The Rainbow Connection…is Communist?

December 5, 2011

Political Theory

Now, honestly, is the first thing you think of when you watch this video communism? How about the second? Is it even a thought in the back of your mind. Or are you just thinking of how this song makes you feel inside (or how bizarre it is that Kermit the Frog can play the banjo)?

According to the host of the Fox News program ” Follow the Money,” Eric Bolling, the new Muppets movie is indoctrinating the idea of communism into our youth, thus continuing Hollywood’s “liberal agenda.” In the movie, Kermit and the rest of the Muppets gang are poised to stop Tex Richman, a wealthy (note the last name) oil man who is trying to tear down the Muppets theater. Richman, therefore, is seen as the enemy of the lovable Muppets gang.

Bolling and his guest, Dan Gainor of the Media Research Center, are proposing that Hollywood is attempting to brainwash the youth of America by portraying a successful businessman as the enemy in American society. Gainor even goes so far to say that Hollywood hates the oil industry and corporate America, pointing out that Cars 2, another children’s movie, Syrianna, and There Will Be Blood all present the oil industry as an evil entity in our country.

This is an excellent example of media bias and how the media can affect the public’s perception of reality in today’s society. It is conceivable, and pretty likely, to say that most children would not even think twice about Richman’s profession in the movie. However, it is news outlets, like Fox News, that hype up these kind of stories to place the blame of media bias on the other side of the argument. Gainor, in an intentional emotional plea, states that these types of movies are ignoring “what oil means to most people: fuel to light a hospital, or heat your home, or maybe fuel an ambulance to get to the hospital if you need.”

In America today, every source of news has to be looked at with a grain of salt, due to the unfortunate influence of bias. It is a sad aspect of our society that a children’s movie such as The Muppets is being scrutinized so heavily, only because it “has a different agenda” than that of Fox News. In this competitive country, Fox News felt that it needed to “one-up” The Muppets and make it known that a conservative should frown upon the movie as it only advances a liberal agenda.

This issue brings up two important questions about the state of politics in America today. Firstly, what influence should Hollywood have on our children, in terms of ingratiating them with specific political/social views? Despite the fact that most values are developed through acculturation, the youth of America is extremely impressionable; should the media have an influence over this vulnerability?

Lastly, how dangerous is media bias in America today? How much influence does/should the parent company of a news outlet have on the type of news that it reports?

Personally, it is extremely disheartening to see The Muppets, the ideal children’s movie, being attacked by Fox News for pushing a liberal agenda into the minds of our youth by making the enemy a wealthy businessman. Someone’s gotta be the bad guy, right? I, for one, never want to see a day when Kermit the Frog becomes that bad guy.

, ,


Subscribe to our RSS feed and social profiles to receive updates.

2 Comments on “The Rainbow Connection…is Communist?”

  1. weinben Says:

    Fox News has a reputation for having a flair for the dramatic amongst those liberal folk, and an incendiary incident such as this will only propagate such a reputation. But, as you mentioned, most news media nowadays is in fact tainted with political bias. Fox News is, has been, and will be the bastion and voice of conservative Americans for a while, while CNBC and CBS have long been considered unabashedly leftist. Fox news castors like to blame what they perceive as the decrepit state of American society on the ghosts of America’s past, like Nazism (i.e. Glenn Beck on every other show) and Communism (in the example you reference). Perhaps it appeals to a shock factor that grabs the attention of Americans moreso than any other news channel (Fox is leaps and bounds in front of the other news channels in terms of viewership). Or maybe there is some validity to Gainor’s cries. Regardless, the bottom line is that the news has become a shell of what it used to be and almost has more in common with circus shows and gladiator battles than investigative journalism and reporting, because the news is now a business, and just like in any other business, the people who head these programs want the most bang for their buck and the biggest profits. So, when you ask how dangerous media bias is for America’s youth, I would say only if the youth is watching television with values you do not agree with. If both sides are biased, then the lack of objectivity is the primary danger. However, considering your perception that almost all media is somehow biased, then either all of it is dangerous or none of it is, because neither bias can technically be ‘incorrect’ because they are opinions on the subject matter.

    Go Blue.

  2. Phil O'Donnell Says:

    Although light hearted in its content and the examples given, this post actually raises several crucial and serious points pertaining to the American political spectrum. The first and seemingly most important which is raised is the issue of whether people perceive there to be a middle ground between free market, monetarist capitalism and ‘communism’. I personally would argue this in the affirmative, however judging by the nature of some FOX News’s (among other right-wing news providers) coverage, you could be mistaken (or even accurate) in believing that many Americans believe that there was not a middle ground; any deviation from the free market model is seen as some form of socialism or communism.

    Hence, in the particular example provided in the post, the Muppets might not quite be the enemies of society, however they could (through rightwing perceptions) seemingly be judged to be enemies of the free market model, as they are attempting to prevent the businessman from acting autonomous and impeding on his right of property acquisition. They would seemingly have a point if they argued on this basis, however arguing that this is against American society or American societal values is farfetched and here is why.

    One point which is interesting to consider is what are the traditional American economic principles? Many on the Right like to argue that the traditional American position has been one of compete liberty in the market place and that government intervention should be discouraged and prevented. I believe that this is simply not true, at least historically, as America has gone through periods of huge, national scale government intervention; a poignant example would be FDR’s ‘New Deal’ and its vast public works projects. Yet, admittedly FDR’s ‘New Deal’ did seemingly follow a period of very little government intervention under Coolidge and Hoover. Hence, it could be concluded that the traditional American economic model is not set in stone, rather that there is no traditional model and that the American economic model swings back and forth, to changing degrees of government intervention. However to claim that the traditional American economic model is devoid of any government intervention is false and inaccurate.

    One other point which should be considered is why the motivation for Fox News and their peers on the Right seemingly making such ‘enthusiastic’ connections between perceived Socialism and many facets of the American political arena and social culture. Seemingly to me, there is a tendency for those who are not in power or are not ‘getting their way’ to be louder and more active in the political arena and media then those who are in power or who are ‘having their way’. This seems to be related to the idea of a silent majority which often sits back and is complacent whilst they are in power, at the time when they are seemingly in the most danger of losing power and votes; the so called ‘complacency of power’.

%d bloggers like this: