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‘Rev.’ Bradlee Dean sues Maddow, news site for defamation

MORNING EDITION ALSO: Budget deal affects wild rice; T-Paw, Bachmann on debt crisis; 4,000 DWI cases on hold; fake “Morgan Freeman political ads”; and more.
Read Wed. Afternoon Edition


The “Reverend” Bradlee Dean (Smith), last seen giving an invocation to the Minnesota House, is suing two of his most persistent reporter/critics. “Jessica P.” at the care2 blog writes: “The head of a far-right Minnesota-based ministry with ties to Rep. Michele (Bachmann) is suing Rachel Maddow and The Minnesota Independent for $50 million over reporting on the group’s extreme anti-gay beliefs. Bradlee Dean heads up You Can Run But You Cannot Hide, a ministry that believes gays are responsible for the Holocaust and that gays should be executed and is claiming the reporting on his group was slanderous. A full copy of the complaint is posted here.  Be warned: it reads as a rambling, poorly-written and tangentially tied to reality screed on a perceived persecution. It is noteworthy for just how bad it is.  That’s it. The heart of Dean’s complaint is that Maddow, and others, mis-reported on his comments praising radical Muslims who want to execute gays and lesbians. Here is the statement at issue:

‘Muslims are calling for the executions of homosexuals in America. This just shows you they themselves are upholding the laws that are even in the Bible of the Judeo-Christian God, but they seem to be more moral than even the American Christians do, because these people are livid about enforcing their laws. They know homosexuality is an abomination … If America won’t enforce the laws, God will raise up a foreign enemy to do just that. That’s what you are seeing today in America.

“According to the complaint, these statements were taken out of context to further a liberal pro-homosexual agenda and maligning Dean and his ministry as advocating for the execution of gays and lesbians.”

At City Pages, Andy Mannix writes, “In an interview with City Pages earlier this month, Smith talked in great detail about his belief that the media has unfairly targeted him. “It’s hurtful crap people say,” Smith said of the media. “And they say, well, you’re a public person. But then you think about Jesus Christ up on the cross being crucified, and what was he crucified for? He was crucified for their sins. That’s a hard lesson to learn, man.”

At the mostly satirical blog Wonkette, Kirsten Boyd Johnson, under a headline that reads, “Homophobe Pastor Knows Media Only Mocking Him to Get to Rep. Bachmann,” writes: “Buried in the treasure trove of ‘Michele Bachmann eats homosexuals’ brouhaha is the bizarre human-size skid mark Bradlee Dean, a self-styled ‘punk rock pastor’ who wants everyone to know that the liberal media is only ridiculing him in order to derail Bachmann’s presidential campaign. He is by his own account kind of like ‘Jesus Christ up on the cross being crucified’ by the media, which apparently makes Michele your new God.”

The latest ripple in the budget deal is bad news for wild rice. Steve Karnowski of the AP reports: “Environmental groups are upset over a provision in Minnesota’s new budget that will delay enforcement of a water quality standard meant to protect the state’s wild rice beds. The agreement that ended the state government shutdown calls for a $1.5 million study into whether the 1940s-era standard needs updating. It limits sulfate discharges into wild rice-producing waters to 10 milligrams per liter, but supporters of copper-nickel mining — a process that produces sulfates — question whether it’s still valid.”

The Mankato Free Press is nigh on to horrified at the spectacle of Pawlenty v. Bachmann: “It’s obvious now that the two Minnesota Republicans in the 2012 presidential race are hoping to grease their rise, in part, by knocking each other down. It might be small consolation to Bachmann supporters that it was Pawlenty who started this fight, but whether we are Pawlenty or Bachmann supporters or not, whether we are Republicans or Democrats, it should be plain that politicians of the same party, from the same state, both sharing similar political philosophies, do not come out looking good when they go so hard after each other.” “So hard”? I think maybe the Free Press needs to get out a little more.

In Iowa with Pawlenty and Bachmann, Kevin Diaz of the Strib looks at their positions on the debt ceiling crisis: “[D]espite the growing consensus on Capitol Hill to take action, the Minnesota Republicans have emerged as two of the leading voices saying that the debt ceiling doesn’t need to be raised at all to solve the crisis. … Bachmann has cosponsored long-shot legislation that would leave the current debt limit in place and avoid technical default by assuring only that bondholders and members of the military continue to get paid once the government runs short of cash. In her announcement, she accused Obama of fear-mongering by saying he couldn’t guarantee future payments to veterans and Social Security recipients. ‘We don’t believe that for a moment’, she said. … Neither Bachmann nor Pawlenty has said what government bills shouldn’t be paid to prioritize spending without raising the debt limit.”

4,000 … the number of DWI arrests on hold, waiting for the Supreme Court. Abby Simons of the Strib says: “More than 4,000 DWI and implied-consent cases are on hold until the Minnesota Supreme Court issues a final order on whether results from a controversial breath-testing device are deemed reliable. The state’s high court on Tuesday granted a motion by a coalition of defense attorneys who requested that each of the cases from around the state be stayed until an appeal is complete regarding the Intoxilyzer 5000EN. In March, Scott County District Judge Jerome Abrams ruled that although the device’s much-debated computer source code contains errors, the problems don’t affect accuracy of the results.”

Strib editorial page boss Scott Gillespie is unimpressed with GOP Congressman Peter King’s latest “terrorist” hearing: “In orchestrating Wednesday’s lineup,King stiffed Rep. Keith Ellison, the Minnesota Democrat who pointed out in a letter that his Fifth District has the largest Somali community in the country. King responded that the meeting is an extension of the March hearing, at which Ellison did testify. The Minnesota congressman deserved a seat at the table because of his work with local and federal law enforcement. The fact that he’s Muslim only adds value to his views. Nevertheless, in a clear congressional kiss-off, King denied Ellison’s request and asked him to submit easily ignored written testimony. Given the level of partisan dysfunction in Washington, King’s treatment of Ellison is no surprise. In return, the New Yorker should expect his motives to be called into question.”

Politicians have gotten themselves in trouble by using pop songs without asking permission. Now Wisconsin Democrats are upset with a GOP ad that uses a voice-over that sounds a lot like Morgan Freeman. Andy Rathbun of the PiPress writes: “Narration that sounds suspiciously like it came from Morgan Freeman can be heard in a new TV ad attacking Shelly Moore, the Democratic challenger in the state’s 10th District recall election. The ad is paid for by Citizens for a Strong America, a political group that has run a heavy cycle of ads in opposition to Moore in the Twin Cities media market. ‘Although it seems like a clear intent to sound like Morgan, they are close, but no cigar,’ Freeman’s publicist, Stan Rosenfield, said in an email. ‘That is not Morgan’s voice.’ ” The Democratic Party of Wisconsin chair Mike Tate sent letters today to KARE, KMSP, WCCO and KSTP, calling on the stations to pull the ad. Tate said the ad’s use of a Freeman sound-alike is ‘a dangerous deception, meant to confer legitimacy to false, dishonest attacks.’ ” … Which I always thought was the point of political TV ads?