Phil speaks about not speaking.
The Phil farce as I understand the situation: a TV star named Phil Robertson said something about “homosexuals” – ooh, the bugaboo of the nation. He gave an interview to a magazine, GQ, that has been joked about for years as “Gay Quarterly.” He said his belief is that gay men are “illogical” and that gay sex “morphs” into “bestiality” and having sex with “woman after woman after woman with men.” The magazine was published to the public. Clearly, Phil spoke his mind. That is his right to do so. Then, some gay group named “GLAAD” and probably others complained to Phil’s employer about the tenor of his remarks. A&E then “suspended” Phil’s show pending something. And then the fluff hit the fan. For Phil’s “free speech” is said to be compromised, prevented, prohibited, denied – because a gay group complained. How dare they!
And now Phil is on every TV show, radio show, website and in the printed press – speaking about how he cannot speak. And this is “logical”? A man who can’t speak speaks about it everywhere, while at the very same time he’s being prevented from speaking. Has Groucho Marx rewritten Duck Soup into a modern comedy?
Of course, everyone and their mother has opined about Phil’s opinion. So, Phil’s opinion has been broadcast to the moon and back – while it is bandied about that his right to freely speak is being unconscionably prohibited and his opinion squashed. Huh? It’s rather hard for me to contemplate how a man speaking everywhere while still others spread his opinions is being “denied” his right to speak. How is it remotely possible for a man who is speaking everywhere is being denied his right to speak is simply beyond my ability to grasp.
Now, our Right in this nation to speak is called the “marketplace of ideas.” One person speaks, then others speak, and then still others – on and on – everyone speaking. And the ONLY force that can prohibit this speaking is the government. ONLY the federal government can prohibit speech – except, well, it can’t for there’s a First Amendment which says that the government can’t prevent us from speaking. Has the federal government uttered a peep in this farce? Nope. From what I can tell no person or agency of the federal government has said a word. Not one citizen with an opinion on the matter of Phil speaking has been prevented from speaking. Phil has been served with no legal papers telling him not to speak. No prosecutor or court or lawyer or anyone in government has told Phil not to speak. And again, Phil is speaking so much about this grievous denial of his right to speak that the poor man must be hoarse by now. Perhaps some duck soup would soothe his throat.
Ah, but you see, the problem isn’t really that Phil is being denied his free speech right to speak. The problem is really that a “homosexual” group spoke to Phil’s employer. I’ve yet to see what GLAAD said – no one seems to have sought out what they said. Now, GLAAD of course, is part of the “homosexual lobby” – which is this amorphous force out to destroy the world. So, after GLAAD spoke to the network A&E that Phil’s show is on – A&E decided to suspend Phil from his job. It seems well within the right of a TV network to pull a show. No one has remotely complained about a show being canceled before – oh, perhaps a few fans call and say “We love that show!” – so some network makes a decision to renew or not renew a TV show. I don’t watch TV so I don’t really pay attention to the endless coming and going of TV shows. From what I understand Phil doesn’t exactly own his show and is under contract to A&E as an employee. A company seems to have the right to fire or suspend an employee for many reasons.
I of course have no earthly clue what the employee contract between Phil and A&E entails, what provisions, or anything else about what Phil may or may not do to keep his lucrative employment. I would suppose that Phil went to A&E and peddled his idea of a show – and A&E liked it – and now A&E suspended it. It seems no one but Phil and A&E are privy to the details of Phil’s employment contract.
It’s also true that any employee may be fired for “sexual orientation.” In fact, John Boehner, the Speaker of the House of Representatives has opined that such protections are not needed. So, A&E – a heterosexual filled company suspended a heterosexual – for could very clearly be called “sexual orientation.” Or a discussion of it. And poor Phil – surely an astute man – went to a gay magazine and opined that gays are sinners and illogical and morph into bestiality and woman after woman after woman. People have said more and worse things about homosexuals than this.
In fact in my forty years of adulthood – it has been astounding what I’ve heard people say – right to my face. Even more astounding, within my lifetime gay men were clearly prohibited by government from speaking. We couldn’t freely assemble without fear of a police raid. Our magazines were seized and destroyed by the federal government. Our right to smooch was prohibited. Our right to live together was prohibited. Indeed so severe and huge was the government against gay guys that every single last issue about it has had to be brought to the Supreme Court to be decided if the federal or state governments or their agencies had the right under various Constitutional Amendments to prohibit gay men from exercising rights. And in each of these cases many people opined that the Federal Government did indeed have the right to prohibit the free speech, free actions, free assembly free anything of gay men. Indeed, Justice Antonin Scalia on the court currently has clearly stated gay men have no such constitutional rights as Phil enjoys. And no heterosexual says a damn word about our rights being squashed, and many want to join the squashing anew. In several of the states we can’t ever freely say “I do” without fits of screaming by those who think like Phil.
And so, to conclude, there is NO free speech issue here – Phil is free to speak, as he will continue to do so. He’s free to call us all sorts of names. He might even yell “God Hates Fags” at the beginning and end of each speaking session – his right to do so clearly protected by the Supreme Court’s 8-1 decision that anything might be said against “homosexuals” up to and including genocide. That Phil is being denied his right to speak is just absurd. Speak, sir, speak until you are hoarse. But no one has the “right” to a TV show or employment of any kind. So, you spoke, your employer heard complaints, and they decided to suspend you. And it has ZERO to do with “Free Speech” – to argue other wise is frankly, idiotic. Ah, but gay men? Our right to speak is very questionable. Shush gay men, heterosexuals are opining about you – you have no right to question it. Yah, right.
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