The right’s ongoing problems with children’s entertainment

Lou Dobbs thinks this little guy wants to "indoctrinate our children."
Lou Dobbs thinks this little guy wants to "indoctrinate our children."
Associated Press

It was pretty amusing in December to see Fox News invest some energy into targeting the Muppets. Eric Bolling, you’ll recall, actually went after Muppets twice, first accusing the movie of trying to “brainwash our kids” against capitalism, and then again soon after, insisting the Muppets are “terrible” for “demonizing” capitalism.

A chastened Bolling eventually backed off, but the right’s interest in children’s entertainment continues unabated.

Fox’ Lou Dobbs, for example, told viewers last night there’s “a story you won’t hear anywhere in the liberal national media,” and it involves Hollywood “once again trying to indoctrinate our children.”

The problem, apparently, is a new movie about a Dr. Seuss character called The Lorax.

The graphic that aired during a clip of the movie declared, ” ‘Lorax’ Movie Pushes Anti-Industry Message.” […]

Dobbs then said, “The president’s liberal friends in Hollywood [are] targeting a younger demographic using animated movies to sell their agenda to children.”

As Dobbs asked his panel about “this sort of insidious nonsense from Hollywood,” the graphic read, “Tree-Hugging Dr. Seuss Character Featured In New Universal Movie.”

This kind of paranoia seems rather silly, but what amazes me is how often the right goes after children’s entertainment.

Perhaps the quintessential modern example was Jerry Falwell going after Tinky Winky the Teletubby, but that merely started a lengthy, larger campaign. One conservative group went after “Shrek.” Another targeted “Shark Tale.” James Dobson launched a broadside against SpongeBob SquarePants, while Fox News’ Neil Cavuto perceived “Happy Feet” as political propaganda. The “Harry Potter” series has been targeted any number of times by conservatives complaining about witchcraft, and the Christian Coalition targeted Twilight because “it’s just not normal for young people to idolize a vampire.”

What’s actually not normal is having so many conservative adults perceive secret political messages in harmless fun for kids.