Right Wing Watch catches Brenda J. Elliott on Phyllis Schlafly's radio show promoting the book she co-wrote with WorldNetDaily's Aaron Klein, "Red Army," which according to WND documents how "a radical socialist movement has been quietly infiltrating the major institutions of American power: our schools, our military, our economy, our media, and Congress itself."
On the show, Elliott called President Obama a "useful idiot" who is nothing more than a tool for said socialist conspiracy. She continued: "Honestly, folks, it is a conspiracy. Two people is all it takes for a conspiracy and an intent to make something happen, that’s a conspiracy. The word conspiracy theory has been really distorted, it’s been made to sound like something loony, and it’s not loony, it’s not loony!"
MRC Complains About Accurate Statement by David Frum Topic: Media Research Center
In a Dec. 12 Media Research Center item, Matt Hadro complained: "Faux-Republican David Frum took a shot at Fox News viewers on Sunday when he told CNN's Howard Kurtz that 'people who watch a lot of Fox come away knowing a lot less about important world events.'"
Hadro didn't mention that there's evidence to back up Frum's claim. Last month, a Fairleigh Dickinson University poll found that Fox News led people to be even less informed than those who say they don’t watch any news at all.
Hadro also grumbled about Frum's assertion that through the conservative media, "conservatives have built a whole alternative knowledge system, with its own facts, its own history, its own laws of economics." Of course, the MRC has a horse in this game (unmentioned by Hadro) through its "news" operation, CNSNews.com, and its Obama-hating editor Terry Jeffrey.
Still, Hadro grumbled:
So Frum thinks that the conservative media are presently worse off in this regard than the liberal media, who are nevertheless catching up to them. Apparently, Frum has not seen MSNBC's "Lean Forward" promos which incessantly tout the network's liberal values of its prime-time lineup – including new host Al Sharpton laughably blaming Republicans for the down economy.
Meanwhile, the MRC has moved this year to promoting CNS' conservative bias, complete with banner ads right-wing radio hosts singing its praises:
Newsmax is trying to salvage its Republican presidential debate -- but it's not telling Newsmax readers about it.
When Donald Trump pulled out of serving as moderator for the planned Dec. 27 debate, Newsmax editorial director Steve Coz made only a non-committal statement about the future of the debate at Newsmax itself -- which, at this writing, is the most recent article containing the "Trump Debate" tag at Newsmax. He has, oddly, been more forthcoming with other news outlets about Newsmax's plans.
Coz told CBS News, "We're full steam ahead. ... We're obviously disappointed more candidates didn't come forward... [but] what everyone is ignoring is that we have the frontrunner."
Coz told the Huffington Post's Michael Calderone: "We, Newsmax and ION Television, are actively exploring having a forum for candidates on the 27th or at a later date. ... Obviously with Trump bowing out the situation has changed."
Why isn't Coz reporting any of this at his own website? Should Newsmax be the go-to site for news about Newsmax's debate?
Obama, without question, voiced the most unambiguous endorsement and affirmation for communism ever made by an American president. It is yet another demonstrative proof that Obama embraces communism and that his primary goal is to turn America into a communist nation. Republicans (and quite frankly, Democrats, too) who are standing by silently allowing this Erebusic megalomaniac to spew his detestable and divisive rhetoric to the impressionable and malleable minds of children, are, in effect, openly supporting a terrorist attack on minds of America's children. It is enough that public-school teachers teach such messages; the children do not need said message reinforced by the president of the United States.
Words fail to express the contempt I have for Obama as the leader of our nation. He condemns the very thing that made America great - and specific to that point, America was great before there was an Obama. It should be a punishable offense to allow him to undermine that greatness.
America is in denial to believe that he is not a communist doing everything in his power to forcibly and insidiously transform the nation into a communist state. It is misinformation for the media, political pundits and writers of opinion to report his actions in any other way. He is a manifestation of evil that threatens America in a way the KKK and al-Qaida could but hope to.
