A process server reports that MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow has been served with a lawsuit alleging defamation for her comments about a Christian ministry.
She was served late Monday evening at her condominium in New York’s Soho neighborhood. The server provided a photo of Maddow at the time:
MSNBC host Rachel Maddow upon being served with a lawsuit late Monday evening, Aug. 8, 2011
The lawsuit alleges defamation for her references to Bradlee Dean’s YouCanRunButYouCannotHideInternational ministry.
The case claims left-leaning interests are trying to undercut the presidential campaign of U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., by attacking people with whom she has associated, including the ministry. Bachmann’s campaign is focused on a return to traditional values regarding marriage, fiscal policy and government.
WND reported earlier on the lawsuit, which was announced by Dean and his attorney, Larry Klayman.
The complaint by Dean, a former heavy metal rocker, is based on Maddow’s assertion that Dean advocated the execution of homosexuals.
According to the complaint, the false characterization started with reporter Andy Birkey of the Minnesota Independent.
“Defendant Burkey, on information and belief, took a ‘special interest’ in plaintiffs Dean and (his ministry) YCR because he is a secularist and/or atheist and gay activist with a politically left ideology who despises people of faith, including but not limited to the congresswoman Michele Bachmann, MN, who is running for the presidency of the United States, and is a conservative Christian as well.
“On information and belief, defendant Burkey, the Minnesota Independent, Rachel Maddow, and NBC and MSNBC, in concert with others, have set out to and did willfully and maliciously harm the presidential campaign of congresswoman Michele Bachmann. Not coincidentally, Rachel Maddow is also of a leftist political ideology, who as a committed and also proud lesbian is active in the so called ‘gay rights’ movement. She views plaintiffs and congresswoman Bachmann a threat to ‘gay rights,'” the claim explained.
It continued, “On information and believe … [in defaming] plaintiffs Dean and YCR and holding in a false light plaintiff Dean, all of the defendants, each and every one of them, maliciously set out to and did harm not only the plaintiffs but by extension also the presidential campaign of congresswoman Michele Bachmann.”
In May 2010, Birkey wrote wrote an article titled “GOP-linked punk rock ministry says executing gays is ‘moral'” that tried to link Bachmann to the ministry. Bachmann had praised the ministry previously.
The complaint said Maddow “outrageously disparaged Bradlee Dean’s physical appearance, his first name and his profession as a heavy metal entertainer and his standing in the community and represented that he and YCR had advocated the execution of gays.”
As a result, Dean has had death threats, the lawsuit said.
The action seeks $50 million damages.
Klayman, the founder of Judicial Watch and now of Freedom Watch, said money is not the issue.
“This case is filed as a matter of principle,” he said. “We need more Bradlee Deans in the world and hateful left wing television commentators must be made to respect not only his mission but the law.”
Dean became a Christian after suffering a hard life as a young boy and has dedicated his life to his ministry’s mission. He once made a statement on the radio criticizing his fellow Christians for not taking a stronger stand about the “gay” rights lobby promoting homosexuality in schools. According to the ministry announcement, he made a strong reference to Muslims taking the issue more seriously than Christians, referring to Islamic law, but did not condone their practices. It was Bradlee’s intent to focus attention on the issue, not to advocate harm to anyone, the statement said.
Despite the clear statement by Dean on his ministry’s website and elsewhere that he was not calling for the execution of homosexuals, the claim explained, “MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow and others seized on and accused Dean on her show of supporting the killing of homosexuals, as is the practice in some radical Islamic countries. This seriously has harmed Dean and the ministry, who pride themselves on respect and love for all people.”
The ministry announcement said, “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.”
Since the Independent report and its followup, Klayman noted, the original accusation has spread. The Minneapolis Star-Tribune said Dean’s comments were “read as advocating executions for gay people,” KARE- TV in Minneapolis reported his “controversial statements about gay persons,” and the City Pages said Dean “has praised religious extremists who execute suspected homosexuals.”
ABC jumped into the fray with a blog comment that Dean “has suggested homosexuals be executed.”
Activist sites such as Rightwingwatch took it even further, stating Dean said “that Muslim nations that execute gays are more moral than American Christians.”
You Can Run But You Cannot Hide International, founded by Dean, has reached more than 500,000 young people with a message of truth and hope across the country. His message focuses on basic constitutional issues. He’s also spoken at churches, festivals, prisons, detention centers and on radio and television programs.
Dean also is drummer for Junkyard Prophet, which has sold over 40,000 albums in the Minneapolis area alone. Bradlee is endorsed by world-class companies such as Sonor, Buttkickers, Beatnik (including his own signature drum pad), Hornet Drumsticks (including his own signature sticks) and Soultone Cymbals.