Earlier this week on Fox News' "The Kelly File," conservative commentator Monica Crowley went into an epic tizzy over A&E' suspension of Phil Robertson from "Duck Dynasty." Crowley said A&E did so because of the "word police:" that nefarious gang of coppers who want to dominate society with political correctness.
Contrary to Ms. Crowley's exceptional imagination, there is no word police. Freedom of expression is not under attack. Private citizens can still say whatever they want about whomever they want. But free speech as it relates to a representative of a business, is a different story. Unlike the government, businesses can limit our civil liberties. The Supreme Court has issued a body of rulings to this effect.
A&E suspended Mr. Robertson because he was representing them when he spewed his denigrating anti-gay comments to GQ. The network must put the loyalty and dignity of its demographically varied viewers before that of one of its stars. Had Mr. Robertson showed more restraint in what he said, he'd probably have been at work today.
Mr. Robertson's defenders, like Sarah Palin, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz seem to have no concept of this fact. They've jumped on this issue in an attempt to politicize it as an attack on Christianity, not as a consequence of bad judgment. Just because Mr. Robertson is a born-again Christian, held the Bible or prayed to Jesus when he said what he said doesn't make it right.
One of the questions Megyn Kelly kept coming back to during her broadcast is why is it wrong to say these things when debating the issue of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights. It's wrong Ms. Kelly, because one doesn't start a conversation making hateful remarks about the people you're debating. It's gutter talk and it has no place in the public forum.