I'm a bit puzzled as to the uproar as well as the confusion on both sides of the issue concerning Duck Dynasty's Phil Robertson. Mr. Robertson gave inflammatory comments about his perceptions concerning homosexuality in an interview with someone from Vanity Fair. His comments wre publicized. His employing network, A & E, chose at least temporarily to suspend his employment. Supporters of gay rights are hailing the network's decision, while conservative voices are decrying the network's actions as a violation of Robertson's first amendment rights.
Perhaps the logic in my understanding of the issue is faulty or oversimplified, but I don't see the issue as being in any way related to the first amendment, and the issue doesn't appear to benearly so complicated or convoluted as some appear to be trying to make it seem. Phil Robertson is free to express his opinion on any subject he wishes. He is employed by a non-govenment entity -- A & E network. The people at A & E have every right to terminate Robertson's employment if they feel that his words or actions reflect poorly on A & E or in any way negatively impact its bottom line.
While I cannot know this for certain, I doubt that this issue is personal to whomever made the decision to suspend Phil Robertson's association with the network. My assumption is that the leadership at A & E believes that their financial stability has best been preserved by at least temporarily discontinuing the employment of Robertson. For those who disagree with the actions of A & E, either because they like Phil Robertson in spite of his somewhat inflammatory words or because they happen to share his ideology, it would be wisest for them to let their feelings be known to A & E and to indicate that the network and its sponsors will feel a negative impact for any action taken against Robertson.
If such happens, it will then be up to the people at A & E to decide whether this is an issue of right or wrong or an issue of economic impact. If the issue is one of right and wrong to A & E, it seems the thinking has already been done and the decision has been made. If it is determined to be an economic issue, however, management will determine which side has greater power to negatively impact A & E, and will act accordingly.
It is silly for conservatives to use this incident as just one more illustration of the liberal bias of the media. Robertson may say what he chooses to say. A & E may employ whom they choose to employ. Those who support Robertson and oppose the actions of A & E should vote with their dollars in the form of avoiding A & E and its sponsors. To invoke the first amendment in relation to this issue is to advertise one's ignorance as to our nation's constitution and its amendments..