The Muppets Continued: Fair & Balanced?

I don’t want to be too political on this blog, but this clip of Fox News attacking The Muppets’ “liberal agenda” infuriated me. I’m pretty sure this is old news for Americans, but I’ve been out of the loop…and since it has resurfaced due to Miss Piggy’s recent comments calling Fox News “laughable,” I will just put forth a few words. The fact that I am even writing about this is a bit silly, but watching anchor (I can’t even write that with a straight face) Eric Bolling make huge accusations that this family film is liberal extremism, and then has the audacity to call it brainwashing, is beyond me. And then to watch him and his conservative correspondent literally yell at and cut off the more liberal pundit, Caroline Heldman is a joke. Fair and balanced? I don’t think so. (That sort of behaviour reminds me of this great clip from The Daily Show) If they had even seen The Muppets, they would have realized that the villain Tex Richman is villainized by his character, not simply to the fact that he was rich. Yes, you can read into whatever you like from the text (yay subjectivity!), but it isn’t brainwashing.  Don’t even get me started on their comments about the brainwashing done by liberals and the environment. How being sustainable and wanting to be “green” has become a divisive and politic issue is sad and frustrating, but that is a separate issue. Anyway, I like Miss Piggy’s comeback, especially since she pointed out the main issue here, that if Fox took her seriously, then they have bigger problems at hand. It’s this type of journalism that has made most, if not all, of the 24 hour cable news channels to lose their credibility – at least in my book. And might I just add that these news channels are probably the ones more guilty of influencing people (brainwashing is too loaded of a term – which is perhaps why Fox decided to use it), as they push their own agendas (whether consciously or not) every moment of those 24 hours in how they select, frame, and index their stories. News broadcasting holds a lot of power, and they are not unbiased, as much as some might try. Maybe my studies have made me much more cynical, but I’m glad I’m being educated about it. And like Heldman said, perhaps the only real message the Muppets and Sesame Street are pushing is for children to learn the benefits of education – after all, knowledge is (em)power(ing) – and also learn how to laugh and have a sense of humor. Eric Bolling lacks both of those qualities – clearly somebody didn’t grow up with Jim Henson’s creatures and imagination. And for that, I feel sorry for him.


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