Internet Comment Sections Vs. A&E: The Opposite Ends Of The Censorship Spectrum

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“Intern, you cock gobbling thunder cunt, stop being one of the poors and buy yourself a god damn watch so you can post on time. Fuck every generation of your ancestors, I hope every living member of your family is sterile so we can rid of the world of your gene pool.” – Army of Fratness

The above is an actual comment posted on this very website. That Army of Fratness is one offensive son of a bitch, but he’s our offensive son of a bitch. You know what else? He was right. The Intern really is a cock-gobbling thunder cunt, and riddance of his tainted gene pool would benefit society. The interesting thing about this comment is that our derogatory word filter didn’t catch it. Didn’t flag it. Didn’t notify our administrators that a comment was pending, awaiting moderation. And worst yet, as I read over it, Army of Fratness amazingly didn’t even violate our acceptable comment restrictions. Not in any way. Actually, he passed with flying colors. What a gentleman.

Our filter is set up to catch and block comments that are racist or anti-homosexual in nature. Other than that, mostly anything else flies. We see your constant complaints, but the truth is we are very lenient with censorship.

Phil Robertson of A&E’s popular reality show Duck Dynasty recently made comments that were “flagged” by network executives. In an interview with GQ’s Drew Magary, Robertson expressed his disdain for the homosexual lifestyle.

“It seems like, to me, a vagina—as a man—would be more desirable than a man’s anus. That’s just me. I’m just thinking: There’s more there! She’s got more to offer. I mean, come on, dudes! You know what I’m saying? But hey, sin: It’s not logical, my man. It’s just not logical.”

And when asked to expand about his definition of sin, Robertson said the following:

“Start with homosexual behavior and just morph out from there. Bestiality, sleeping around with this woman and that woman and that woman and those men,” he says. Then he paraphrases Corinthians: “Don’t be deceived. Neither the adulterers, the idolaters, the male prostitutes, the homosexual offenders, the greedy, the drunkards, the slanderers, the swindlers—they won’t inherit the kingdom of God. Don’t deceive yourself. It’s not right.”

The network responded by suspending Robertson.

I’ve seen the nation react. I’ve seen those siding with A&E — those in support of tolerance, acceptance and censorship. And I’ve seen those in Robertson’s corner — they support freedom of religion and speech. Those in the latter group cite these liberties granted to us as citizens of the United States, and they believe A&E is somehow being unfair, acting un-American.

This group isn’t seeing the real picture, however. I saw a couple comments on Twitter saying, “This is what’s wrong with America.” You’re wrong. This isn’t about our American liberties being stripped from us. You see, Robertson can say whatever he wants on the streets, in his home, from atop a building, all without any real repercussions had he only been representing himself. The problem is he’s a television star, and this interview was in a national publication, and because of who he is, and how loud his voice is, he represents much more than himself. He represents a brand.

It’s why sports figures get dropped by sponsors if they get caught with cocaine, are arrested for spousal abuse, or are serial adulterers.

This is about A&E, a television network, and their desire, no, their absolute necessity, to uphold a certain standard for their viewers and for their advertisers. Not taking action against Robertson’s comments — admittedly, they were not terrible — is, in a way, endorsing them. They can’t do that. It’s why TFM doesn’t allow its commenters to post racism, gore, or nudity. It’s not that we hate America — we love America, actually — it’s because we simply cannot harbor a free-for-all, no-holds-barred culture.

It’s just bad biz.

Having said all that, we like to take pride in allowing a lot of questionable, gray-area material slide on TFM. Just for fun, because I despise the serious tone of this column thus far, let’s compare some content that would not slide on A&E, but TFM has allowed.

Let’s take actual comments from TFM (ones that have already been given the green light as acceptable material), apply them to what I think A&E’s policy is, and play Allowed or Not Allowed.

Note: all the below comments were posted to TFM with the last three hours alone.

“Would gladly P in her B.”

A&E Verdict: Not Allowed

“Making eye contact with a horrified Roger Dorn while banging his mom and viciously fisting a freshly-torn hole in his childhood teddy bear. TFM”

A&E Verdict: Not Allowed

“wait, you can die from butt chugging?”

A&E Verdict: Not Allowed

“Knuckle-thrusting Roger Dorn’s mom wearing a teddy while he watches. TFM”

A&E Verdict: Not Allowed

“Good ‘Ol Choke and Stroke. Classic.”

A&E Verdict: Not Allowed

“Finger-blasting Roger Dorn’s teddy bear while he watches. TFM”

A&E Verdict: Not Allowed

“Not a huge fan of the hair and dress combo but I’d still let her sit on my face.”

A&E Verdict: Not Allowed

Lastly, I just stumbled upon the following comment from TFM user Colonel_Tolivar. I think he sums this whole mess up perfectly.

“I support his right to say what he wants. I also support A&E’s right to employ who they want.”

