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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review December 27, 2013/ 24 Teves, 5774

'Tis the season for apologies

By Wesley Pruden




JewishWorldReview.com | The uproar over "Duck Dynasty" should be studied forever in the business schools as a priceless teaching exercise in marketing quackery. Television executives are so highly paid because they're supposed to be so smart. Rarely have so many smart guys been so out to lunch.

The noisy commotion over the A&E cable network suspending Phil Robertson, the head duck, was mostly not about free speech - the network had a legal right to suspend him, depending on what was in their contract - but about how low the network wanted to bow to the lavender lobby, about disrespect for religious belief, and whether it wanted to put at risk its No. 1 show. This is where the A&E suits made their incredible miscalculation, based on gross ignorance of who and what they were dealing with. An office boy would have known better.

"A&E," says Lisa de Moraes, the influential television critic for the Deadline/Hollywood website, "has been dazedly dog-paddling since the interview [in GQ magazine] and its hit show suddenly stopped quacking like all those other homespun reality series on TV and began Bible-thumping like the religious parable [the controversy] actually is."

The network was asking for trouble because no one at the office knows anything about Christians, evangelical and otherwise, or the people they thought they were doing business with. The network was accustomed to dealing with people willing if not eager to slice a little off belief here, cut a little off principle there, keep quiet about this belief and surrender a few religious convictions there, take the money and run to the bank with it. The executives at A&E had never run across anyone like Phil Robertson or his family, the personification of the people Hank Williams Jr. sang about in his country classic, "A Country Boy Can Survive."

"You can't stomp us out and you can't make us run/'Cause we're them good ol' boys raised on the gun/We say grace, and we say ma'am/And if you ain't into that, we don't give a damn."

"Duck Dynasty" and the hunting constituency that made the Robertsons rich -$400 million and counting - were in fact a people apart, if the network had wanted to find out who they were. They're largely Scots-Irish, that oft-overlooked segment of the American ethnic mix that arrived early and challenged the progeny of the English aristocrats, the proper Bostonians and the Virginia cavaliers, to cast the prevailing American character.



The Scots-Irish, more Scots than Irish and who took their name from their exile in Ireland, were exiled again to America and brought their populist instincts and fierce Calvinism with them. Jim Webb, the decorated Marine hero of the Vietnam war (Navy Cross, Silver Star), novelist and former U.S. senator from Virginia, describes well his own ancestors and the prevailing culture in northern Louisiana, much of the Midwest and all of the South, in his book, "Born Fighting."

"These are intensely religious people," writes Mr. Webb. "Indeed they comprise the very heart of the Christian evangelical movement - and yet they are unapologetically and even devilishly hedonistic. They are probably the most anti-authoritarian culture in America, conditioned from birth to resist any pressure from above, and yet they are known as the most intensely patriotic segment of the country as well. They are naturally rebellious, often impossible to control, and yet their strong military tradition produces generation after generation of perhaps the finest soldiers the world has ever seen. They are filled with wanderlust and are ethnically assimilative, but their love of their own heritage can move them to tears when they hear the bagpipes, and no matter how far they roam their passion for family travels with them."

The executives at A&E could have known this if they were at least as interested in their talent as in the simpering drivel of the professional whiners of GLADD, GBLTQ and other gay pressure groups. Now A&E is said to be looking for a way to climb down from the spavined hobby horse. Phil Robertson and his duck family is not likely to give an inch because by their lights they cannot. Threats of suspension or firing invite only an ever more stubborn defense of the way they are, and the beliefs and convictions they hold dearest. Threats and intimidation do not move them.

This could be the ultimate teaching moment for the business-school professors. Marketing has its limits, particularly when the marketing men are dumb and clueless. A country storekeeper, who can't imagine going to college just to learn how to sell tea, turnips or long-handled underwear, could teach them the first and fundamental rule of selling: "You've got to know the territory."

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

JWR contributor Wesley Pruden is editor emeritus of The Washington Times. Comment by clicking here.

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