shea said that glaad was undertaking a totalitarian attack on free speech. Unless Shea has highly idiosyncratic meanings of “totalitarian” and “free speech,” we’re talking about rights.

                    If we’re using mob intimidation loosely, then you can have intimidation that doesn’t infringe on anyone’s rights. As in the case of the waitress who donated to prop 8: the protest reaction was insane, petty, obnoxious, and disproportionate. I would not be friends with someone who thought protesting a waitress over a small donation like that was a good thing to do. However, the waitress and her critics both have free speech rights – the waitress has a right to engage in free speech by supporting prop 8, and her protestors have the free speech right to protest the restaurant. The waitress’ free speech right doesn’t include a right to be free from criticism, even insane and disproportionate criticism.

                    You do have rights as against people that aren’t the government. You do not have a right not to be criticized. And you definitely don’t have a right to make A&E put you on a tv show.

                    • Nordog6561

                      >>You do have rights as against people that aren’t the government. You do not have a right not to be criticized. And you definitely don’t have a right to make A&E put you on a tv show. <<

                      I'm not entirely sure what that first sentence means, but I suspect I'm in agreement with what you intend with it much as I am in agreement with the two sentences that follow.

                      I do not agree with anyone who would claim that mob intimidation is not a growing problem.

                      This is about much more than simply GLAAD, A&E, and the Robertson family.

                      An interesting take is the bit from The Atlantic.


  • SteveP

    It is doubtful any GLAAD officer or member will repent of their ugly and hateful words even if rationally pointed out – as P. Robertson stated we are dealing with irrational people, irrational in considering their pelvic region.

  • Stu

    Here is the take away from those concerned about “free speech”. A&E can do what it wants here and just like Phil Robertson they will either suffer or prosper by their actions.

    But, even so we should be concerned. Via the Constitution, there are safeguards in place to help ensure that our government doesn’t stifle our ability to exercise those rights. But what is in place to one day stop an ever growing Big Business from shutting down our ability to do speak out against them? I don’t have the answer for that and I’m not saying it is a major fear yet but it is something to think about.

    Yet another factor in favor of supporting subsidiarity in all things to include your local businesses.

    And GLAAD can go to the Devil.

    • The Deuce

      Indeed. Consider also the way that Big Business is increasingly merging with Big Government into a single entity. While *nominally* they are separate entities and the government doesn’t own the means of production, in reality they do. Increasingly, the government will be able to crack down on speech it doesn’t like by using big businesses as its proxies, while claiming not to be violating the 1st Amendment because the censors are nominally “private entities.”

      • Alma Peregrina

        Both Stu and the Deuce opened to me a new (and frightening) perspective about the future that I never thought of. Well done, sirs, well done.

        • Alias Clio

          I’ve been worried about this possibility for some time myself.

  • Eve Fisher

    Interesting. So Big Business should not have the right to control their employees’ speech (which I agree with), especially when it interferes with their employees’ religious freedom. But Big Business does have the right to control their employees’ birth control practices, even when it interferes with their employees’ religious freedom. Hmm.

    • Joe

      So what businesses are preventing their employees from buying their own b.c.? And what secret police are they employing to do this?

  • BetsyRheaume

    I pointed out how debase our culture is because it gives Miley Cyrus a pass for her lewd behavior, yet there is outrage over the words spoken by Phil Robertson. My brother in law, who is gay, told me I was a bigot, a hater and un-Christ-like.To avoid a family feud, I’ve been silenced, which I’m sure makes GLAAD very glad.

    • LSpinelli

      The gay lifestyle, even within a stable partnership (in most cases), is not what GLAAD wants you to believe. It’s not monogamy and raising a family. It’s swinging, multiple partners (even within the “marriage”), and a host of other behavior that I’ll refrain from typing.

      Before someone says, did you get that information from one of those “bigoted” Christian sites like Focus on the Family…I didn’t. I have a family member who is gay and engaging in very risky behavior, to put it mildly. Yet I’d be called a bigot and a hater if I told them that they might DIE if they keep up what they’re doing.

      • Ronald King

        Would you cite statistics and references for your first paragraph please.

        • LSpinelli

          Like I said. First hand experience.

          • Ronald King

            It seems that you are making generalizations from your limited experience.

            • LSpinelli

              It’s the gay person I mentioned and a friend of theirs, who is in a “committed partnership”, but photographs (and dates/fill in the blanks) young men that are barely legal age. The guy is in his 40s. I’ve been told this is common in their circle and the gay community at large.

              Does that sound predatory to you, despite the “age of consent”? It does to me. And before you jump down my throat, it’s wrong if gay or straight people (e. g. Terry Richardson) engage in this kind of behavior.

        • The gay lifestyle, even within a stable partnership (in most cases), is not what GLAAD wants you to believe. It’s not monogamy and raising a family. It’s swinging, multiple partners (even within the “marriage”), and a host of other behavior that I’ll refrain from typing.

          Sayeth Ronald: “Would you cite statistics and references for your first paragraph please.”

          Let’s start here.

          28% of homosexual men had more than 1000 partners: “Bell and Weinberg reported evidence of widespread sexual compulsion among homosexual men. 83% of the homosexual men surveyed estimated they had had sex with 50 or more partners in their lifetime, 43% estimated they had sex with 500 or more partners; 28% with 1,000 or more partners. Bell and Weinberg p 308.”

          79% of homosexual men say over half of sex partners are strangers: “The survey showed 79% of the respondents saying that over half of their sexual partners were strangers. Seventy percent said that over half of their sexual partners were people with whom they had sex only once. Bell and Weinberg pp.308-309.”