There remains another question astute individuals will ask: "Why did Obama choose Osawatomie to deliver such a transpicously Marxist speech - considering that he and his ilk do nothing that isn't meticulously calculated?" The answer to that question is another question. Could it be because Osawatomie was the Weather Underground newspaper published by Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn in the 1970s, or did it have to do with the abolitionist John Brown whose nickname was Osawatomie - unless you believe it was all just a coincidence?
CNS' Jeffrey Whiffs Again In Kagan Recusal Effort Topic: CNSNews.com
CNSNews.com editor in chief Terry Jeffrey is getting increasingly desperate in his efforts to get Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan to recuse from deciding the constitutionality of President Obama's health care reform plan.
Internal Justice Department email communications made just days before the House of Representatives passed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act show that then-Solicitor General Elena Kagan was brought into the loop as DOJ began preparing to respond to an anticipated legal complaint that Mark Levin and the Landmark Legal Foundation were planning to file against the act if the House used a procedural rule to “deem” the bill passed even if members never directly voted on it.
Levin's complaint involved a procedural maneuver used to pass the bill -- which the case before the Suprement Court will not address, given that the "deem and pass" procedure was never actually used -- and did not address the content of the legislation.
Jeffrey brought up another irrelevant issue in a Dec. 13 article, trying tomake a big deal about how Neal Kaytal, Kagan's deputy when she was solicitor general, the position she held before being appointed to the Supreme Court, "had written her a memo informing her that she had 'substantially participated' in Golden Gate Restaurant Association v. San Francisco—a case that Kagan’s own office tied to Obamacare." Jeffrey continued:
On May 28, 2010, 15 days after Katyal sent Kagan this memo informing her that she had “substantially participated” in the Golden Gate case--and a month before Kagan’s Supreme Court confirmation hearings started--Kagan’s office submitted a 26-page brief to the Supreme Court in the case. The brief cited PPACA by name 12 times and referred to it more generally as “the federal legislation” or “the new federal legislation” an additional 6 times.
Additionally, the brief cited the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act (HCERA), the reconciliation bill enacted with PPACA, 7 times.
Sounds serious -- except it's not. As Jeffrey eventually concedes, the brief Kagan's office issued in Golden Gate Restaurant Association case argued that it "should not be taken up by the Supreme Court at that time because the full federal regulatory framework in which that question could be properly answered could only be seen once all the new regulations needed under Obamacare had been written by the federal agencies responsible for them."
Again, Jeffrey provides no evidence that Kagan offered an opinion on the constitutionality of health care reform. Far from it -- the brief Jeffrey is citing argues that the case not be take up until federal law is settled as health care reform is implemented.
Jeffrey then condenses that article in his Dec. 14 column, complete with suggestion that Kagan's participation in this case means she lied to Congress when she said she hadn't ruled on legal issues regarding Obamacare. Again, advocating that the Golden Gate case be put on hold until federal issues are resolved is not an opinion about the legal merits of Obamacare.
NewsBusters Complains That Conservative Group Is Accurately Identified Topic: NewsBusters
Matthew Balan writes (and sporadically boldfaces) in a Dec. 12 NewsBusters post:
ABC, CBS, and NBC's morning shows on Monday all used news briefs to highlight how home improvement giant Lowe's is "facing a backlash" after it pulled its ads from TLC's "All-American Muslim" reality TV series. All three noted that the company reacted to a complaint from a "conservative" or "Christian" group who threatened a boycott. CBS's Early Show played up how Lowe's "critics call that bigotry."
NBC's Natalie Morales stated in her brief that the chain is "sparking outrage after its pulled its ads from a reality show about American Muslims. The retail giant bowed to pressure from an evangelical Christian group, which called for a boycott against the chain of home improvement stores." Morales added that a "California state senator, meanwhile, says he is considering a boycott and legislative action if the company does not reverse its decision."
Josh Elliott on ABC's Good Morning America used the "facing a backlash" line and continued that "Lowe's pulled the ads from TLC's 'All-American Muslim,' after a conservative Christian group complained that the show, which follows families from a Detroit suburb, is Islamic propaganda."
What's Balan's problem? We're not sure. The group that is leading the boycott against "All-American Muslim," the Florida Family Association, is a conservative evangelical Christian group. That's entirely accurate. There's nothing ambiguous about the group's agenda.
