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Friday, December 20, 2013

'Duck Dynasty' story is just another symptom of conservative demographic doom

The common thread among defenses of Duck Dynasty’s Phil Robertson’s bigotry — beside completely ignoring the racist aspect of it — is that A&E is buckling under pressure for special interests interested in “political correctness.”

This is, of course, wrong. What’s going on can be demonstrated by looking at polling data. In July, Gallup asked voters whether they’d vote for a referendum to legalize same-sex marriage in every state. The result of the study showed that such a referendum would win with 52% of the vote. And when we break it down by demographics, we see that the strongest support came from: #1. liberals; #2. those with no religion; #3. Democrats; and #4. 18-34 year-olds.

And that’s where conservatives misunderstand A&E’s reaction. They think it’s all about demos #1, #2, and #3. The truth is that it’s about #4. The 18-34 demo is the TV goldmine — young adults, mostly without children, who spend money more freely than any other demo. It’s not political pressure that has A&E spooked, it’s the market. Concern for the market — which conservatives claim to love — is at its heart undemocratic (which is why conservatives generally prefer it). 18-34s are a minority of Americans, but their spending habits give them outsized influence.

Firing Robertson has nothing to do with “political correctness” on A&E’s part. It’s about who brings the bread and butter.

Conservatives do not.

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