When GQ magazine released its article about Phil Robertson, a media frenzy ensued around the comments made by the man who created Duck Commander and what it would mean to A&E’s hit series "Duck Dynasty."
On Thursday I wrote about how the entire contrived "reality" show, and its current woes, expose a larger issue in TV land. In the commentary, I explained the gamble in propping up people to the point of stardom. When done right, millions of dollars are the windfall from the popularity. However, our society’s propensity to watch someone falter upon a misstep can cause the program to crash, and everything else around it to falter.
Beyond GQ’s move at a money grab that will surely come when the article hits newsstands, the coverage of the issue will garner many more millions for thousands of media outlets as the show’s 14 million fans and others track the fallout.
We’ve heard comments from A&E, and we’ve heard comments from Phil Robertson – from the stories that illustrate his thoughts on race to his take on homosexuality and his statement after the original article was published on the web – and now we are hearing from the rest of the Robertson family.
"We want to thank all of you for your prayers and support. The family has spent much time in prayer since learning of A&E's decision," the statement read on the family’s Duck Commander website.
"We want you to know that first and foremost we are a family rooted in our faith in God and our belief that the Bible is His word. While some of Phil’s unfiltered comments to the reporter were coarse, his beliefs are grounded in the teachings of the Bible. Phil is a godly man who follows what the Bible says are the greatest commandments: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart’ and ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’
"Phil would never incite or encourage hate. We are disappointed that Phil has been placed on hiatus for expressing his faith, which is his constitutionally protected right. We have had a successful working relationship with A&E but, as a family, we cannot imagine the show going forward without our patriarch at the helm. We are in discussions with A&E to see what that means for the future of Duck Dynasty. Again, thank you for your continued support of our family."
During the week of Christmas and following through to after the new year, we usually experience a lull in the news world. As the negotiations between A&E and the Robertson family continue, it certainly gives us something to talk about.
PACKERS CHRISTMAS SPECIAL: We will have the chance to see Green Bay Packers players spread some holiday cheer on "A Green & Gold Christmas Special," airing at 7 p.m. on WDJT-TV CBS 58. In the hour-long special will Packers stars and their families doing various holiday activities around Wisconsin.
"A Green & Gold Christmas Special" includes appearances by Donald Driver, turning on the "Lites" at Miller Valley and surprising donors at Goodwill while Randall Cobb, Jordy Nelson and others read "’Twas the Night Before Christmas."
Ryan Pickett and Johnny Jolly take disadvantaged kids and families holiday shopping on the special and James Jones blesses a family with a surprise Christmas gift package. Nelson’s wife Emily will share her favorite Christmas recipes and Mike Daniels’ fiancée, Heaven, a classically-trained singer, will perform Christmas carols.
More information on "A Green & Gold Christmas Special," along with an exclusive sneak peek of Driver surprising donors at Goodwill, can be found on InsidetheHuddle.tv.
Media is bombarding us everywhere.
Instead of sheltering his brain from the onslaught, Steve embraces the news stories, entertainment, billboards, blogs, talk shows and everything in between.
The former writer, editor and producer in TV, radio, Web and newspapers, will be talking about what media does in our community and how it shapes who we are and what we do.