The closest Balan gets to an actual, substantive complaint is lamenting, "By contrast, when the Big Three networks first covered the Occupy Wall Street protests during the first 11 days of October 2011, only once did one of their reporters label them 'liberal.'" Which, of course, has nothing whatsoever to do with this story.
NEW ARTICLE: Anatomy Of A Cain-Gasm Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily helped promote the presidential campaign of Joseph Farah's friend, Herman Cain. But when allegations of sexual improprieties kept popping up, Farah didn't want to talk about it. Read more >>
Even More Trump-Fluffing Doesn't Keep Trump from Quitting Newsmax Debate Topic: Newsmax
Perhaps Newsmax should have seen this coming.
Newsmax began the day the way it has the pastfewdays -- by refusing to tell its readers about Donald Trump's qualms about the GOP presidential debate he was planning to host with Newsmax given that only two candidates indicated any interest in taking part.
Indeed, things kicked with yet another bit of Trump-fluffing: an article by Margaret Menge and John Bachman on an "exclusive interview" with Trump at yet another signing appearance for his new book -- the second such article Newsmax has done in the past three days.
A couple hours after that fawning article was posted, however, Trump announced he was withdrawing as debate moderator.
Newsmax's article on Trump's withdrawal features an open-ended comment from Newsmax editorial director Steve Coz:
“We are very disappointed as we believe Mr. Trump would have made a tough and fair moderator. However, we respect his view that the role may have presented a conflict of interest in light of the fact that he now wishes to keep his options open to run for the presidency himself.
“We join Mr. Trump in thanking candidates Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum for their commitment to the debate.”
Of course, Trump had said last Friday that he wanted to keep open the option of running for president -- Newsmax just hadn't bothered to mention that to its readers until now.
Coz was careful not to say whether the debate would go foward without Trump as figurehead, though Trump himself was less reticient about speculating. Trump said on Fox News that he didn't think it would go forward without him, adding, "They really wanted me to do it."
This would be the second time this year that Newsmax has gotten burned by Trump. Ronald Kessler's relentless puffery of Trump's presidential ambitions culminated in a series of rewritten articles trying to nail down whether Trump would actually announce his candidacy. And even when it became clear that he wouldn't, Kessler still carried a flame for him.
Newsmax, theoretically, had fair warning of Trump's mercurial nature. Yet it still decided to work even closer with him to set up this ill-fated debate.
Yeah, Newsmax should have seen it coming. Now it has to deal with the fact that its attempts at trying to enhance its prestige has been undermined by spending too much time hanging around Donald Trump.
WND Flies Birther Banner Over (Enclosed) Stadium Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily is very excited to tell you about this:
Tonight's NFL matchup between the Dallas Cowboys and New York Giants had more than just football on the schedule.
It included a special message for the man who calls himself president of the United States.
The banner was originally set to fly above the same stadium during the Cowboys' annual Thanksgiving Day game, but had to be postponed due to inclement weather.
This flyover is another manifestation of our national billboard campaign that began three years ago, asking simply, 'Where's the birth certificate?'" explained Joseph Farah, founder of WND. "The question today is, 'Where's the REAL birth certificate?' since Jerome Corsi's new e-book on the subject completely discredits its validity. We have used billboards because the rest of the media refuses to address seriously the problems of Obama's eligibility. And we will continue to use other creative efforts to address one of the most serious constitutional questions facing our country, namely, 'Is Obama actually eligible for office?'"
What WND conveniently fails to mention: Cowboys Stadium is enclosed -- it has a retractable roof, but it was closed during the game, as the accompanying video shows. Therefore, nobody in the stands saw the banner.
Also, note the mostly empty parking lots in the video, as well as the abundance of daylight. This tells us that WND's banner was flown well before the game started, which at 7:20 pm CT was well after dark. So it didn't even reach many football fans outside the stadium.
In other words, WND wasted thousands of dollars on a stunt that almost nobody saw. Brilliant!
