I would say that in 99% of these situations economics dictate the outcome. It is in A&E's interest to keep the TV series going. The unknown at this point is whether the Robertson's are going to put their religion ahead of making money.
I completely agree with your comment about standing the heat or getting out of the kitchen. Robertson said nothing in this interview that he hasn't been saying for years in his sermons and speeches. There are plenty of videos on Youtube of him saying these things and A&E knows this.
IMO, A&E has much more to loose than the Robertsons. Even gay people are condemning them for suspending Phil Robertson. Camille Paglia is one of the country's most respect columnist who happens to be gay and she has said the following regarding Robertson and the gay community's reaction to his comments.
â€œI speak with authority here, because I was openly gay before the â€˜Stonewall rebellion,â€™ when it cost you something to be so. And I personally feel as a libertarian that people have the right to free thought and free speech,â€ Paglia, a professor at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, said on Laura Ingrahamâ€™s radio show Thursday.
â€œIn a democratic country, people have the right to be homophobic as well as they have the right to support homosexuality â€” as I one hundred percent do. If people are basing their views against gays on the Bible, again they have a right of religious freedom there,â€ she added.
â€œTo express yourself in a magazine in an interview â€” this is the level of punitive PC, utterly fascist, utterly Stalinist, OK, that my liberal colleagues in the Democratic Party and on college campuses have supported and promoted over the last several decades,â€ Paglia said. â€œThis is the whole legacy of free speech 1960â€™s that have been lost by my own party.â€
Paglia went on to point out that while she is an atheist she respects religion and has been frustrated by the intolerance of gay activists.
â€œI think that this intolerance by gay activists toward the full spectrum of human beliefs is a sign of immaturity, juvenility,â€ Paglia said. â€œThis is not the mark of a true intellectual life. This is why there is no cultural life now in the U.S. Why nothing is of interest coming from the major media in terms of cultural criticism. Why the graduates of the Ivy League with their A, A, A+ grades are complete cultural illiterates, etc. is because they are not being educated in any way to give respect to opposing view points.â€
â€œThere is a dialogue going on human civilization, for heaven sakes. Itâ€™s not just this monologue coming from fanatics who have displaced the religious beliefs of their parents into a political movement,â€ she added. â€œAnd that is what happened to feminism, and that is what happened to gay activism, a fanaticism.â€[/B][/I]