Meet the Press   |  December 22, 2013

'Duck Dynasty' controversy: A defense of faith?

A Meet the Press roundtable talks about recent remarks by 'Duck Dynasty' star Phil Robertson about gay marriage and the public backlash that's ensued.

Share This:

This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> i want to talk about popular culture having a clash with politics, and by this i mean "duck dynasty." phil robertson and gq magazine got that started. what in your mind is sinful? he says, start with homosexual behavior and just morph out from there. bestiality, sleeping around with this woman and that woman and men. he talks about african-americans having a particular problem where he grew up in the south. and david, you have politicians, conservative ted cruz and others saying the reason he was suspended was political speech run amok, a violation of free speech . what is the debate here?

>> i know people who take a more biblical view of homosexuality than i do, but i've never seen christia christians say what he did was bad. it was a disrespectful way to say a lot of things.

>> liberals have been thrown off tv networks for saying bad things, too. i was very touched by one thing he said. he said the world would be different if we all loved each other and loved god. i would love phil robertson , perhaps it would pay another tribute to pope francis, listen to those words when you think about people who are gay or lesbian. we could have a real change in the world. the other thing is i don't know why republicans who are already suffering massive loss of youth voters knowing that they already have most of that audience already. why they're rushing to this defense, i think it's a political error, but i want phil robertson to listen to his own words.

>> ana, you just think it's ridiculous that politicians would want to weigh in on this to begin with.

>> i think it's ridiculous that phil robertson wants to weigh in. i'm a fan of the show. i happen to love "duck dynasty," watch it constantly. i don't understand how you go and give this interview and you say these things. yes, there is free speech . but all of us who are on tv know there are also contractual obligations to networks that you're not supposed to say things that embarrass them.

>> there is a sense of morality that companies have that you work for in the media and advertisers that are offended. you could argue they're offended by some things and not others.

>> and the argument is reality and homosexuality are not equivalent.

>> as ana said and as others have said, look, any of us are free on this program to say whatever we want. our employers, whether they are nbc or the "new york times" or a newspaper, might not like how that sounds. they might take action. because they believe both in free speech but they also pay us and others to speak. so it's a confounding thing and you hope and you wish in the holiday season that there was a whole lot more tolerance