A Brief Look At Freedom Of Speech And The Media

Unless your current mailing address is under rock, than you’ve probably heard about the whole “Duck Dynasty” fiasco. To sum it up, main character, Phil Robertson, said in a magazine interview that he doesn’t understand where gay people are coming from and what they do is sinful. He also mentioned that black people were much happier in a time period when they had heavily restricted rights. Hmmmmm. Naturally, the network his TV show is on, A&E suspended Phil Robertson because they wanted the world to know that’s not where they stand.

Where the story gets more interesting is that many fans actually stuck up for their favourite redneck, and now news is coming in that his suspension has been lifted. Begging the questions to be asked, should he have been suspended in the first place? What is the role of the network? What does this mean for radio?

Should he have been suspended? What is the role of the network? In my opinion, that should be completely up to the network. It’s their investment, their name on the line so who would be better to make that desision? Whether it’s right or wrong, they will be the ones who will have to live with the consequences…positive or negative.

What does this mean for radio? Ahhh I’m glad you’ve asked, because I’ve been thinking about this a lot. Quite frankly, turn on any AM talk station, or edgy morning host and you will be able to hear something just as offensive. Guaranteed. So why don’t people care about that? Well this is how I see it: people listen to what they want to hear on the radio. I doubt you will find many liberals listening to Rush Limbaugh, and as a result, many won’t protest the crap that comes out of his mouth. What happened in Robertson’s case was that the story went viral, crossing almost every platform and it hit everyone, not just the viewers of his show or the readers of the magazine. The story was unavoidable, and because of that, he was screwed from the start. With that being said, with the ability to share things easily over the internet, I wouldn’t be surprised if in the near future, the same thing happens on a similar scale with a syndicated shock jock. With such things as podcasts, anyone can access and share potential offensive views at any time, meaning every announcer could be potentially one slip up away from being hunted.

As it turns out, I wouldn’t be surprised if this was just some big marketing ploy, and it will likely work, as these things usually do. Of course, not everyone is so lucky when it comes to saying controversial things….just ask Dean Blundell.

-The Copy Writer-


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