A Dec. 12 NewsBusters "open thread" post credited to "NB Staff," with the headline "Barack Obama's College Roommate Claims Obama Was 'Ardent' 'Marxist-Leninist'," reads:
After President Obama's free market "doesn't work" and "has never worked" speech in Kansas last week, well-received by the media as Teddy Roosevelt-esque, Rush Limbaugh described Obama as channeling someone else, with Obama putting to the forefront "in no uncertain terms that he is a socialist, if not a Marxist."
In fact, one of Obama's peers from Occidental College, John Drew, described Obama as an "ardent" "Marxist-Leninist" who "was in 100 percent, total agreement with [his] Marxist professors." Furthermore, Obama called those who didn't agree that a communist revolution in the West was possible "reactionar[ies]."
NewsBusters is greatly overstating Drew's relationship with Obama. As the Oh, For Goodness Sake blog points out, Drew graduated from Occidental the semester before Obama enrolled, so he was not a "peer" of Obama's. And far from being Obama's "college roommate" as the NewsBusters headline, Drew met Obama only twice at social occasions while coming back to Occidental to visit other friends.
(NewsBusters appears to have misread the source of this piece, at the far-right John Birch Society website The New American, which refers to Drew only as Obama's "college mate," which is also not true.)
How could Drew possibly know so much about Obama having only met him twice, at a time when there was no reason to think he would have been destined for the presidency? Perhaps NewsBusters can invent a plausible response.
The question of whether or not Obama, vis-à-vis the federal government, has the constitutional authority to mandate that we buy health insurance under threat of penalty will now presumably be decided by the Supreme Court.
The question that begs an answer is: If the high court rules Obama does not have the constitutional authority to force us to purchase health insurance, will Obama abide by the ruling or will he pull a Franklin D. Roosevelt and attempt to overrule the court's decision?
With his track record, can you honestly be confident of Obama obeying the SCOTUS should they not rule as he wants? Did he not tell lies about the court and berate the justices during his State of the Union speech? He ignored the ruling of the lower court when it ruled the government option was not constitutional.
I say this man's narcissism will not permit him to simply abide by a ruling he doesn't like. Roosevelt didn't and it worked – why should Obama be any different?
A far more important question is: Will conservatives be smart enough and tough enough to understand that their promise to cut the size and scope of government and put an end to the criminality in Washington is what got them elected to Congress in 2010?
Or will they misread the political climate once again and run scared – right into the arms of their socialist pals across the aisle – and hand the only Marxist president in American history a default victory that will give him the time he needs to finish the job of destroying what is left of the U.S. economy?
From the true conservative's perspective, Mitt Romney, the GOP leadership's pick, is a tragic comedy. If he is nominated, millions of principled conservatives will stay home on Election Day, and he will lose. This is discounting any vote tampering, cadaver voting, noncitizen voting, voter intimidation, or any of the other devices President Obama's surrogates (such as the "defunct" ACORN) are likely to employ, as they did in 2008.
There's an object lesson in how GOP leaders have dismissed the tea party "and everyone who looks like them," so to speak. The objective of Republican elites in purposefully losing the presidency in 2012 would be to capitalize on the strife to which four more years of Barack Hussein Obama will most certainly give rise.
I am sickened by the Republican field. With few exceptions they not only lack the experience to be president, but also common sense. Not that Barack Hussein Obama, the mullah in chief, is the answer. He and his socialist, radical, Muslim-loving comrades need to take a hike to Egypt where they can join the Muslim Brotherhood and rule over a country more suited to their hearts' desires.
In my view, it is to our advantage as well as our responsibility to elucidate for those not too far gone in their ideology or delusion that capitalism and wealth are not the culprits. Immorality is the real culprit, manifesting in greed, deceit, vanity and a host of others. This is what has facilitated those in the banking and various other industries being willing to get into bed with socialists in government – like the errant manufacturers in my hypothetical scenarios. Then there are those socialists themselves, who are also in it for reasons of ideology and power, like President Obama.
Much to my fascination, most conservative media pundits continue to scratch their heads and insist that "Barack Obama is just in over his head" when talking about his "failed policies." The idea that he is actually trying to destroy the last vestiges of the free market and freedom in America is such a radical thought that their mainstream minds will not allow them to even consider it.