          Modal range for homosexual sex partners 101-500: “In their study of the sexual profiles of 2,583 older homosexuals published in Journal of Sex Research, Paul Van de Ven et al. found that “the modal range for number of sexual partners ever [of homosexuals] was 101–500.” In addition, 10.2 percent to 15.7 percent had between 501 and 1000 partners. A further 10.2 percent to 15.7 percent reported having had more than 1000 lifetime sexual partners. Paul Van de Ven et al., “A Comparative Demographic and Sexual Profile of Older Homosexually Active Men,” Journal of Sex Research 34 (1997): 354.”

          And on the list goes.

          • And before my sources are questioned:

            Given the importance of partnership patterns to HIV transmission, we should look at what we know about such patterns amongst MSM in the UK. The 2007 Gay Men’s Sex Survey states: ‘As every year, respondents were very varied in their number of sexual partners. Among the men who had a male sex partner in the last year, 21.4% indicated they had one male partner only; 27.6% had two, three or four male partners; 24.4% had between five and twelve male partners; 13.4% had between thirteen and 29 male partners; and the remaining 13.4% had thirty or more male partners in the last year’. 17


            In the past year. Think about that.

            • Ronald King

              Thanks for the references. There certainly are a lot of suffering people out there

              • LSpinelli

                My gay family member, sadly, passed the 50+ partner mark, and he’s only in his early 20s.

                (I found this out from a concerned friend who he confided in.)

                Since I can’t convince him that this lifestyle is wrecking him spiritually and emotionally, all I can do is pray for him.

                • Ronald King

                  Very sad indeed. I’ve known a lot of people with different addictions. Geneticists discovered a mutation in the dopamine2 receptor2 pathway which theoretically contributes to lower uptake of dopamine in social situations resulting in being easily bored and consequently influences the drive to search for more of whatever it is which may increase a sense of fulfillment. This was labeled as reward deficiency syndrome.

              • Yeah, ‘suffering people’. Funny how GLAAD is so silent about their ‘suffering’, isn’t it? Do you think they’d even define it as suffering?

                • Ronald King

                  People express their suffering in different ways. Sometimes it is expressed as coming across as callous and crude.

                  • People express their suffering in different ways. Sometimes it is expressed as coming across as callous and crude.

                    What a sad game you play. Someone mentions that LGBT culture is quite rotten, you demand statistics. Statistics are provided, you regard them all as victims. It’s pointed out that ‘GLAAD’ cares nothing about these ‘victims’, you complain about callousness and crudeness.

                    You know what was callous? Defending gay bathhouse culture at the height of the AIDS epidemic.

                    The biggest abusers of gay people are LGBT groups like GLAAD. They deserve our condemnation, and not our respect.

                    • Ronald King

                      Not a game

          • Sus_1

            We live in a promiscuous society. There are many heterosexuals living slutty lives too.

            • Alright: Provide the stats for that claim.

              Ronald King demanded them, and I provided. Let’s see you do it. Because I know of some of the stats on heterosexual sluttiness. Sexually active gay males make them look like puritans statistically.

              • Sus_1

                Seriously? You need statistics that show that heterosexuals can be slutty? LOL

                • You need statistics that show that heterosexuals can be slutty? LOL

                  Translation: “The only available data on heterosexual sluttiness makes LGBT culture look worse, so I can’t cite that. I better bluff!”

                  Nice try though. LOL!

                  • LSpinelli

                    Howzabout anyone who’s “slutty” finds the graces that are available to them in the Church, rather than playing the who’s sluttier game?

    • The original Mr. X

      Never mind Miley Cyrus — I’ve never seen any major backlash at Peter Singer’s defence of infanticide.

  • Ronald King

    What’s the problem? Robertson expressed his beliefs, GLAAD expressed their beliefs, A&E responded with what they thought was in their best interest and everybody continues to argue over who is right. Where love is lacking chaos reigns.

  • Nordog6561

    Is it still okay to say that sex with animals is bad?
    Staying on the rights side of History requires so many updates.

  • So much happening in the Duck Dynasty flap. below are some headlines you may have missed! @Alessandra_Ref

    A&E sad! Discovers fake redneks MUCH better than real gays and lesbians,
    bis, trans, zoophiles, pedophiles, and adulterers!

    Gaystapo wants A&E to air PSAs to teach Phil the gay orifice is better than
    the V-one! #DuckDynasty Charlie Sheen approves: Finally decency!

    Men With Sheep Anti-Defamation league complains Phil used “vile and extreme” stereotypes against them in GQ! #DuckDynasty

    Men With Sheep Anti-Defamation league: “Abomination” in the Bible wasn’t referring to them! Phil is a bigot! #DuckDynasty

    Men With Sheep Anti-Defamation league demands new A&E PSA: Jesus never said anything against men with sheep! #DuckDynasty

    Men With Sheep Anti-Defamation league riled with Phil’s bigotry against them! Where’s that Christian tolerance, they ask

    Adulterers Anti-Defamation league wants dialogue with Phil, showing they’re
    raising families, so that makes it all OK! #DuckDynasty

    Men With Sheep Anti-Defamation league also wants dialogue with Phil, showing
    they’re raising families, so it’s all OK! #DuckDynasty

    Terrorists’ Anti-Defamation League complains lumped with all the perverts in GQ! We’re not into those gay orifices! #DuckDynasty

    Lastly, Men With Sheep Anti-Defamation league vows to take A&E to task on
    their new policy of “tolerance+acceptance among all people”!