By Jeff Simpson
I have never watched a second of Duck Dynasty and I can not change the channel quick enough when "reality" TV comes on. I was also getting sick of the whole Phil Robertson 'fiasco", then it hit me. Phil Robertson isn't a redneck racist(well he might be) but instead he is a brilliant marketer of himself.
While I no longer watch professional wrestling either, I used to be a huge fan of the WWF and even beofre that as a kid watching All Star Wrestling on Sunday mornings with the High Flyers, Vern Gagne, nick Bockwinkle, Rock and Roll Buck Zumhoff and even the very beginnings of Hulk Hogan.
The person who always garnered the most attention was the heel. The heel, for those who have never watched wrestling, was the person they marketed as the "bad guy" A good wrestler could go back and forth between being a heel and being a "face" (good guy).
One of my favorite "heels" was always Bobby Heenan. Heenan would say and do anything to piss people off. The more crazy things he said the more popular he became.
The problem that Heenan had though was he was limited to professional wrestling.
Then the phenomena that is Fox news came along. This allowed the marketing division of the republican party to turn people into "faces" and "heels" without them even being involved. They could whitewash history with no worries about facts, intelligence or even logic.
One of the by products of this phenomena that no one had foreseen was what would happen when they made someone a star. All Roger Ailes propaganda machine had to do was find someone the "liberals" did not like and their star would shoot up faster than Trey Radel. It did not matter what their intelligence or talent was. The liberals are bad message is a money maker.
For instance, a plumbers apprentice named Sam, asked a fake question under a made up name that actually pointed out that President Obama's tax policy was better for the average American than John McCain's was. The media pointed out that he was a complete phony and the Fox Phenomena turned Sammy into a victim and he then transformed himself into "Joe the Plumber" who now is a hero to the far right.
Exhibit 2: is of course Sarah Palin. Sarah Palin was picked to be John McCain's running mate, strictly on her looks and gender. Early on in her unveiling as a national candidate, they offered her up to the queen of softballs, Katie Couric, who tripped Ms. Palin up with the hard hitting question - "What do you read"!
In both of these instances(and others), we find out that the stupider, more racist, homophobic quote you can on nation TV the better. Say something that upsets a "liberal" and you will find right wing extremists all over the country willing to send you their hard earned money.
Which brings us back to the Duck guy.
All the right-wing religious zealots are up in arms about the suspension of the family idol Phil Robertson for the now widely distributed remarks which have not only offended many Americans, but has landed him in the A&E jailhouse. What is the response of the shows huge Redneck following? Well, it appears to rush down to the nearest Walmart store and buy Duck Dynasty stuff right here at the ” prime time” of the holiday sales season. Great timing for a promotional stunt wouldn’t you say?
I do not know for sure if Phil Robertson is a racist homophobic bigot. I do know for sure though, that he is playing YOU! And laughing all the way to the bank!
As someone once said, "If you look around and can't tell who the sucker is...its you!"