Friday, January 21, 2005

SpongeBob supports gay rights, too 

Conservatives Pick Soft Target: A Cartoon Sponge Well, the vicious Christian Right has a new target - cartoons! Newly self-crowned king of the wingnuts, James Dobson, told a dinner of republican congressmen that he thinks the new "We are Family" video is "pro-homosexual".
So, SpongeBob SquarePants supports gay rights? Well, good for him!
Actually, I don't know why Dobson would think this, unless he is mentally ill, drunk with power, or just plain drunk. And say it to a fancy republican inaugural dinner, too, though I was unable to find out what organization sponsored his remarks.
We watched the whole video on Countdown with Keith Olbermann tonight. Its just a cheery little riff with Barney, the Muppets, Winnie the Pooh and SpongeBob dancing and singing about how wonderful families are. Thinking that this video promotes some kind of insidious agenda is crazy, unless you think that anything that promotes tolerance and joy is some kind of plot. Maybe in Dobson's America, it is.
The video is produced by the We Are Family Foundation, which also dares to have on its website the Tolerance Declaration from the Southern Poverty Law Centre.
"Tolerance is a personal decision that comes from a belief that every person is a treasure. I believe that America's diversity is its strength. I also recognize that ignorance, insensitivity and bigotry can turn that diversity into a source of prejudice and discrimination. To help keep diversity a wellspring of strength and make America a better place for all, I pledge to have respect for people whose abilities, beliefs, culture, race, sexual identity or other characteristics are different from my own."
Well, can't have THAT in today's America, can we?
After showing the video, Keith quoted Mark Barondess, the foundation's lawyer, as saying that Dobson and the rest who are criticizing this video 'need medication.' Well, said Obermann, we agree.
I wonder if the republicans applauded Dobson at the dinner -- the NYT article doesn't say. But the next day, Dobson's assistant repeated the charge "We see the video as an insidious means by which the organization is manipulating and potentially brainwashing kids. It is a classic bait and switch." Switching to WHAT he didn't say. But they seem to think they have to draw the line at tolerance, because its so dangerous for America.
Countdown is now the only US news show we can stand to watch, because Keith Olbermann is the only "progressive" newsperson on American TV now - he covered the Ohio vote recount and hearings when no other network was covering them; his "bloggerman" blog is the only newsperson's blog that really is one (most of the rest just shill for their upcoming shows); and generally he demonstrates little patience with the stupider aspects of the republicans or the Christian Right.
The week before last, he bashed an Ann Coulter doll to pieces on the set. It was great!
And by the way, there is also a WeAreFamily organization that supports gay and lesbian youth in Charleston, SC. Check them out.

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