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Louisiana Lt. Governor Jay Dardenne offers state aid to keep ‘Duck Dynasty’ on the air

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Jay Dardenne, the lieutenant governor of Louisiana whose responsibilities include promoting tourism, wrote an open letter to cast of Duck Dynasty in which he offered “to use his influence among Louisiana’s growing motion picture industry to seek out alternative production options” should A&E decide to cancel the program.

Lt. Gov. Dardenne has a long history of encouraging film and television production in the state. As a state senator, he authored the Louisiana Motion Picture Tax Incentive Act, which is credited for making the state’s industry the third most productive in the nation, trailing only California and New York.

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In his statement, he noted that his offer was not tantamount to an endorsement of Phil Robertson’s positions on homosexuality, same-sex marriage or race. In a GQ interview, Roberston is quoted as having said, “Neither the adulterers, the idolaters, the male prostitutes, the homosexual offenders, the greedy, the drunkards, the slanderers, the swindlers –” they won’t inherit the kingdom of God. Don’t deceive yourself. It’s not right.”

Robertson also contended that “I never, with my eyes, saw the mistreatment of any black person…they’re singing and happy. I never heard one of them, one black person, say, ‘I tell you what: These doggone white people.’ Pre-entitlement, pre-welfare, you say: Were they happy? They were godly; they were happy; no one was singing the blues.”

“Regardless of one’s views on Phil Robertson’s statements,” Dardenne wrote, “Duck Dynasty has been an important representation of the state of Louisiana, inspiring prospective visitors and investors since its debut. Their show draws tens of millions of viewers each year, reaching an audience eager to visit Sportsman’s Paradise.”

The state’s tourist industry currently accounts for 1 in 10 jobs in the state, the highest level since the state started keeping employment statistics. Because of this, Dardenne wrote that “[i]f the Robertson family cannot come to an agreement with A&E and wants to continue the show, Louisiana already has the infrastructure in place to maintain their record-breaking program.”

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[Image via Jay Dardenne]


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Texas Republicans are abandoning the state’s GOP Speaker: ‘We no longer support him’

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Some of the most powerful Texas House Republicans said Monday they no longer support GOP Speaker Dennis Bonnen, marking the biggest blow yet to his political future amid the fallout from a secret recording released last week by a hardline conservative activist.

Five Republicans considered senior members of the lower chamber issued a statement withdrawing support for him: State Reps. Four Price of Amarillo, Dan Huberty of Houston, Lyle Larson of San Antonio, Chris Paddie of Marshall and John Frullo of Lubbock.

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Donald Trump is making a mockery of Marco Rubio — and the Florida senator is letting him

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Sen. Marco Rubio was once one of Donald Trump’s most formidable opponents; now, the Florida senator bends over backward to excuse the president’s corruption.

In 2016, Rubio and Trump sparred frequently on the Republican primary debate stage. Trump picked the uninspired nickname “Little Marco” for the senator, which didn’t seem to do much damage on its own, but Rubio never gained the momentum or strength that his backers hoped would prove to be strong enough to take down the reality TV candidate. As Rubio grew desperate, he launched one of his most memorable and pitiful attacks by stooping to his opponent’s level, implying that Trump had a small penis. It was more of an embarrassing moment for Rubio than anyone else, though Trump helped himself with a crude rejoinder.

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The faith of Fox News: How the network’s propaganda warps viewers’ sense of reality

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A longtime sticking point among Fox News employees is their insistent differentiation between its news division, where employees practice actual journalism, and its opinion division, where employees practice actual nativism, spew misinformation, and have been actively campaigning for Donald Trump’s re-election since 2016.  Inside the organization, they claim to believe that the news side is separate from the opinion side, and insist that the audience can tell the difference.

News anchor Shepard Smith once characterized comparing the two as “apples and teaspoons.”

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