Not Enough to Boycott A&E; You Have to Cancel Your Cable
For reasons of my own, I neither participate in, encourage, or organize boycotts. This piece isn't about that. The A&E boycott over the suspension of "Duck Dynasty" star Phil Robertson for expressing his Christian beliefs does, however, give me the opportunity to talk about a subject near and dear to my heart, which is the legal tyranny of bundled cable that means that any boycott against A&E will have little to no effect.
If you are wondering why low-rated cable television shows and networks not only stay alive but also manage to be profitable, it is due to the bundled cable racket that forces over a hundred million Americans to pay for dozens of channels they don't like and/or watch. For example, if you want Fox News but have to get CNN and MSNBC in the package, chances are very good that CNN and MSNBC are getting a chunk of your cable bill.
Yep, that is right. This racket has been so perfected that not only is failure rewarded, the networks can pretty much broadcast whatever they like because ratings don't matter all that much. And when you have 100 channels owned by a half-dozen or so multi-nationals, they are also pretty much boycott proof.
It is a simple and sad fact that America is already not-watching CNN, MSNBC, Jon Stewart, and others, but they still have an impact because Big Entertainment makes billions from bundled cable and can therefore afford to keep them on the air. The left-wing monopoly on our culture is subsidized not by popular acclaim but by bundled cable.
This means that boycotting or not-watching A&E is not going to matter a whole lot to A&E.
If you want to really hurt A&E, you are forced to go to the extreme of canceling the entire cable package that comes with A&E, and that could mean losing channels you do like and want to support. It might even mean cutting the cord entirely and having no cable television. And if you do cancel your cable, be sure to tell them why, because a lot of people are cutting the cord these days.
Things aren't as bad as they used to be. There are now alternatives to cable like Netflix Streaming, Amazon prime, home video, etc. But not everything you might like is on there.
Don't get me wrong, these networks and multi-nationals would prefer more viewers than fewer but...
Can A&E afford to alienate all eleven million "Duck Dynasty" viewers by punishing a Christian for expressing Christianity?
Bundled cable is the root of too many political and cultural evils to count.
Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC