Thursday, January 27, 2005

Hannity Offers Dobson Forum To Continue Defaming SpongeBob

Dr. James Dobson has a friend in Sean Hannity.

Dobson, founder of the conservative group Focus on the Family, has been falsely claiming to conservatives far and wide that an anti-bigotry video -- featuring, among others, SpongeBob SquarePants -- is actually "a teachers' guide that talks the teachers through homosexual changes of attitude."

Dobson made the charges again on the Jan. 21 edition of Fox News' Hannity & Colmes, even after The New York Times reported and refuted Dobson's falsehoods (

Dobson told host Sean Hannity that "the purpose (of the video) is to drive them toward a pledge of tolerance that elementary school children are going to be asked to sign."

But according to the producer of the video, Nile Rodgers, there is no mention of the pledge in the video or accompanying educational materials. Furthermore, there is no mention of sexual orientation in the video or accompanying materials.

Rodgers told the Times that Dobson might have been confused because an unrelated website, belonging to a similarly named organization, supports gay youth.

But Dobson apparently isn't interested in such broad concepts as "truth." And Hannity, more interested in appeasing the religious right (and grabbing big ratings) than reporting the facts, happily gave Dobson his forum, unfettered. Facts be damned!

Dobson told Hannity that he was the victim of "media spin." Hannity's response? "Dr. Dobson, what a shock -- the liberal media totally got a story wrong. You know, it, like, happens to me now every day."


Liberals may laugh off the Dobson-SpongeBob story. Jon Stewart played the story for laughs on his Jan. 26 show, and even on JABBS, we poked fun at the lunacy of the charge.

But the Dobson story is getting discussed. On the conservative website, a Jan. 21 story gave arguments by Dobson (although not specifically named) and Rodgers equal play:

The maker of a video starring SpongeBob SquarePants is rejecting claims from conservative Christian groups that say his work is an effort to promote homosexuality.

The groups say the problem isn't with the video itself, but the organization behind it. They say the producers are exploiting popular children's characters to push a gay and lesbian agenda, and are urging parents to stay away from it.

A Jan. 22 story on The Christian Post (, under the headline "Evangelicals Warn Parents of Pro-Gay SpongeBob Video," discusses Dobson's points, and adds this gem:

According to the Mississippi-based American Family Association, the video subtly promotes homosexuality and all sexual orientations. "On the surface, the project may appear to be a worthwhile attempt to foster greater understanding of cultural differences," wrote Ed Vitagliano, editor of the monthly journal. "However, a short step beneath the surface reveals that one of the differences being celebrated is homosexuality."

Again, if you read the Times story, you know the above is nonsense. But how many NewsMax or Christian Post readers caught -- or believed -- the Times, regularly dismissed by conservatives as bathing in "liberal media bias"?

This is what passes for conservative "journalism." An unfounded charge -- or in this case, a charge that is found to be untrue -- is given a forum. Facts proving the charge to be untrue are dismissed as "opinion."

And folks like Sean Hannity happily jump on the bandwagon. Ratings are ratings, you know. Facts be damned!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Okay, Dobson may be a little over the top but he pales in comparison to Democratic Sen. Robert Byrd. The "Shakey Bird," a one-time recruiter for the KKK who helped filibuster the Civil Rights Act of 1964, has the nerve to try block the nomination of the Condoleeza Rice, the first black female Secretary of State. Talk about transparency. What a slap in the face to all black Americans.

10:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Byrd and other Democratic senators tried to block Rice's nomination for reasons that had nothing to do with her race.
They accused Rice, with substantiation, of lying about and exaggerating evidences to Congress and the American people in order to "sell" the War on Iraq.
I side with these opponents for standing up for what so many Americans feel, that the Bush Administration must be held accountable for dragging the country into this costly and deadly failed war.

1:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hannity is a bum. People like him represent what is wrong with media these days. Same goes for certain liberals on the left.....if anyone listens to Air America, they would give me great pleasure trying to defend what is said on many of its shows.

As far as Rice, congress can vote how they want. of course, much of this is due to politics and strategy, which may or may not work out. those that actually vote with their hearts, and there are few, i am ok with that.

overall, however, if someone believes Rice is qualified as a candidate for this position, and i believe she is, she should not be voted down because she is part of an administration that has views you dont like. if that is the case, then every choice bush makes would have these same no votes. the president chooses his cabinet. the people choose the president. the people chose bush, he chose rice. simple as that.

and although i agree completely that the war has not gone as planned and comes with much tragedy and mistakes, whether it has failed is undecided. Even if it was a mistake to go in, it doesnt mean it has failed. The jury is out. but of course you have complete morons like ted kennedy spouting out that we should pull out of iraq or make plans to.....right before elections. he couldnt have waited until afterwards. Oh no, of course not because it scores political points within the fringe. Just ridiculous and shameful. The republicans, while disgusting as well, have certainly not cornered the market on despicable moves for political purposes.

4:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Since the blog item is about Dobson (and Hannity), I'm going to stick to that.

Dobson is an idiot who cares about spreading his ideology. When the facts get in the way, he ignores them.

Who else does that sound like?

10:18 PM  
Blogger Michael said...

I for one am considering setting up a legal defense fund for all imaginary characters who are under attack by the fascist-wing of the Republican party. I'd hate to see what happened to Murphy Brown be repeated with Mr. SquarePants.

In Dissent,

3:22 AM  

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