***

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Roger_Dorn

Roger Dorn (@RogerJDorn) is the Vice President of Media for Grandex, Inc. He's a native Texan with a full head of hair and knows his way around a nice box of red wine. Dorn graduated (BBA) with a GPA sitting in the meaty part of the bell curve, not lagging behind, but not trying to show off, either. Golf is his game now. He's long off the tee but can't putt for shit. Email: dillon@grandex.co

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  1. 152
    TrickleDown

    He said he wasn’t a fan of homosexuality, not homosexuals. He said he didn’t understand desire and sees the act as a sin based on scripture, but he loves them regardless and wouldn’t treat them any different because of it. If that’s offensive I don’t know what isn’t.

    Also, I have substantial evidence leading me to the belief that Roger Dorn is, almost with certainty, directly culpable for the terrorist attacks committed on 9/11.

    ^ ThisTake a lapReply • 10 months ago
  2. 113
    Ben_Cartwright

    “Dorn likes little boys.”

    A&E Verdict: Allowed. We’ll even commission a new ongoing series about it to replace Duck Dynasty.

    ^ ThisTake a lapReply • 10 months ago
  3. 82
    Apathy

    “I support his right to say what he wants. I also support A&E’s right to employ who they want.”

    This sums it up perfectly. We have the freedom to express ourselves, but people that we represent can also get rid of us when we do things they do not like.

    It’w like what happened with chik fil-a a while back. The owner said he was opposed to gay marriage. He had every right to say that and people had every right to stop eating there because they disagreed with his views.

    Say what you will, but this is one of the reasons I fucking love America…

    ^ ThisTake a lapReply • 10 months ago
    • 7
      Fratmiral Nelson

      ^people can be fired for expressing their opinion on something, pure and simple. You can’t fire a Muslim because he practices his faith, but if he starts spouting off shit about “death to America” then he can absolutely be fired. Similarly, you (generally) can’t fire someone simply for being gay – however, you can fire them if they start espousing pro gay-marriage beliefs.
      .
      I disagree with the firing simply because the media is run by a bunch of spineless twats who become deathly afraid when someone they pay to be entertaining takes a point of view that deviates from the main stream. Freedom of thought takes a hit every time someone with a controversial view gets silenced instead of a platform to engage in a discussion. But luckily we have the internet, which cannot be controlled.

      ^ ThisTake a lapReply • 10 months ago
    • 3
      Costa Vision

      Except his example is shit. Comparing someone doing cocaine or physically harming someone to quoting scripture is ludicrous. Someone that commits a crime is likely breaking a good conduct code clause in their contract, quoting scripture would not be a part of that contract. Dorn done fucked up on this one.

      ^ ThisTake a lapReply • 10 months ago
    • 3
      Costa Vision

      Again, you godless fuck, you are comparing “Death to America” to referencing Scripture. It wasn’t hate speech, he wasn’t encouraging violence and nothing he said was illegal. A business cannot fire you for simply expressing your opinions in a constitutionally sound manner. He isn’t an at will employee for God’s sake. He has a contract and I am sure that nowhere in his contract does it say he can’t be Christian, contrary to what Dorn believes, apparently.

      ^ ThisTake a lapReply • 10 months ago
    • 1
      ReardonSteel

      So are we going to pretend this doesn’t infringe upon anti-discrimination laws which state that an individual can not be discriminated or relieved of their duties on the basis of their religious beliefs?

      ^ ThisTake a lapReply • 10 months ago
    • 1
      Costa Vision

      Another great point is that he is a REALITY TV star. It is reasonable to assume that the network is paying him to be himself and express himself as he would in reality. That he being himself is what the network has chosen to be representative of their company. I see this going to court if A&E and the rest of you unAmerican fucks don’t get your heads out of your asses. Yes Dorn, unAmerican.

      ^ ThisTake a lapReply • 10 months ago
    • 1
      Costa Vision

      No fuckface, it isn’t the same thing. Saying something is a sin, because the Bible says it is a sin, while also stating that regardless you still love all people is not the same as encouraging the death of an entire country. It is your opinion that it is a dumb one and have you read any of the comment sections on articles about this incident. Gay people are just as upset about it as straight people are. Make sure you strap that helmet on tight, Drool.

      ^ ThisTake a lapReply • 10 months ago
    • 1
      Roger_Dorn

      “A business cannot fire you for simply expressing your opinions in a constitutionally sound manner.”

      What planet are you living on?

      ^ ThisTake a lapReply • 10 months ago
    • 1
      Fratmiral Nelson

      Let me put this in a way you might be able to understand: Costa, if your employer found out about the opinions you were posting right now, they could potentially fire you for them. Because employers can fire you for just about any rational reason they want. I personally would defend your right to express your opinion, but a spineless corporate suit could fire you.
      .
      You’re correct that a contract could potentially protect someone from being fired for this; however, nobody knows what the terms of his contract are, and you’re pulling hypothetical clauses out of your ass that you think protect him. In fact, the contract very likely includes provisions that allow for firing or suspension for controversial statements. Look up what a “morals clause” is.

