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


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?

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Comments (10)

  1. Submitted by James Stout on 07/28/2011 - 07:22 am.

    Actually, Dr Maddow (yes, her creds are real, she earned a PhD from Oxford) should go even further, and call Dean to task for fraud. We now know beyond any reasonable (emphasis) doubt that there is no god, neither he, she, it, nor they. All three Abrahamic religions are based upon the foundation myths of a tribe of Bronze Age desert nomads; all of those myths have been debunked by science. For intelligent, intellectually honest people, Creation, Adam and Eve, heaven and hell, angels and devils, have all been relegated to their rightful place with Santa Claus, elves and the Tooth Fairy. To continue to preach as if god were real is fraud. Freedom of religion is also freedom from religion.

  2. Submitted by Matthew Levitt on 07/28/2011 - 08:52 am.

    Science has debunked religious myths? By definition, if they are myths, what’s there to debunk?

  3. Submitted by Tim Walker on 07/28/2011 - 08:54 am.

    The worst part of the ads by Citizens for a Strong America is their racism.

    They charge that Democratic challenger Shelly Moore wants to provide free health care to illegal immigrants.

    Dogwhistle, anyone?

  4. Submitted by myles spicer on 07/28/2011 - 09:14 am.

    I would comment, but I am afraid I might get sued.

  5. Submitted by Jeremy Powers on 07/28/2011 - 10:30 am.

    The ol’ “taken out of context” claim by Bradley Dean. All that will get him is sympathy from the people who like what he spews, “big deals” from most people who pay some attention and belly laughs from anyone who knows anything about First Amendment law. My guess, based on his past actions, this is a fundraising effort.

    Bradley Dean is clearly in the minor political leagues.

  6. Submitted by John Edwards on 07/28/2011 - 12:29 pm.

    There is another report on the Dean lawsuit at WorldNetDaily that puts an entirely different light on the lawsuit than Brian’s version. (

    Dean’s attorney is Larry Klayman, who founded the non-profit watchdog organization Judicial Watch. The WND article points out that the StarTribune, City Pages and KARE-TV as well as liberal commentator Rachel Maddow appear to have relied solely on the reporting of Andy Birkey of the left-wing Minnesota Independent website in criticizing Dean and ignoring his disclaimer that he has not called for the execution of gays. The parallels between this and the Shirley Sherrod case in which conservative blogger Andrew Breitbart allegedly took her comments out of context are remarkable. It is also instructive how a right-wing web site, WorldNetDaily, and a left-wing website, MinnPost, report the same lawsuit.

  7. Submitted by Greg Kapphahn on 07/28/2011 - 12:47 pm.

    Sorry, but if “Rev” Dean wrote what he clearly wrote, the context is irrelevant unless there was an introduction to the paragraph quoted in the article saying something like, “Here’s an example of the kind of religious bigotry against certain groups with which I completely disagree.”

    Of course there was no such introduction. Dean wrote what he wrote. What he wrote has clear implications.

    In America, he’s entitled to believe what he believes, but he can’t claim slander because other people quoted him and commented on the clear implications of what he wrote.

    I don’t know what “god” Mr. Dean believes himself to be working for, but he certainly seems to be deeply in tune with and channeling the same false image of God that the denizens of the First Century Judean temple in Jerusalem so loved and that Jesus was murdered for seeking to correct.

    Indeed, when it comes to crucifixion, Mr. Dean would NOT seem to be the one up on the cross. He’d be the one who pronounced the sentence if not the one who pounded in the nails.

  8. Submitted by Dan Hintz on 07/28/2011 - 02:15 pm.

    I highly recommend reading the complaint because it is just hilarious. It starts out like this:

    “Bradlee Dean is renowned and accomplished hard metal rocker”

    If I was answering the complaint, I think I would have to deny that allegation.

    The next time any Republican starts complaining about frivolous lawsuits and the need for tort reform, they should be forwarded a copy of this steaming pile.

  9. Submitted by will lynott on 07/30/2011 - 02:32 pm.

    Gosh darn those wicked liberals, once again slandering those poor wingnuts by quoting them verbatim. What’s this world coming to?

    BTW, “Judicial Watch” is a nonprofit “watchdog group” the way a quarter pounder is an evening at Maxim’s. Judicial Watch is nothing more than Larry Klayman’s own second rate law firm, notable only for filing myriad meritless lawsuits against Bill Clinton back in the 90s, none of which went anywhere despite the fact that Klayman filed them in the court of noted activist conservative Judge Royce Lamberth. I imagine he’ll be filing this one with Lamberth’s court as well. With the same result.

  10. Submitted by Neal Krasnoff on 08/08/2011 - 12:50 am.

    Opposing “free health care to illegals” is not racist. I have no idea why someone would believe that – unless it’s just the use of ad hominem.

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