When a commentator, whose audience is on the same page politically, ventures into the area of metaphysics and biblical prophecy, they are pushing the envelope to some degree.
One might even say they run the risk of straining their credibility, even with avowed Christians – similar to when we, for example, point out inconsistencies in President Obama's birth narrative, his undeniably forged birth certificate, or when we charge that he looks, walks and quacks like a communist, despite having failed to make such a declaration publicly.
Trumpmax -- Er, Newsmax Tries to Prop Up Debate Topic: Newsmax
Newsmax has apparently decided that there is no such thing as bad news about its planned Dec. 27 Donald Trump-hosted GOP presidential debate.
An article published late on Sunday night declares: "Newsmax Media and ION Television are moving forward with The Newsmax ION Television 2012 Presidential Debate moderated by Donald Trump, a great American success story."
As that bit of Trump-fluffing indicates, the article seems to have been written by Trump's PR team:
The GOP front-runner, Newt Gingrich, will join Trump and former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum for a conversation about how they plan to defeat President Barack Obama and make America great again.
"Newt Gingrich, who leads in all polls by a wide margin, and Sen. Santorum, who is rising in the Iowa polls, are joining Mr. Trump for the most important event of the primary season," said Steve Coz, vice president and editorial director of Newmax. “Interestingly, both climbed in the polls after accepting the invitation to face off with Mr. Trump, and the other candidates began slipping.
“Whether candidates like it or not, Donald Trump has proven himself to be a frank, straight shooter, and very smart and tough with his views, and has huge political influence. He gets what is happening to America — and millions of American voters agree with him and follow his lead.”
Trump consistently led in presidential polls when he was considering his own bid for the White House, and he left the race as a leading candidate when he decided to continue his top rated TV show, "The Apprentice."
Since then, almost every major GOP candidate has sought his endorsement over the past several weeks, hoping to repeat the surprise victory of Bob Turner, who won a Democratic-held New York congressional seat after Trump threw his support behind him.
Of course, there's no mention of Trump's wavering on whether the debate would go forward with only two candidates taking part. Instead, Newsmax keeps it upbeat by asserting that "The three most influential conservative groups in the country and a growing number of high-powered conservative voices have endorsed the Newsmax ION debate and have urged GOP candidates to attend."
Newsmax followed this up with two articles -- one highlighting Bill O'Reilly backpedaling on his claim that the debate would be canceled, and the other touting how Amazon.com has sold out of Trump's new book, a claim that is actually unattributed but seems to be coming from Trump's publisher, since he's the only person quoted in the article.
WND Whitewashes Weapons Trafficking To Portray Culprit As Victim Topic: WorldNetDaily
It looks like WorldNetDaily has found its latest dubious poster child it must whitewash for public consumption.
Jeff Knox devotes his Dec. 8 column to the case of the "heavy-handed" treatment by authorities of Rick Reese, his wife Terri, and their two sons, Ryin and Remington:
Their alleged crime is that, over the course of several months, they sold between 15 and 30 guns to people they "knew, or should have known" were gun traffickers for Mexican drug gangs.
Shortly after they were arrested in Las Cruces, dozens of police vehicles, including four armored personnel carriers and two helicopters, full of armed officers and agents from an alphabet soup of state and local law enforcement agencies, swarmed over the Reese's home and businesses. The entire firearm and ammunition inventory was taken from Rick Reese's store, as well as his entire personal collection of firearms and all cash and valuables from his home safe. Even the 30 to 40 empty gun safes that were on display at the store were seized.
U.S. Attorney Ken Gonzales indicated that he is going to seek asset forfeiture of the Reese's home and 25-acre property (including the shooting range on the property that he leased to various law enforcement agencies), all of the cash and valuables seized, their vehicles and a monetary judgment of at least $36,000 of whatever assets might be left.
Something else to consider is that someone actively engaging in illegal straw purchases of multiple guns is typically sentenced to less than one year in prison and is generally not even prosecuted unless they've made such illegal purchases of at least a dozen guns and at least one of them has shown up at the scene of a serious crime.
