Fox News Channel hosts and commentators came to the defense of Duck Dynasty’s Phil Robertson on air Wednesday.
A&E Networks placed Phil Robertson, 67, on indefinite hiatus after he made anti-gay remarks in an interview with GQ magazine, causing an uproar and sparking criticism from gay advocacy groups GLAAD and the Human Rights Campaign.
On Hannity, host Sean Hannity said it was a “slippery slope” to begin firing people over things they said, adding he never advocated for the firings of liberals — including Alec Baldwin and Martin Bashir – who got in trouble for controversial comments.
Megyn Kelly said on The Kelly File that Phil Robertson’s indefinite hiatus preemptively stopped any conversation that might have arisen from his comments.
“He is a Christian man – I grant you he did not say in the kindest way – but why can’t there be a debate about it? Why can’t there be a discussion … instead of <<you are fired>>.”
Later, Megyn Kelly said the clash between fundamentalist Christians and the gay and lesbian community has yet to reach resolution, implying this could be because the discussion never takes place.
“Fundamentalist Christians don’t believe in homos**uality and they’ve been so critical of it. And the gay and lesbian community has said <<that’s intolerance>> and then they [Christians] say <<well you’re being intolerant of our beliefs>>.” she said.
“We’ve seen this clash over and over. [It’s] yet to be resolved.”
But several of Megyn Kelly’s panelists sided with A&E and its decision.
Democratic pollster Bernard Whitman told Megyn Kelly that Phil Robertson’s comment’s were “disgusting” and said it “flies in the face of what it means to be Christian.” He applauded A&E for its response.
Conservative commentator Monica Crowley said she was “not a fan of the word police,” but said A&E was within its rights to take action.
“You should be able to say what you want short of inciting violence,” Monica Crowley said.
“A&E, though, has certain standards in practices. As an employee of A&E, A&E then has a right to say <<what he said doesn’t suit us>>.”
Earlier in the day, former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin tweeted her own defense of Phil Robertson.
Phil Robertson will likely appear in Duck Dynasty Season 4, which premieres on January 15, as production is largely wrapped.
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