Fox News host Geraldo Rivera told “Fox & Friends” on Thursday that the suspension of Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson over his anti-gay remarks is “ridiculous” because his view was embraced by the “majority of people” until recently.
Rivera accused A&E of “victimizing” the 67-year-old.
“I want to say it’s ridiculous to suspend him over his remarks,” Rivera said. “He’s the ‘Duck Dynasty’ guy. It’s not like he’s teaching a public school in New York. Now, Honey Booboo, is she gonna get thrown off for talking about fat people?”
“I mean, it’s ridiculous,” he continued. “It’s political correctness that’s gotten malignant. It’s preposterous.”
“The reason people like that show, is that the family’s inseparable,” said “Fox & Friends” host Brian Kilmeade. “They truly love each other. The bond. How are they gonna allow the father to get suspended and continue with the show? Are they gonna pray with an empty chair at the head of the table?”
Robertson is the patriarch of the family, which owns and operates a business called “Duck Commander” in West Monroe, La.
“Putting aside the virtue of the family, the man has his opinion … it’s not my point of view, but it’s held by a lot of people and until recent decades it was held by a majority of people in the land,” Rivera said. “I think that it is ridiculous to hold him to the same standard as someone in a different line [of work].”
He said the fact that “they are country folk and bible folk … let them be.”
“That why they brought them there,” said co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck.
“That’s exactly why they’re on TV, for goodness sakes,” Rivera agreed.
In a GQ interview, Robertson called homosexual sex a sin and said it’s “not logical.” A&E suspended Robertson from the show indefinitely, stating that his remarks were “disappointing” and do not reflect the opinion of A&E Networks.
“I would have said something on the order of, ‘His views are vile, according to many people. We don’t agree. We don’t endorse his views, but he has the right to have his point of view,” Rivera said A&E should have said. “My fear is, by victimizing or targeting people like Robertson, what you do is you dilute the main message — the message of tolerance.”
"Cut the guy some slack," he concluded.