December 19, 2013
On Thursday, CNN's Piers Morgan responded to news that A&E suspended Duck Dynasty's Phil Robertson with a tweet claiming Robertson does not have First Amendment protection. Morgan also accused Robertson of being a racist and a "vile bigot" for thinking homosexuality is wrong, Twitchy reported.
"Phil Robertson is not a 'victim of political correctness'. He's a victim of his own repulsively racist, homophobic bigotry," he tweeted.
"Just as the 2nd Amendment shouldn't protect assault rifle devotees, so the 1st Amendment shouldn't protect vile bigots," he said in another tweet issued a few minutes later.
Apparently, Morgan believes the First Amendment applies on to speech he approves of, a point made by one of those who took him to task.
"So the 1st Amendment only applies to those you agree with? How is that freedom, Piers?" one person asked.
But Morgan wasn't finished.
He also called Robertson a racist, citing a Hollywood Life article that misrepresented something Robertson said about life before the civil rights movement.
"Yes, Phil Robertson was horribly racist too," Morgan tweeted.
“I never, with my eyes, saw the mistreatment of any black person. Not once,” Robertson reportedly said. “Where we lived was all farmers. The blacks worked for the farmers. I hoed cotton with them. I’m with the blacks, because we’re white trash. We’re going across the field … They’re singing and happy. I never heard one of them, one black person, say, ‘I tell you what: These doggone white people’—not a word!… Pre-entitlement, pre-welfare, you say: Were they happy? They were godly; they were happy; no one was singing the blues.”
Hollywood Life promptly twisted that answer to mean something Robertson never said.
"Wow, so is he saying there was no point for the Civil Rights Movement to even happen? Does he not remember separate schools, bathrooms, horrible mistreatment and more? It’s unfortunate he isn’t more sensitive with his words," Chloe Melas wrote.
Robertson's suspension has prompted sharp reaction from supporters of Duck Dynasty, with one Facebook page calling for a boycott of A&E receiving over 649,000 likes. Early Thursday morning, the page had over 262,000 likes.
A&E's Facebook page has also been inundated with messages from angry viewers saying they will boycott the network until Robertson is brought back.
Morgan later issued a tweet saying he was only using his First Amendment rights to say the First Amendment doesn't apply to Robertson.
"Calm down, everyone. I'm merely exercising my own 1st Amendment freedom of speech rights to say Phil Robertson's a racist bigot," he said.
Translation: Free speech for me, but not for thee.