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'Morning Joe' firestorm over 'Duck'

The panel on "Morning Joe" got unusually fired up Friday debating A&E's decision to suspend one of the "Duck Dynasty" stars.

Matt Lewis, a guest from the Daily Caller, defended "Duck Dynasty" star Phil Robertson's right to criticize homosexuality, setting off both MSNBC's Thomas Roberts and "Morning Joe" co-host Mika Brzezinski.

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She said Robertson's comments were punishable because they were "disgusting."

"Would you want that on the Daily Caller?" she asked Lewis.

Lewis said he wouldn't have wanted the remarks on his news site but said Roberts shouldn't have been punished for speaking his mind.

"I will defend his position, his right to say it," Lewis said. "I don't think we should have this position, where we punish and cast people out [for their beliefs]."

Earlier, he said he worried about the chilling effect the suspension could have on free speech.
 
Roberts, who is gay, said Lewis didn't offer that defense after liberal commentator Martin Bashir said controversial things about former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R).

Lewis said that was a false equivalency.

Watch the full exchange above.