Green Room

Rachel Maddow, MSNBC Sued for Defamation

posted at 12:58 pm on July 27, 2011 by

A hard metal rocker and founder of a Christian ministry has filed a defamation suit against liberal talk show host Rachel Maddow and MSNBC, the network that carries her program. The lawsuit, which seeks damages in excess of $50 million, alleges that Maddow irreparably harmed Bradlee Dean and his You Can Run But You Cannot Hide International ministry by claiming that he advocates the killing of homosexuals.

According to preliminary court documents prepared by Dean’s attorney, Freedom Watch founder Larry Klayman, Maddow distorted a statement Dean made on the radio in which he criticized his fellow Christians for failing to take a stronger stand with respect to the “gay” rights lobby promoting homosexuality in the schools. In his remarks, Dean said:

Muslims are calling for the execution for homosexuals in America, this was just released yesterday and it shows you that they themselves are upholding the laws that are even in the Bible, the Judeo Christian God. They seem to be more moral than even the American Christians do. Because these people are livid about enforcing their laws, they know homosexuality is an abomination. And I continually reach out to the homosexual communities on this radio show, and I warn them, which ones love? Here you have Obama condemning it behind the backs of the homosexuals but to their faces he’s promoting it. I say this to my gay friends out there the ones that continuously nitpick everything I say. Hollywood is promoting immorality and the God of the Heavens in Jesus names is warning you to flee from the wrath to come, yet you have Muslims calling for your execution. If America won’t enforce the laws, God will raise up a foreign enemy to do just that’s what you’re seeing in America today. Read Leviticus 26, America.

When the comment was quoted on Maddow’s show, it was edited to read:

The Muslims are calling for the execution of homosexuals in America. This was just released yesterday and it shows you that they themselves are upholding the laws that are even in the Bible of the Judeo-Christian God. But they seem to be more moral than even the American Christians do because these people are livid about enforcing their laws. They know homosexuality’s an abomination. If America won’t enforce the laws, God will raise up a foreign enemy to do just that.

Maddow then connected her own dots to arrive at the conclusion that Dean was calling for the execution of homosexuals.

A statement on his ministry’s website reads:

In an interview earlier this year, MSNBC’s president Phil Griffin admitted that the network, to boost its ratings, caters to the so-called ‘progressive left.’ This explains the malicious attacks on Bradlee Dean and his ministry, which are being used to harm the presidential campaign of Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, who is a conservative Christian.

A report on the lawsuit at WorldNetDaily notes that original distortion of Dean’s comment was made by Andy Birkey of the Minnesota Independent, whose article bore the headline “GOP-linked punk rock ministry says executing gays is ‘moral’.”

MSNBC might claim in its defense that their only crime was sloppy journalism—that they ran a provocative story without properly vetting it—but they would then need to explain how they missed the ministry’s rebuttal, which ran in the same newspaper, stating:

We have specifically rejected, as all Christians do, the Islamic doctrine, and actual practice, of executing homosexuals. But some have claimed, in effect, that by merely mentioning the execution of homosexuals (as a criminal practice of Islam), on our radio broadcast, we have suggested it for consideration. Obviously this is absurd. The whole point was to contrast the Islamic position with the Christian position. This may not have been as clear as we would have otherwise planned it to be. Live radio is not scripted. But everyone who knows us knows that this is our position because we have stated it consistently for years….

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The original statement was not very well put.

Confusing. He certainly could have made the distinction between the Islamic Doctrine and the Christian Doctrine more clear.

He may not have a case.

Brian1972 on July 27, 2011 at 1:13 PM

They’re all stupid. Maddow for attempting to make a confusing and messed up series of statements seem downright evil (via picking and choosing what she pays attention to, as always) and the minister for believing that Muslims seem to be more moral than American Christians.

If America won’t enforce the laws, God will raise up a foreign enemy to do just that

He dug himself into a hole for channeling a lite version of Fred Phelps.

I don’t think his case is going to get anywhere.

Ryan Anthony on July 27, 2011 at 1:30 PM

Oh boy. I’m not sure this was a very wise lawsuit. In fact, I’m hoping it will be thrown out rather than setting a precedent of some kind through a ruling. The basis of the suit is defamation, and although Maddow spun Dean’s words to his disadvantage, I’m not sure he’s got a “defamation” case.

J.E. Dyer on July 27, 2011 at 1:37 PM

This ministry is going to win this lawsuit.

msnbc crossed the line of political attacks on a candidate to include a DELIBERATE distortion of an organization.

Freddy on July 27, 2011 at 2:29 PM

I’m sorry. I read the original quote – and then I read the abridged version ….. she quoted his words exactly, I see no maniupulation. His words were very ill chosen and could lead somebody to believe that he approves of how the Muslims treat gays.

CityFish on July 27, 2011 at 3:48 PM

I’m sorry. I read the original quote – and then I read the abridged version ….. she quoted his words exactly, I see no maniupulation. His words were very ill chosen and could lead somebody to believe that he approves of how the Muslims treat gays.

CityFish on July 27, 2011 at 3:48 PM

I read it once and did not come to that conclusion.

IowaWoman on July 27, 2011 at 7:16 PM

I’m sorry. I read the original quote – and then I read the abridged version ….. she quoted his words exactly, I see manipulation. He approves of how the Muslims treat gays.

CityFish on July 27, 2011 at 3:48 PM

I removed some words from your post, and changed the entire meaning of it.

…I quoted your words exactly.

Fair?

massrighty on July 27, 2011 at 8:43 PM

*Facepalm* That is the most inarticulate argument against Islam and favoring Christianity I’ve seen, and using the “live radio” excuse is no excuse. I loathe Maddow but this suit is going nowhere.

Buy Danish on July 28, 2011 at 8:26 AM

Madcow is on her own litle jihad. MSNBC is borrowing the scripture from the Koran about it being ok to lie to further religion.

seven on July 30, 2011 at 11:15 AM