This whole thing could've been short-circuited if A&E had had the brains and nerve to say, when the yelling began, "Mr. Robertson was asked a question about his religious beliefs and answered it. They ARE his beliefs, not ours. We disagree with them, but we do not attempt to censor or control the beliefs of our employees and others we work with." And stopped right there.
The Legions of the Perpetually Outraged would've had their usual fits, and threatened and so forth; and most everyone else would've thought "Now that's how to do it!" And except for the LotPO trying to keep it stirred up, that would've been that.
But A&E wanted to appease the LotPO, no matter what. And pissed off a lot of other people. Thus we have the current noise.
There's a thing going around on the left that 'Martin Bashir was FIRED from MSNBC in violation of his 1st Amendment rights for saying a mildly offensive thing. But Robertson said horrible, hateful things and has no 1st Amendment protection from being fired!"
Well, last I heard MSNBC is a private corporation, not a government agency(that we know of), so if they DID fire Bashir(last I heard he and they both say he resigned) he had no 1st Amendment protection from that, either.
I just freaking love it that "Sarah Palin should be forced to have someone shit in her mouth" is 'mildly offensive' coming from people who, if someone on the right had said "Hillary Clinton(or Rachel Maddow, for instance) should be forced to have someone shit in her mouth", would be blowing every gasket they've got. And wetting their pants(probably crapping them too) in horror and indignation at this demonstration of 'the rights' war on women!'. But it was said about a woman on the right, so what's the big deal(not to mention they think ANYTHING bad said about Palin is just wonderful)?