      ^ ThisTake a lapReply • 9 months ago
    • 0
      Friday Somewhere

      ^He’s referencing scripture that is as offensive to homos as “death to America” is to us. He said that being gay leads to fucking dogs and everyone else. That isn’t scripture, it’s an opinion derived from scripture (and a really dumb one); there’s a difference. And of course employees can fire you for expressing your opinions. There’s clauses that allow them to fire you for pretty much anything.

      ^ ThisTake a lapReply • 10 months ago
    • 0
      OMFratRebel

      Costa, after talking about homosexuality being a sin, he also said “But hey, sin: It’s not logical, my man. It’s just not logical”. At that point he also said that gay people have no logic. He can easily be canned for that. People are mad at A&E for being total hypocrites, not for suspending a guy for saying something that can be considered offensive. They claim to support and accept everybody, but they’re clearly not being accepting of Christians.

      ^ ThisTake a lapReply • 10 months ago
    • -1
      Costa Vision

      Trust me Dorn, seeing as you get paid for butt jokes and I get paid for political savvy, I’d say you are the moron. You might get to have “staff” next to your name but I’m the one with a real job. A non at will employee cannot be fired without cause, since Phil has a multimillion dollar contract with A&E, by definition, he is not an at will employee. Seeing as he is paid to be depicted as himself in a REALITY tv show it would be unreasonable for them to call expressing his views cause. People are mad because he was canned for expressing himself, not because A&E isn’t being fair. They could have given no fewer fucks whether liberals were treated the same. They are mad that he was punished for his conservative beliefs. Also, no court on Earth would uphold a ruling that states paraphrasing the Bible is categorically offensive. Do you watch Fox News or CSPAN or do you only go to TFM for news?

      ^ ThisTake a lapReply • 10 months ago
  4. 54
    JohnFratYatesSommers

    I don’t think anyone disagrees that A&E has the right to employ who they want, but we can all agree that they fucking suck. They’ve paid this guy to be an opinionated elderly redneck for 4 seasons, and the first time he says something even a little bit controversial, he’s dropped.

    ^ ThisTake a lapReply • 10 months ago
  5. 46
    stutdaddy

    Sorry dorn but I’m going to have to disagree with you here. You’re right, employers have the right to employ who they want. That being said there are limitations to that freedom. Anti-discrimination laws require companies like A&E to be equal opportunity employers, meaning that they can’t fire someone for their race, gender, sexual orientation or religion. The same laws that protect companies from discriminating against gay employees also protect Phil Robertson from being fired because of his religious beliefs. The reason people are pissed off is because A&E has essentially ruled that the protections given to sexual orientation are more important than those given to men of faith.

    ^ ThisTake a lapReply • 10 months ago
    • 1
      TX born raised hazed

      You guys are fucking retarded just because he is a Christian doesn’t give the right to discriminate against gays. If you say what he said at any workplace at the top of your lungs your gonna fired not because everyone deserves an equal workplace and just because your a fucking Christian doesn’t change that.

      ^ ThisTake a lapReply • 9 months ago
    • -2
      ZeteNJ

      You are right. But the answer shouldn’t be to start trying to force A&E to employ this guy because of fear they may be discriminating against him. The answer should be eliminate the laws and let people fire for whatever reason they please. I closed a pretty big deal at work yesterday, made my company a lot of money. If they fire me tomorrow, I think most who know me would feel it’s unfair. But would I sue them? No, you know why? Because it’s not my company.

      ^ ThisTake a lapReply • 10 months ago
    • -2
      stutdaddy

      I completely agree with you Zete. We should be able to hire and fire anybody we want. I just think it’s a little “bigoted” to use those laws to defend firing Phil, but those same people don’t realize that the very same laws protect him too. The flaw in the logic of the people attacking him is comical. Ultimately disagreement and discrimination are two different things. Phil disagrees with homosexuality, but A+E firing him is technically discriminatory. If it was written into his contract them by all means fire him. But people should call him a bigot because he is a devout Christian.

      ^ ThisTake a lapReply • 10 months ago
    • -8
      probablydrunk

      You can’t fire somebody for following a certain religion. You can fire somebody for saying things that lead to a national shitstorm of bad PR. See the difference, kid?

      ^ ThisTake a lapReply • 9 months ago
  6. 32
    Cockmeatsandwich

    Duck dynasty’s audience isn’t liberals and gays, it’s conservatives and Christians. You can’t alienate your target market like that and think it’s good business.

    ^ ThisTake a lapReply • 10 months ago
    • -7
      Im_THAT_guy

      ^Exactly. This family isn’t going to change to please some liberal gays that don’t watch their show, They give zero fucks and people love that. A&E is only hurting themselves here.

      ^ ThisTake a lapReply • 10 months ago
  7. 17
    Tyler Sperry

    Getting racist shit through the comment section is an art. It takes a real sneaky, uppity, motherfucker to get it past the filters.

    ^ ThisTake a lapReply • 10 months ago

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