Now that A&E executives have surrendered to the will of hundreds of thousands of "Duck Dynasty" fans and welcomed Phil Robertson back to the show nearly 10 days after creating a firestorm when they suspended him for expressing views about sexuality that are shared by many other conservative Christians, it's time to see who the winners and losers are.
The winners: Robertson and his family.They held fast to their values and learned how deep their fan base really is. The family's admission of regret about his statements to GQ was no surrender, given that his comments were never about hate as opponents had insinuated.
The losers: A&E executives, of course, who knew all along that the Robertson family members were conservative Christians, yet did the world's worst imitation of Claude Rains in "Casablanca" when gay rights groups complained.
And while we're on that subject, the other big loser is GLAAD, the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Discrimination, which showed how far it had strayed off the path of encouraging tolerance into the dark woods where conformity is enforced by witch hunts and demands for blood sacrifices. GLAAD's intolerance sparked what its leaders called the worst backlash they'd ever seen — a backlash that included prominent members of the gay community such as Andrew Sullivan and Camille Paglia.
That's right: Two groups of smug, urban sophisticates got outsmarted by a backwoodsman who shoots ducks for a living.
Heckuva job, folks.