With that being the case, why has the Reese family, all of whom have spotless records in their business and their personal lives, been held without bail for over three months and had virtually everything they own seized by government agents?
Rick Reese was planning to retire at the end of the year. His son Ryin was in the process of opening a gun shop of his own in Las Cruces, and Rick was planning to help Ryin get started by letting him liquidate the inventory from Rick's store.
In a dark twist to this already-dark case, Rick, who has been very outspoken and politically active, was planning to challenge the current sheriff for the office of Luna County sheriff next year, and his intention to do so was widely known. There have been some indications that this investigation might have started in the Luna County Sheriff's office. If those rumors prove true, it raises all sorts of questions that need answers.
I don't know the Reeses and really have no idea whether they knowingly broke the law. I do know that they had a reputation for being responsible citizens and that they have insisted that they are innocent and will not plea bargain.
In fact, the Reeses are accused of doing a lot more than sell guns to people they "knew, or should have known" were gun traffickers for Mexican drug gangs. The 30-count indictment against the Reeses cover firearms smuggling and money laundering. Here's how the U.S. Attorney's office explained it:
The indictment generally alleges that, between April 2010 and July 2011, the defendants conspired to make false statements in connection with the acquisition of firearms and to illegally export firearms to Mexico. It also charges the defendants with conspiring unlawfully to launder proceeds from the sales of firearms and ammunition illegally exported from the United States to Mexico. The indictment seeks forfeiture of the firearms and ammunition involved in the defendants’ alleged unlawful activities, the proceeds of their alleged unlawful activities, the real property on which New Deal is located, New Deal’s assets and licenses, and a money judgment in the amount of $36,000.
According to the indictment, in July and August 2010, Ryin Reese sold 18 firearms to an individual who arranged to smuggle the firearms into Mexico where they were transferred into the hands of Mexican Cartel members. Ryin Reese allegedly assisted a straw purchaser in completing ATF firearms transaction records in which the straw purchaser falsely represented that s/he was the actual purchaser of the firearms. On August 28, 2010, after receiving a notice from law enforcement that a firearm sold by New Deal had been recovered, Terri Reese allegedly told the straw purchaser about the notice and expressed concern that her phones were being monitored by law enforcement.
The indictment further alleges that, on six occasions between April 20, 2011 and July 29, 2011, the defendants sold an aggregate of 16 firearms and more than 7,000 rounds of ammunition to a confidential informant and undercover agents with the understanding that the informant and agents intended to illegally smuggle the firearms and ammunition into Mexico. The defendants allegedly removed the ammunition from its original packaging and repackaged the ammunition in black canvas bags to conceal it from law enforcement. The defendants also allegedly assisted the confidential informant and undercover agents in completing ATF firearms transaction records in which the informant and agents falsely represented that they were the actual purchasers of the firearms.
According to the indictment, the firearms sold by the defendants included 27 AK-47 type rifles, three AR-15 rifles, two .50 caliber rifles, and two 9 mm pistols, weapons allegedly favored by Mexican Cartels.
Not only did Knox understate the charges against the Reeses, he also understated the number of weapons involved and omitted thte thousands of rounds of ammunition that were also sold.
Knox then tries to further minimize the Reese case by invoking the Fast and Furious controversy, asking "when are those responsible for dumping 2,000+ guns into the criminal market going to be arrested and held accountable for their contributions to 'the violence that has been devastating Mexico?'"
Given WND's checkeredhistory in hiding the unpleasant facts about its favorite victims, it's probably not wise to add to that sorry pile. But Knox seems determined to do that anyway.
NewsBusters Tries to Keep 'Death Panels' Myth Alive Topic: NewsBusters
Tom Blumer does his best in a Dec. 9 NewsBusters post to attack outgoing Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) administrator Donald Berwick, asserting that, as "a big fan or the UK's National Health Service," he is "he is on record as a big fan of rationing and the functional equivalent of death panels." Blumer quotes the highly biased anti-abortion website LifeSiteNews in support of his claim.
In fact, as Berwick has pointed out, health care rationing is already occuring under the current system, and we don't recall Blumer complaining about that. Berwick has said, "The decision is not whether or not we will ration care -- the decision is whether we will ration with our eyes open. And right now, we are doing it blindly."
