Tonawanda News


December 29, 2013

DUVALL: Duck Dynasty's free speech, free market lesson

Tonawanda News — I’ve been loathe to talk about this topic, much less go on the record with my opinion because I think it’s beneath readers of this column and this newspaper — substantive readers of anything, for that matter.

The world of “OMG! Insider” disagrees. So does Fox News (and that should give you an idea of just where the Fox folks rank in terms of media credibility) so I’ll take the bait.

So here it goes: The guy from “Duck Dynasty” is an idiot. To me and the silent majority of Americans who support equal rights for gays and lesbians, his beliefs are backwards, inflammatory, bigoted. Whether they’re rooted in his religion or just good, old-fashioned ignorance matters not to me.

And I fully support his right to believe them. I even support his right to spout them to his heart’s content. It’s a free country, after all.

You think all gays are going to hell? Fine. I think you’re a moron. 

Hardly the sort of high-minded discourse the Founding Fathers envisioned when writing the First Amendment, but what did you expect when our starting point is the patriarch of a backwoods family who rose to prominence thanks to duck whistles, ridiculous facial hair and reality television?

Here’s the thing: Since when did the First Amendment protect speakers who say something stupid or offensive from the consequences?

By now we all know Paul Robertson was “suspended” from the show — even though it wasn’t filming at the time — for his remarks in a magazine interview. The Sarah Palin types jumped to his defense, crying foul that free speech was in peril. 

Excuse me? This dolt is elevated from obscurity to a national platform for no meritorious reason, uses it to spew inflammatory rhetoric about a minority group and you’re saying his rights have been violated?

Text Only
  • duvall, eric.jpg DUVALL: On lines blurred, crossed and nonexistent It strikes me more and more how blurry the lines have gotten in all facets of our world, large and small.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Tucker, Barbara.jpg TUCKER: Oh, the joys of Sound Off Never thought the words "Thank goodness for Sound Off" would ever be printed here.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • adamczyk, ed.jpg ADAMCZYK: And now for something completely different... Last weekend I attended a local movie theater (a plushy, posh experience; they design these places now to get you out of your living room and away from your home electronics) to watch the sun set on the British Empire.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • OUR VIEW: Arson suspect never deserved bail Two of the 11 fires reported on Fifth Avenue could have been prevented with some jurisprudence in evaluating whether the suspect, Michelle Johnston, deserved to be offered bail. Given the obvious nature of a repeat offender who was charged with nine felony arson counts, bail never should have been offered in this case.

    July 25, 2014

  • wallace, amy.jpg WALLACE: Too much information? Is there such a thing as TMI or too much information anymore? Some might say yes.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • duvall, eric.jpg DUVALL: On reading and the lack thereof It was surprising to me a few weeks ago when a friend asked a group of us to estimate how many books we have each read over the last five years. The English teacher said 200 and he far and away led the pack. I was probably the median and my number was 20-25.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • confer, bob.jpg CONFER: A Con-Con would be a con game

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • duvall, eric.jpg DUVALL: Conflict in Ukraine now a concern of global proportions It seems increasingly clear Ukrainian separatists, with the help from the Russian military, are responsible for the tragedy. They, of course, have denied it. They've also denied access to the crash site to international investigators seeking to recover the dead and determine what happened. That's not something the innocent party does.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • ADAMCZYK: Personal development, rendered in steel Accepting the premise that everyone needs to fill the same amount of time every day (24 hours, every day), some people use theirs rebuilding things, tangible things, and thus fulfill a few intangible goals.

    July 18, 2014

  • WALLACE: Festival season is underway Summer is the season of fairs and festivals. From Canal Fest in the Tonawandas to the Allentown Art Festival and Italian Heritage Festival in Buffalo to the Erie County Fair in Hamburg, the Western New York area has no shortage of things to do with the family over the summer.

    July 17, 2014