He may be green on the outside but inside, Kermit is “red”?
Bunk, says a prominent Hollywood leader, Ted Baehr of MovieGuide: The Family Guide to Movies and Entertainment.
“Why is Eric Bolling of ‘Follow The Money’ going on Fox News accusing poor little Kermit of going red?” Baehr writes in a joint commentary with Sarah Jane Murray about the issue raised by Bolling.
Bolling accused the makers of the new “The Muppets” movie of aligning with Karl Marx by having its story line feature an evil oil baron, Tex Richman, who wants to acquire an old theater used by the Muppets and drill for oil underneath.
Bolling said, “The Muppets are back and being terrorized by an evil oil executive in their new movie. Liberal Hollywood depicting a successful businessman as ‘evil,’ that’s not new.'”
He continued, “We’re teaching our kids class warfare. Where are we, communist China?”
And he said, “I’ll put it out there: Is liberal Hollywood using class warfare to kind of brainwash our kids?”
Actually, not in this case, said Baehr.
“Fox’s main point is that the ‘Muppets’ malign capitalism by featuring an oil tycoon villain, Tex, who wants to drill beneath Muppet Studio in order to increase his own fortune. Fox’s critics take this plot point completely out of context. In fact, it leaves us wondering if they watched the movie at all,” he said.
“Featuring Tex as the villain does not amount to communism. In the Book of Kings, Naboth refuses to sell his vineyard to King Ahab. The king’s wife, Jezebel, writes a letter in the king’s name instructing his followers to proclaim a fast, seat Naboth at a banqueting table, and then take him outside and stone him. Shortly after his death, Ahab appropriates the vineyard. Both Ahab and Jezebel are rebuked by God for their actions,” he wrote. “Does this mean that being a king is evil? Absolutely not. God rebukes Ahab and Jezebel for their treachery and for the choices they make … The message is reaffirmed once again when Christ casts the unethical businessmen of his day out of His temple.”
Baehr and Murray continued, “A lack of ethics and goodwill is precisely the problem with Tex Richman. He wants to steal Muppet Studio away from the rightful owners and stoops to sabotage in order to get what he wants. The problem is not that Tex is rich; the problem is that he’s deceitful, arrogant, and evil. There is a difference between being a successful businessman in a free market and being morally bankrupt.”
They note that Marx, in his ‘Communist Manifesto,’ opposed individualism, the state, religion and property. But the movie has the Muppets working inside Hollywood’s system to organize a telethon. It also gives a nod to religion and offers an abundance of examples of what clearly is not communism, Baehr and Murray write.
“By the end of the movie, even Tex’s assistants question his ethical practices. At one point, the big bear wonders if they’re perhaps working for ‘the bad guy.’ And, of course, the whole movie is full of delightful commentary, much of it capitalist in underpinning. At one point, Fozzie exclaims ‘Wow, that was such an expensive looking explosion. I can’t believe we had that in the budget.’ Did we mention that Gonzo has made his fortune as a CEO in the executive toilet industry?” they write.
“‘The Muppets’ is full of great family values. Friendship, love, hard work, family, individuality – these are just some of the moral principles celebrated by the movie. In an age in which the media exerts more influence on our children than family, church, and school combined, these are great messages to be promoted by mainstream Hollywood. It is important that families speak out at the box office and support great storytelling full of great traditional values,” they write.
“At the end of the day, any suggestion that this year’s ‘Muppets Movie,’ pushes a liberal or communist agenda is just plain ‘Waka Waka Waka.’ Thanks, Eric, for the laugh.”
In WND’s own review of the movie, reviewer Drew Zahn wrote, “The film itself is funny and endearing. It doesn’t take itself seriously, but spoofs its idyllic-world genre and fills the screen with syrupy sweet moments and ’80s throwbacks that make it every bit as much a movie for Mom and Pop as it is for Junior. No, it’s no Oscar candidate, but the acting is fine, the music is fun and it’s very entertaining.”
He continued, “Αs for its messages, there’s some generic stuff about ‘believing in yourself’ and sticking up for your friends and growing up and learning to love – a fairly innocent and fun movie for the whole family.”
He added regarding the controversy, “While being alert to the subtle messages of Hollywood is important for parents, I think Dr. Baehr has it right on this one. Yes, the bad guy is named ‘Richman,’ but is the film inherently hostile to the wealthy? No. Is it the main theme? No. There are plenty of made-for-kids movies out there that would just tickle the class warfare crowd. ‘The Muppets’ isn’t necessarily one of them.”
Eric Heyl of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review wrote, “Never did I suspect that Kermit the Frog was in cahoots with Karl Marx. But the anthropomorphic amphibian and his Muppet brood apparently harbor the far-left leanings of Marx, who was to communism what Henry Ford was to the Model T – not to get all automotively analogous with you.”
He continued, “So suggested Fox Business Network talking head Eric Bolling, a guy who can spot a sinister communist threat even when it is cleverly cloaked as innocent children’s entertainment.”
He wrote, “In retrospect, I should have made the connection between Karl and Kermit long ago. Their similar backgrounds go a long way in explaining their shared ideology:
“Marx: A 19th century German philosopher, social scientist and socialist who co-wrote the widely influential political doctrine ‘The Communist Manifesto.’
“Frog: A 20th century-debuting American puppet, TV and movie star who sang the 1979 hit single ‘The Rainbow Connection.'”
He wondered, “How could I and so many others have missed something so obvious?”