December 19th, 2013
12:18 PM ET
12 months ago

Palin, Cruz, Jindal: 'Duck Dynasty' star suspended over intolerance of politically correct

Updated 4:17 p.m., 12/19/2013

(CNN) - In light of "Duck Dynasty" star Phil Robertson suspension from the show over anti-gay remarks, Republican Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal indicated media outlets have thrown out the First Amendment and the "politically correct crowd" is only concerned with viewpoints they agree with.

GOP Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas and former Alaska governor and 2012 GOP vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin also weighed in on TV reality star's forced leave from the series.

Palin wrote in a post to her Facebook page that "Free speech is an endangered species."

"Those 'intolerants' hatin' and taking on the Duck Dynasty patriarch for voicing his personal opinion are taking on all of us," Palin, who met the series' cast while on a book tour in Louisiana, wrote on Facebook, along with a photo of her and the cast of the A&E series.

Sarah Palin meets 'Duck Dynasty' 'dudes'

Cruz, a potential 2016 presidential candidate, also defended Robertson in a post to his Facebook page titled: "Free Speech Matters"

"The reason that so many Americans love Duck Dynasty is because it represents the America usually ignored or mocked by liberal elites: a family that loves and cares for each other, believes in God, and speaks openly about their faith," Cruz said.

"Duck Dynasty" is about a family-run duck call fabrication business in Louisiana. Robertson is the patriarch of the family. Season 5 is set to premiere on January 15.

Jindal - who is term-limited as governor and considering a 2016 GOP bid for the White House - praised Robertson and his family as "great citizens of the State of Louisiana."

"The politically correct crowd is tolerant of all viewpoints, except those they disagree with," Jindal said in a statement.

Jindal goes on to say that while he doesn't agree with everything he reads or sees in the media, First Amendment rights to freedom of speech should be upheld consistently across popular culture.

"In fact, I remember when TV networks believed in the First Amendment," he said. "It is a messed up situation when Miley Cyrus gets a laugh, and Phil Robertson gets suspended."

A&E suspended Robertson after comments he made to GQ in their January issue of their magazine that homosexuality is a sin and puts it in the same category as bestiality and promiscuity. He also made controversial comments about race relations during his time growing up in the South.

Groups like NAACP and the Human Rights Campaign wrote a joint letter to the president of the network calling for the TV star to step down.

"We are extremely disappointed to have read Phil Robertson's comments in GQ, which are based on his own personal beliefs and are not reflected in the series Duck Dynasty," the network said in a statement Wednesday.

Robertson's suspension has prompted outrage among fans and calls for the network to bring the star back.

Former Arkansas governor and 2008 Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee said A&E's decision is "insulting" to Americans who hold similar beliefs.

"For this network to toss Phil Robertson off of TV because he believed something and said what he believed, this network is insulting and snobbing the millions of Americans who hold the same view, albeit perhaps expressed in less graphic terms."

Ralph Reed, chairman of the conservative group Faith and Freedom Coalition, called the suspension "a brazen act of anti-Christian bigotry."

“To suspend Robertson under these circumstances is sanctioning him for holding Christian faith and beliefs, and it is a sign of a broader intolerance, bigotry, and discrimination against Christians that has no place in America," Reed said.

Nearly 40,000 people have signed a Change.org petition as of Thursday morning rallying support to bring Robertson back, and a faith-based group, Faith Driven Consumer, launch a website IStandWithPhil.com demanding the network reinstate the "Duck Dynasty" star.

"Simply put, Phil Robertson is being censored and punished for quoting the Bible, and A&E's treatment of him is punitive and highly discriminatory, " said Faith Driven Consumer Founder Chris Stone.

The group tells CNN they have about 30,000 signatures on their petition as of Thursday afternoon and expect those numbers to rise.

CNN's Marlena Baldacci contributed to this report.


Filed under: Bobby Jindal • Sarah Palin
soundoff (459 Responses)
  1. Malory Archer

    Wendy

    Interviewer who asked the question must have had some idea what the answer would be knowing full well the views of Phil. GQ did not have to print the remarks if they knew they were inflamatory.

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    GQ was just practicing their first amendment right to do so. duck guy didn't want his views aired, he should have kept them to himself.

    December 19, 2013 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  2. Anonymous

    So now Ted Cruz has voiced his opinion. No suprise.

    Well, I have news for him and Palin and everybody else who says the "liberal elites" are wrong and un-Christian.
    Some of us are liberal in your eyes, but moderate in reality.

    If you self-righteous ones would read some of your comments, you would be appalled at yourselves.
    Freedom of speech is what America is, but sometimes a little kindness can go farther than name calling,
    judging people, and pure hate in the name of "Christianity".

    So quit putting everybody on one side or the other, and look at yourselves, for once. You are not
    perfect either.

    December 19, 2013 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  3. texasnotea

    Sara Palin should ask the Dixie Chicks about free speech before she "weighs in"

    December 19, 2013 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  4. Silence DoGood

    @rs
    Jimmy the Swartz

    It's the Gay Gestapo,blah blah 1972...
    -------------–
    Well, we're done now, we have a 40 year old Internet based conspiracy at bat!
    -------------–
    I was waiting for a connection to aliens and area 51 – that would have "jumped the shark"

    December 19, 2013 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  5. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    it's on par with how they generally react ...yes?
    -------------------------------------------------
    Yes indeed my dear friend.
    I am so sorry you had to endure that tirade. You of all people on this site.

