This week A&E television made one of the dumbest business moves in the history of broadcast media. They have likely lost the most-profitable, most-watched, most-followed, and most-loved non-fiction cable television prime time show in the history of cable television.
Duck Dynasty scored nearly 12 million viewers for its season premiere in 2013 (beating everything else on television that night,) and for it's Christmas special which aired a few weeks removed from the end of the season it brought back another 9 million viewers. Season five is scheduled to begin in January of 2014.
Unless they've gone and done the nearly inconceivable--alienated and ended their most successful partnership in the history of their network.
Why would they do that?
A couple of reasons...
For starters they are not super analytical thinkers that take the time to examine the longer term impact of their actions. They also were evidently super easy to intimidate by the activist group GLAAD. The same sexual activist group who takes the art of defamation to new heights.
GLAAD (The Gay Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) in fact has made a lot of money off of defaming nearly everyone it ever speaks critically of. As an organization they are so thin skinned they even refused to appear on Megyn Kelly's broadcast this week in a side by side segment with one of the personalities they regularly defame.
In short A&E's biggest problem in how they handled the "problem" Phil Robertson can be summed up in one word: "pluck."
It's an incredible word for the purpose of this discussion, largely because all four of its main definitions apply to the "problem" of Phil Robertson.
pluck (a verb) - 1. to take hold of something and quickly remove it from its place.
Describing the exact action that caused most of the distress that A&E executives are now feeling, they believed they could pluck Phil Robertson--the patriarch--from the television show that is designed around him and his family and that there would be no consequence. Oddly now this definition is what the Robertson family may also invoke. For they have confirmed that their love of family is stronger than the love of fame or dollar.
pluck (a noun) - 1. spirited and determined courage.