Overshadowing the dismissal
of 26 translators
- 20 Arabic and 6 Farsi speakers - from the military since 1998 for homosexuality, James Dobson
and his group, Focus on the Family
have been raising a media stink about the pervasive homosexual influence of SpongeBob SquarePants
. It seems he and several other
cartoon characters appear in a video released after 9/11 intended to tout multiculturalism - and what could be more gay
From Media Matters
Dobson based his assertion on a "pledge of tolerance" available on the website of the We Are Family Foundation, one of the groups that produced the video. The pledge originated at Tolerance.org, a project of the Southern Poverty Law Center. Before reading the pledge aloud on Hannity & Colmes, Dobson claimed that "the purpose [of the video] is to drive them [children] toward a pledge of tolerance" that "elementary schoolchildren are going to be asked to sign." In fact, according to the foundation's founder and website, neither the video nor the accompanying teacher's guide make reference to the pledge or to homosexuality.
The last week or so has seen a great deal of vicious infighting - as well as an ineffective spam campaign against MSNBC's Keith Olbermann
- that has led to Dr. Dobson's frantically backpedaling
in his monthly newsletter.
Dr. Dobson, meanwhile, has formed a fundie version of the Super Friends
and written to Karl Rove threatening to sink the President's Social Security schemes if their views are not further pandered to. The President, of course, having gotten what he wanted out of Dr. Dobson and his friends, has broken with the GOP's platform to support civil unions
, which is likely what brought this whole mess about in the first place.
Wide-eyed zealots are one thing, but this sort of nonsense from public policy makers is another thing entirely. Overshadowed by the Dobson v. Spongebob flap, pressure from the new education secretary
has prompted PBS to refrain from distributing an episode of its children's program, 'Postcards From Buster', which contains a lesbian couple.
The Plaid Adder
wraps all of this up in her inimitable style.