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.