Tag Archives: public relations

Win some, lose some, but we queer ducks are still ahead of the haters

The first gay couple to be married in Utah, Michael Ferguson and his husband Seth Anderson, kiss as Blake Ferguson and his girlfriend Danielle Morgan watch after the pair married at the Salt Lake County Clerks office in Salt Lake City, Utah

Reuters photo

Michael Ferguson, center, and Seth Anderson, right, of Salt Lake City, were the first gay-male couple to legally marry in the “Christo”fascist state of Utah, on December 20. This unexpected, incredibly ironic historical event more than makes up for this pathetic shit:

This undated image released by A&E shows Phil Robertson, flanked by his sons Jase Robertson, left, and Willie Robertson from the popular series "Duck Dynasty." Phil Robertson was suspended for disparaging comments he made to GQ magazine about gay people but was reinstated by the network on Friday, Dec. 27. In a statement Friday, A&E said it decided to bring Robertson back to the reality series after discussions with the Robertson family and "numerous advocacy groups." (AP Photo/A&E, Zach Dilgard)

Associated Press image

So A&E cravenly has caved in and decided to keep “Duck Dynasty” intact. Here is the “patriarch” of the “reality” show — who won’t be missing from a single episode — spewing forth racist, homophobic and generally stupid-white-male-bigoted venom and bile*, yet the shameless corporate weasels (redundant…) of A&E assure us that “A&E Networks’ core values are centered around creativity, inclusion and mutual respect.”

Yes, so much so that Papa Duck (a.k.a. Phil Robertson) got only a slap on the wrist, if even that, and that from now on it will be business as usual. (Oh, but as a parting gift, a consolation prize, much like Rice-a-Roni, the San Francisco treat, A&E has promised, “We will also use this moment to launch a national public service campaign [public service announcements] promoting unity, tolerance and acceptance among all people, a message that supports our core values as a company and the values found in Duck Dynasty. [!] These PSAs will air across our entire portfolio.”

When I was earning my journalism degree, my cohorts and I thought of those who actually were going for a public relations [PR] degree at our university as PRostitutes. We remain correct.)

I had figured that the highly-lucrative-among-white-trash “Duck Dynasty” would live on, albeit at a more appropriate venue, such as FOX. No doubt, there remains a captive audience for the stupid white man’s hate speech. (If they see and hear it on the tay-vay, then it must be the truth!)

Oh, well. I have added A&E to homophobic operations that I steadfastly boycott, including Chick-fil-A (there is one nearby that I’ve never stepped foot in), Cracker Barrel (OK, so I don’t think that we have even one of those restaurants here in Northern California, but I’d never step foot in one, anywhere, ever), and a local ice cream restaurant named Leatherby’s that I haven’t stepped foot in ever since I learned that its “Christo”fascist owner gave $20,000 toward the passage of Proposition H8 (true, the restaurant always struck me as at least a bit dirty and nasty anyway, so that wasn’t exactly a difficult boycott).

But recently there was another addition to another list, a list that is much more important than is my own personal boycott list: the list of states where same-sex marriage is in effect.

To that list we have added Utah. Yes, Utah — to a large degree the home of the now-overturned anti-same-sex-marriage Proposition H8, which wouldn’t have passed here in California in November 2008 if the Utah-based Mormon cult hadn’t aided and abetted the hateful effort (how do they keep their tax-exempt status?) — now has same-sex marriage.

That wonderful irony blows the pathetic Papa Duck right out of the water.

Lest you believe for a nanosecond that the “Christo”fascists of Utah have had a sudden change of heart, that they actually have taken to heart the actual teachings of Jesus Christ (to love others and to not be a fucking asshole), know that in this case, change had to come from without: It was a federal district court judge, not the voters of Utah or the state’s legislature or the state’s highest court, who ruled, correctly, that Utah’s ban on same-sex marriage has violated the equal, human and civil rights guaranteed to all Americans by the U.S. Constitution, which is the supreme law of the land, and which no one, not even the grand wizards of the Mormon cult in Salt Lake City, is above.

And know that of course the bigoted state of Utah, which is owned and operated by the Mormon cult, is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to intervene and to stop same-sex marriages in Utah, which recently have been going on at a record pace. (Reports The Washington Post:

Salt Lake City — In the week since a federal judge overturned Utah’s ban on same-sex marriage, the number of weddings in the state has skyrocketed, shattering records and accruing thousands of dollars for Utah’s 29 counties.

As of close of business Thursday [December 26], more than 1,225 marriage licenses had been issued in Utah since last Friday [December 20]. Of those, at least 74 percent, or 905 licenses, were issued to gay and lesbian couples. …

Salt Lake County shattered a previously held record of 85 marriages in a given day, by handing out 353 on Monday [December 23] — the first full day of issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. …)

This! Unbridled! Happiness! MUST! STOP! NOW!

(That is, after, all, the central teaching of Jesus Christ!)

I’ll live with the fact that a “reality” show about a white-trash family (again, I think of them and their kind as the American Taliban) that I’ve never watched and never will watch continues on.

And that battle isn’t over. Thus far, the weasels of A&E have done the math — the accounting, more accurately — and have calculated that it was safe for them to rescind their indefinite suspension of Papa Duck from his family’s “reality” show before it even had gone into effect.

We’ll see if there is any blowback over this — again, A&E is a venture of Disney and the Hearst Corp. — and if so, whether this blowback makes the assholes of A&E change their minds on Papa Duck and his “reality” show once again.

In the meantime, I expect the U.S. Supreme Court to refuse to intervene in same-sex marriage in Utah, leaving same-sex marriage intact there, which is, after all of the Proposition H8 drama, incredibly fucking funny. (Not that equal human and civil rights for everyone is a joke — it is not — but still!)

