A Fox News host has debunked the claim that A&E suspending a Duck Dynasty star over racist and homophobic comments had anything to do with the First Amendment. That claim had previously been advanced by Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, who has urged the GOP to "stop being the stupid party."
On December 18, A&E announced that they had placed Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson on indefinite hiatus following a firestorm over racist and homophobic comments he made in a recently published GQ article. Conservatives in the media and in public office rushed to Robertson's defense, including Jindal, who said in a statement:
"I don't agree with quite a bit of stuff I read in magazine interviews or see on TV. In fact, come to think of it, I find a good bit of it offensive. But I also acknowledge that this is a free country and everyone is entitled to express their views. In fact, I remember when TV networks believed in the First Amendment."
Fox News contributor Sarah Palin similarly commented that "Free speech is an endangered species."
But Fox News' Steve Doocy repudiated this line of criticism. On the December 20 edition of Fox & Friends, co-host Brian Kilmeade read a statement from a Robertson critic who said that "this is not a free speech issue," and commented, "I don't think that's true at all." Doocy replied, "It's not free speech because A&E as a private company can do anything they want. And they did."