    December 19, 2013 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  6. Juan

    Free speech....ok. But that doesn' t mean A&E has to pay you for spewing hatred.

    December 19, 2013 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  7. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Lynda Minnesota
    it's on par with how they generally react ...yes?
    -----------------
    Yes indeed my dear friend.
    I am so sorry you had to endure that tirade. You of all people on this site.
    Brush the dirt off your feet babe, and keep it moving!!

    December 19, 2013 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  8. Sniffit

    Man, I wish I'd known Gandlaf was such a redneck zealot big to dillhole before I bought the books and movies. Screw you, Tolkein.

    December 19, 2013 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  9. Sniffit

    Man, I wish I'd known Gandalf was such a redneck zealot bigot dillhole before I bought the books and movies. Screw you, Tolkein.

    December 19, 2013 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  10. rs

    Well, from the commentary we see here today, the Right isn't doing much to expand their popular base- shoot they are even ignoring their lust for corporate dictatorship over so-called governmental overreach. They're also displaying an astonishing lack of knowledge of Christianity- 'course, so is the "Commander". Par for the course when Palin is on your side!

    December 19, 2013 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  11. Grahame Rhodes

    Luckily these red necks are a dying breed. Roll 2020

    December 19, 2013 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  12. Keith Thompson

    It's a shame that our country, which was founded by great Godly men has fallen so far away from God. Phil Robertson IS A MODERN DAY HERO. GOD BLESS YOU PHIL! Hopefully one day these people who are hating on you will come to see the wrong in the way they are living. I don't hate anyone, I just hope that they will one day accept Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior and stop living their sinful lives, because no one needs to spend eternity in Hell.

    December 19, 2013 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  13. rs

    Wendy

    Interviewer who asked the question must have had some idea what the answer would be knowing full well the views of Phil. GQ did not have to print the remarks if they knew they were inflamatory. I don't agree with him but if you don't think you are going to like the opionion dont ask for it!
    _________________________
    A veiled version of "blame the media" 2.0. Certainly, it is the media's fault the "Commander" stuck his foot in his mouth.

    December 19, 2013 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  14. Lovell

    It is a shame how the gay folks want to jump on everybody who disagrees with their lifestyle. We are all different and have a right to express our differences without being attacked. Phil was not attacking those lifestyles. He was just stating his different personal beliefs. Get over yourselves! He is not inciting riots or encouraging non-gay citizens to harm gays. This country is so far removed from the principles it was founded on. The gays are so intolerant of everyone who disagrees with their lifestyle but wants everyone to tolerate them. NEWS FLASH! Everybody will never agree with you 100% and don't expect them to. Stop acting so appalled every time someone says they believe gays are sinners because of their religious beliefs. I don't hear the adulterers and fornicators complaining so what's your problem?

    December 19, 2013 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  15. randall masterson

    Funny, don't recall Mrs. Palin leaping to defend Martin Bashir's free speech rights when he made a perfectly reasonable suggestion about the appropriate way to deal with her.

    December 19, 2013 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  16. DarrellSF

    Bobby Jindal, Ted Cruz, and Sarah Palin have something to say.

    I'll alert the media. *yawn*

    December 19, 2013 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  17. Lynda/Minnesota

    @ Dominican mama

    Darn. I wish my happy face icon would print. Please note that I am "winking" at you!

    December 19, 2013 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  18. Andy

    This whole story has been sensationalized. Because A&E decided to judge, we need to judge them. Stop watching this series. Let the money do the talking. We all have our opinions, and should be allowed to express them with out concern of repercussion.

    December 19, 2013 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  19. Kay

    No she didn't jump in to defend him, but Sarah Palin did forgive Martin Bashir.

    December 19, 2013 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  20. Get used to IT tea potty! 3 more yrs to spew ur hate @Obama

    Hey tea potty bozos, Walmart is selling some DUCK DYNASTY made in CHINA products?....care to make communist socialist librul China richer by buying more made-in-china thrailer thrash junk from the duck dynasty klan? Lol

    betya!!!

    December 19, 2013 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  21. Get used to IT tea potty! 3 more yrs to spew ur hate @Obama

    Hey tea potty bozos, Walmart is selling some DUCK DYNASTY made in CHINA products?....care to make communist socialist librul China richer by buying more made-in-china thrailer thrash junk from the duck dynasty kkklan? Lol

    betya!!!

    December 19, 2013 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  22. cedar rapids

    'lovell – NEWS FLASH! Everybody will never agree with you 100% and don't expect them to. Stop acting so appalled every time someone says they believe gays are sinners because of their religious beliefs'

    By the same token.... not everyone will agree with you either so stop acting so appalled when someone says I don't like your religious beliefs.

    December 19, 2013 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  23. Anonymous

    The bigger question is why would A&E (arts & entertaiment) even consider putting this show on the air in the first place. These networks are making millionaires out of people that have absolutely nothing to offer society (Palin being one of them!)

    December 19, 2013 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  24. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Sniffit

    Man, I wish I'd known Gandalf was such a redneck zealot bigot dillhole
    -------------------------------------------------
    No! No Sniffit!
    Your post was way funnier when you wrote " redneck zealot big to(which I read as "toe) dillhole"!!

    December 19, 2013 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  25. Guest

    Shocking that this guy would think this way.... he was baited by the interviewer. He should have known better.

    December 19, 2013 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
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