What would be even funnier still would be if the U.S. Supreme Court does get involved in the issue of same-sex marriage in Utah, at the state of Utah’s request — only to rule in favor of same-sex marriage in all 50 states.

Unlikely, perhaps, but not impossible, and that ruling will come from the U.S. Supreme Court in the not-too-distant future — with or without A&E’s PSAs “promoting unity, tolerance and acceptance among all people.”

*In addition to the quotes widely publicized from Papa Duck’s interview in next month’s edition of GQ, in recent years he also said these things (click that link [to the Los Angeles Times’ website] to see the links to the YouTube videos that are videorecorded evidence of these quotations):

  • “Look, [if] you wait ’til they get to be about 20 years old, the only picking that’s going to take place is your pocket. You gotta marry these girls when they’re 15 or 16; they’ll pick your ducks.”
  • “Why do they murder and why do they hate us? Because all of them … 80 years of history, they all want to conquer the world, they all rejected Jesus and they’re all famous for murder. Nazis, Shintoists, Communists and the Mohammedists. Every one of them the same way.”
  • “Women with women. Men with men. They committed indecent acts with one another. And they received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion. They’re full of murder, envy, strife, hatred. They are insolent, arrogant God haters. They are heartless. They are faithless. They are senseless. They are ruthless. They invent ways of doing evil.”

As Andrew Sullivan has pointed out, this rhetoric is chillingly reminiscent of the anti-Semitic rhetoric of Nazi Germany, where the Jews were blamed for all evil. Sullivan wrote, in response to Papa Duck’s remark to GQ that when it comes to “sin,” you simply “Start with homosexual behavior and just morph out from there”:

… [To] posit gay people as the true source of all moral corruption is to use eliminationist rhetoric and demonizing logic to soften up a small minority of people for exclusion, marginalization and, at some point, violence.

If you think I’m hyperventilating, ask yourself what the response would be if in talking about sin, Phil Robertson had said, “Start with Jewish behavior…” The argument would be totally recognizable, once very widespread, and deeply disturbing. What we’re seeing here – and it’s very much worth debating – is how fundamentalist religion seizes on recognizable, [“]immoral[“] minorities to shore up its own sense of righteousness. You can gussy it up – but it’s right there in front of our nose. …

This is the type of speech that A&E attempts to excuse, as though some fucking PSAs are going to make it all A-OK.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

I’m NOT your ho, Mista President

obama-pimp.jpg image by kslaughter_01

A good e-friend of mine of several years asked me in an e-mail yesterday if I’m going to blog in support of President Barack Obama’s health care plan, as Obama has asked bloggers to do.

Um, no, I told my friend.

First of all, I don’t even know what Obama’s health plan is — and I’m not alone. I would need to learn a lot more before I could strongly support or oppose that plan, and that Obama apparently is trying to ram his plan through Congress before September raises a red flag for me. 

Secondly, though, even if I did know what his health plan is, my bachelor of science in journalism instilled in me a strong preclusion from allowing any public official to direct me to write this or write that (or not to write this or that) for his or her political benefit.

When I was earning my print journalism degree, we journalism students used to mock the public relations students (mostly behind their backs) — PR are the first two letters of “prostitute,” after all. We journalism students saw ourselves as guardians of the truth*, and we young idealists were willing to accept the low salary of newspaper journalists. We saw the PR students, who could make a lot more money in PR than they could in journalism, as sellouts willing to mangle the truth for their corporate overlords for cold, hard cash.

My idealism isn’t completely dead even some 20-odd years later, so: Obama won’t be pimping me.

Yes, I’m a blogger, not a journalist in the strict sense of the word.

But blogs have lost all value to democracy and to the free marketplace of ideas when they cease to be independent and critical and start to take marching orders from government officials.

Obama doesn’t get it. Or, more frighteningly, maybe he does.

I get it that political blogs really got their start with the Howard Dean campaign. I was there blogging when that started, in late 2002 and in 2003. The Dean campaign and the Dean campaign’s support throughout the blogosphere (well, I supported John Kerry all along, seeing him as much more likely to defeat George W. Bush in 2004) were a reaction against the damage that the unelected Bush regime had done to the nation, especially its launch of the illegal, immoral, unprovoked and unjust Vietraq War in March 2003.

But somewhere along the line, the purpose of left-of-center political blogging got lost. Left-of-center political blogs started out being critical of the unelected Bush regime. Now, many if not most LOC political blogs have become mouthpieces for the Obama administration, which rather simply inherited the infrastructure (especially the Internet infrastructure) and the good will of the former Deaniacs.

Blogs are useful only if they can be critical of public officials and of the government when it’s necessary.

“Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it,” said Mark Twain.

At least where his health care proposal is concerned, I’m not sure whether Obama deserves my support, and he’s not getting it just because he has asked for it — in fact, he’s not getting it especially because he has asked for it and because he has put a tight deadline on it.

P.S. I’ve seen enough to make me skeptical of Obama’s health care proposal, in case you think I’m just being difficult.

P.P.S. My boyfriend thinks that this piece is racist. Meh. I didn’t create the concept of the pimp and the ho, but I am just using that pre-existing cultural material to make my point, which is that I’m pissed off at Obama for trying to pimp me out. My problem with Obama is not that he’s (half-)black; my problem with him is that he shamelessly is trying to pimp me and other bloggers out. 

*Of course, most newspapers are owned by corporations and so there is no true free speech at most newspapers — what newspapers are left, anyway — but that’s another blog post…

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized