LIONEL PODCAST: The Diversion and Relevant Irrelevance of Duck Dynasty

The great distraction. The ruling class must be laughing with delight. As we dissect and parse and deconstruct all that is Duck Dynasty and the abridged rights of the dynastic barbate, Mr. Robertson, they get to futz around with the world. And we’re too busy arguing over Cracker Barrel’s sapience in discontinuing the merchandising and than changing its mind. We’re deconstructing A&E’s wisdom in sacking this goldmine enterprise. Can you believe that? We actually are discussing this. At least to this extent. And, don’t get me wrong; it’s important and we’re dealing with the notion of societal tolerance as to the counter-correct, but if only we’d care as much about as to what’s truly happening in the world.

Inordinate attention. Duck Dynastygate is interesting and/but irrelevant. Here’s why. Imagine a fight breaks out in a football stadium on Sunday. It’s interesting, maybe even fun to watch. But what does that have to do with what the owners association is doing as to suits against the NFL for CTE injuries? Answer: Nothing. But it’s interesting to watch. It’s somewhat connected to football, but all in all, it’s just a great distraction. Shall I say any more?

Oh, so now he’s a patriarch, huh? Inasmuch as you might find the “patriarch’s” ideas distasteful and the like, which is certainly your right, he’s not alone in his thinking. And, let me repeat, whether you realize it or not this man’s ideas are not at all unique. More people echo his sentiment than you can imagine and that doesn’t make it right per se, but them’s the facts. And throw into the mix the religious overtones of this and here’s what you’ve got: this most unique case before us. Is he quoting or misquoting religious ideology? I don’t know, you tell me. And keep in mind this as well – if this were any other faith that Phil represented, no one would utter a peep. If it’s Christian or (even better) Catholic ideology – even if it’s misquoted – it’s open game as far as the Ted Baxter sockpuppet media are concerned. And let’s be honest as to this swamp prophet. Who’s even surprised by this rusticator’s worldview? What did you expect? Immanuel Kant?

I don’t get it. I’ll never get this incessant preoccupation with the mechanics of gay or homoerotic love. What does this say about this man’s level of imagination. When you focus exclusively on an act, methinks you’re protesting just a tad too much. So, Phil, Dr. Freud’s on Line One.

Legal mumbo-jumbo. With the indefinite suspension of duck dynasty patriach and elder Phil Robertson let’s look at the legal issues, shall we? First, as a practical matter, fret not double-d fans, Robertson’s suspension won’t affect the January 15th season 5 return in the least what with 9 or 10 episodes recorded and as they say, in the can. And you can bet it will shatter all records especially in view of the recent controversy. In fact, you’ll be hard pressed to see any editing out of Phil from scenes. Which begs the question, what was he indefinitely suspended from in the first place? Next, all of the family members have separate contracts with A&E. That’s the entire crew splitting about $200K an episode according to And that also includes additional seasons and cast member options. So, should any or all decide to bolt in solidarity, they’re looking at breach of contract lawsuits to be sure. And I’m interested in seeing the following contractual provisions: first, who owns what in terms of intellectual property? What exclusivity rights are granted A&E once the show ends and for how long? And should the family be allowed to reconstitute elsewhere as a family that happens to be in the duck call business, how similar can that show be to A&E’s duck dynasty that we’re used to? And remember more than half of the $400m generated is from product such as the Xmas album that hit number one on billboard. Now, unlike Paula Deen’s flame out over her comments, Phil Robertson enjoys an almost anti-hero status in some circles. Where revenues dropped by keeping Paula Deen, revenues may likewise plummet by continuing to suspend Mr. Robertson. And remember we’re talking about both the duck commander and buck commander merchandising and products. Bottom line: the family can’t up and leave without suffering serious legal consequences.

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