Thursday, November 23, 2006

The Penguin Agenda

Neil Cavuto of FOX News says that the animated movie "Happy Feet" is offensive to him. Not for the usual reasons that crazy pundits find movies offensive, but because it references man-made ecological challenges that the protagonist penguins must face. Said Cavuto, "I though it was like an animated 'Inconvenient Truth.' I half expected to see an animated version of Al Gore to pop-up."

Tellingly, nowhere in the exchange between Cavuto and Holly McClure (the wingnuts' current pet movie reviewer since Michael Medved moved into full time punditry) does anyone make any claim regarding human activities and the environment. That is, they never even bother to argue that overfishing and garbage dumping aren't a problem. Their point is rather that these facts are somehow partisan, and should therefore not be "foisted" on children.

I just don't know where to start with the crazy. First of all, FOX News has been pulling a partisan bait-and-switch game since they launched, by pretending to be a news channel when they are actually a propaganda machine. But let's be specific about that. According to his bio on their website, Cavuto is "anchor of Your World With Cavuto, the No.1 business news show on cable." Anchor of a news show, it says. About business. Actual news anchors are supposed to commit to the practice of "journalism," a central tenet of which involves the elimination of "bias." I don't want political opinions foisted on me when I sit down to find out what's going on in business news. And I can't imagine what looking for supposed political bias in a children's movie could possibly have to do with either news or business.

Secondly, whether or not penguins and other wildlife are negatively impacted by oil drilling, garbage or overfishing is a question of fact, not opinion. In other words, Cavuto explicitly states that he objects to children being exposed to facts. This itself should be sufficient to discredit him as anyone whose opinion should be listened to for advertising profit.

The conflation of opinion with fact is a longstanding wingnut trick. They like to preface their statements with "I believe," as in "I believe that we are winning the war on terror." If opinions are substituted with facts, then one is free to lie at will. You're not really a deceiving bastard, just a little out of touch with reality!

But regarding animated movies and environmental messages, they have always been intertwined. Remember Bambi? "Man is in the forest!" This admixture isnt' because of a secret Jewi - er, leftist conspiracy running Hollywood, it's simple logic. If a child is going to go watch a movie about anthropomorphic talking animals in the wild, he or she may take an interest about actual animals in the wild. This may lead to information about challenges those animals face, such as predators. The greatest challenges nearly all wild animals face at present are related to human activities. That's just how it is. So if you want to present a reasonably consistent story, you would have your protagonist anthropomorphic animals facing such challenges in the movie.

Besides, there's nothing Cavuto can really do about it. Penguins are well known leftist agitators, and the penguin conspiracy is far too broad at this point for even FOX news to stop. In addition to shilling for Al Gore, penguins promote the gay agenda. Penguins are also used promote open source software, which is clearly a communist utopian movement that harms corporate profits. Not to mention Sparky. So, Mr. Cavuto, as you can see, it's not Hollywood that's out to push the radical leftist agenda.

It's the penguins.

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