Further, "death panels" don't exist, as less biased sources have documented.
Even WND Thinks Bashing Muppets As Left-Wingers Is Stupid Topic: Media Research Center
You know you've done something crazy when WorldNetDaily declares it's too crazy for them.
A Dec. 8 WND article by Bob Unruh features right-wing movie critic Ted Baehr running to the defense of the Muppets from allegations promoted by the Media Research Center's Dan Gainor, along with Fox News' Eric Bolling, that these fuzzy puppets have a secret left-wing agenda:
"Why is Eric Bolling of 'Follow The Money' going on Fox News accusing poor little Kermit of going red?" Baehr writes in a joint commentary with Sarah Jane Murray about the issue raised by Bolling.
"Fox's main point is that the 'Muppets' malign capitalism by featuring an oil tycoon villain, Tex, who wants to drill beneath Muppet Studio in order to increase his own fortune. Fox's critics take this plot point completely out of context. In fact, it leaves us wondering if they watched the movie at all," he said.
"Featuring Tex as the villain does not amount to communism. In the Book of Kings, Naboth refuses to sell his vineyard to King Ahab. The king's wife, Jezebel, writes a letter in the king's name instructing his followers to proclaim a fast, seat Naboth at a banqueting table, and then take him outside and stone him. Shortly after his death, Ahab appropriates the vineyard. Both Ahab and Jezebel are rebuked by God for their actions," he wrote. "Does this mean that being a king is evil? Absolutely not. God rebukes Ahab and Jezebel for their treachery and for the choices they make … The message is reaffirmed once again when Christ casts the unethical businessmen of his day out of His temple."
Baehr and Murray continued, "A lack of ethics and goodwill is precisely the problem with Tex Richman. He wants to steal Muppet Studio away from the rightful owners and stoops to sabotage in order to get what he wants. The problem is not that Tex is rich; the problem is that he's deceitful, arrogant, and evil. There is a difference between being a successful businessman in a free market and being morally bankrupt."
They note that Marx, in his 'Communist Manifesto,' opposed individualism, the state, religion and property. But the movie has the Muppets working inside Hollywood's system to organize a telethon. It also gives a nod to religion and offers an abundance of examples of what clearly is not communism, Baehr and Murray write.
"By the end of the movie, even Tex's assistants question his ethical practices. At one point, the big bear wonders if they're perhaps working for 'the bad guy.' And, of course, the whole movie is full of delightful commentary, much of it capitalist in underpinning. At one point, Fozzie exclaims 'Wow, that was such an expensive looking explosion. I can't believe we had that in the budget.' Did we mention that Gonzo has made his fortune as a CEO in the executive toilet industry?" they write.
"'The Muppets' is full of great family values. Friendship, love, hard work, family, individuality – these are just some of the moral principles celebrated by the movie. In an age in which the media exerts more influence on our children than family, church, and school combined, these are great messages to be promoted by mainstream Hollywood. It is important that families speak out at the box office and support great storytelling full of great traditional values," they write.
"At the end of the day, any suggestion that this year's 'Muppets Movie,' pushes a liberal or communist agenda is just plain 'Waka Waka Waka.' Thanks, Eric, for the laugh."
Unruh goes on to note WND movie critic Drew Zahn also rejecting the commie connection:
He added regarding the controversy, "While being alert to the subtle messages of Hollywood is important for parents, I think Dr. Baehr has it right on this one. Yes, the bad guy is named 'Richman,' but is the film inherently hostile to the wealthy? No. Is it the main theme? No. There are plenty of made-for-kids movies out there that would just tickle the class warfare crowd. 'The Muppets' isn't necessarily one of them."
Both Baehr and Zahn, by the way, are not shy about bringing the crazy. Baehr thinks "Avatar" is so far-left that Al Gore wrote the script, and Zahn doesn't like the Disney movie "Tangled" because it teaches children to think for themselves.
So congratulations, Dan Gainor, for accomplishing the nearly impossible -- you've just done something too crazy for WorldNetDaily.